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Virginia Tech Advanced Box Score

Taking a deeper look into the stats from this weekend

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Each week I will be doing my best to take a deeper look into the stats of each game. You can see all of this year's advanced box scores in the "Advanced Stats and Analysis" story stream. Curios as to what some of the definitions are? Check out Football Study Hall's Advanced Stats Glossary.

Passing Downs Quarter Performance
GT VT Natl Average GT VT
Num Plays 22 16 Yards Per Play Success Rate Yards Per Play Success Rate
Success Rate 32% 13% 31% Q1 4.38 (16) 50% 9.56 (9) 56%
Avg Yards 5.77 2.43 5.72 Q2 5.29 (17) 35% 5.59 (17) 35%
Standard Downs Q3 4.8 (15) 40% 2.78 (9) 44%
GT VT Natl Average Q4 2.28 (18) 17% 4.12 (17) 24%
Num Plays 44 36 Down Performance
Success Rate 36% 47% 48% GT VT
Avg Yards 3.32 6.58 5.62 Yards Per Play Success Rate Yards Per Play Success Rate
Passing Plays 1st 3.48 33% 5.64 44%
GT VT Natl Average 2nd 5.77 41% 5.76 35%
Num Plays 25 27 3rd 3.64 36% 3.7 20%
Success Rate 24% 56% 41% 4th 0.33 0% - -
Avg Yards 5.64 7.52 6.39 Drive Performance
SD/PD Sack Rate 2.3% / 0.0% 0.0% / 12.5% 1.8% / 4.2% Num of Possesions Avg Start Spot Explosive Drive % Methodical Drive %
Running Plays GT 11 22.3 0% 18%
GT VT Natl Average VT 10 34.40 10% 10%
Num Plays 41 25 % of Possible Yards Gained GT: 32.3% VT: 38.1%
Success Rate 41% 16% 43% Georgia Tech Hidden Yards -133.4
Avg Yards 3.22 2.92 4.97 Turnovers GT: 3 VT: 0


  • Virginia Tech's Offense was bipolar on Thursday. A 13% success rate on passing downs vs. a 47% success rate on standard downs would imply that they couldn't pass the ball very well. But then when you look at their play type breakdown they had a 16% success rate on running plays and a 56% success rate on passing plays. I had to look further into this so here is a table breaking down the performance by play type AND down type.
Down Type \ Play Type GT VT
Runs Passes Runs Passes
Standard Downs Yards / Play 3.00 4.27 2.41 10.32
Success Rate 39% 27% 18% 74%
Count 33 11 17 19
Passing Downs Yards / Play 4.13 6.71 4.00 0.88
Success Rate 50% 21% 13% 13%
Count 8 14 8 8

  • So there it is. We could not stop their passing game when they had a threat of the run. 10+ yards per play on passes on standard downs seems rather ridiculous (the national average is about 6.5 yards per pass on standard downs). But then we absolutely killed them when they tried to pass the ball on Passing Downs, I don't think I need to put any frame of reference on only allowing .88 yards per pass on passing downs.
  • Man our offense could not get anything going on early downs. Our standard down success rate was only 36%, so we weren't setting our offense up for easy drives, and our 1st down yards per play was atrocious. Our average distance to go on 2nd and especially 3rd downs was actually better than Virginia Tech's. And we weren't making many big plays either, and had 0 explosive drives (10+ yards per play on average). As bad as our offense was performing our defense was doing their part to keep us in the game. The defense did an incredible job of limiting VT's scoring to give us a shot.
  • I think the Drive data in the bottom right of the table pretty much sums up why we lost. 3 turnovers just won't cut it against tough opponents, we only gained about a third of the possible yards available to us, in the past we are at 50-60% of possible yards, and VT had a 133 yard advantage in field position (the "hidden yards" field). We did just enough wrong to lose this game. We didn't play any worse than Virginia Tech did, but we just had too many mistakes to overcome. If we eliminate our mistakes then I think there is a different tone this week, our performance wasn't so bad, just unfortunate to get a loss.