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Opponent Stat Preview: North Carolina

Taking an in-depth look at the Tar Heels

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

This week the Jackets visit the Tar Heels. So far UNC has really disappointed compared to their pre-season expectations. However they still have a lot of talent and could still make some noise in the Coastal Division. Let's take a quick look at our overall NCAA ranks by some statistical ratings:

Method GT UNC
S&P+ 38 65
FEI 16 76
FPI 47 55
SRS 49 70
Vegas GT: -1

I am kind of surprised to see the line this low. Georgia Tech is the better team by every metric I follow and even though UNC is at home I still see us as a solid favorite. For example the F/+ ranking system, which combines the FEI and S&P+ ratings, views us as a 20 point favorite!

When Georgia Tech Has The Ball

Lately I have been working on some personality measures of offenses, so lets see what they say. According to a method I developed Georgia Tech's Offense is most similar to Nebraska, Navy, and LSU according to these factors:

Team

Offense

S&P+

Run %

Yards per

Rush

Completion

Percentage

Yards per

Completion

Solo Tackle

Percentage(*)

Georgia Tech 120.2 76% 6.06 47% 14.0 80%
Nebraska 112.2 71% 6.52 51% 15.5 53%
LSU 115.3 65% 4.71 51% 14.9 36%
Navy 112.6 77% 6.73 47% 14.7 64%

(*) % of solo tackles means how many of the tackles by opposing defenses were solo tackles. You can read more about the theory of why that matters here.

I don't have too much time for analysis this week so I'll just give a quick plot of how UNC has played this year by opponent. The Y-axis shows UNC's Adjusted Net Yards Allowed Per Play by opponent. The blue line is their ANYPA allowed and the red line is average ANYPA gained by each opponent in their other games. Being above the red line means UNC's defense has been worse than their opponent's average.

uncD

GT should be able to move the ball against UNC, who has allowed more yards per play than their opponent's average against other teams in most games.

When UNC Has The Ball

Here are the same personality scores for UNC's offense, which is similar to Louisiana Tech, Maryland, and Memphis.

Team

Offense

S&P+

Run %

Yards per

Rush

Completion

Percentage

Yards per

Completion

Solo Tackle

Percentage(*)

UNC 106.3 49% 4.54 58% 11.9 61%
La Tech 99.5 46% 4.82 60% 11.9 63%
Maryland 98.5 48% 4.35 61% 12.9 75%
Memphis 102.4 50% 4.15 62% 10.5 58%

Georgia Tech's defense has been atrocious this year on a per-play basis and I don't even want to get in to why that is. I'll let David Hale of ESPN take this one:

Special Teams

I will take the time to go over something I tweeted yesterday (give me a follow!)

This is a way of measuring the value of kickers developed by Benjamin Morris of Five Thirty Eight. The charts show each kicker's Points over Expected in each game so far this season. Points over expected was calculated by taking the difference between the number of field goals each kicker made and the number of field goals an average kicker would make given the distance of each field goal, and then multiplying by three. The y-axis is the percentage of a team's scoring margin that was made up by those Points over Expected. So if a kicker does exactly as expected then his Contribution to Margin of Victory will be 0 because he did exactly as expected, he didn't add or subtract any value. However if he makes 1 more field goal more than he would be expected to based on the difficulty of his kicks and the team wins by three then he contributed 100% to his team's margin of victory. Here is Harrison Butker's and UNC's kicker, Thomas Moore, performance so far this season.

kick

Harrison Butker has yet to put a positive game together, while Thomas Moore has been hit or miss as well. Good thing Georgia Tech's Offense doesn't have trouble converting red zone possessions in to touchdowns.

Well that is it for analysis. What do you guys think, any insights or comments?