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Georgia Southern Statistical Preview

Taking a statistical look at the GSU Golden Eagles.

Todd Bennett

Each week at FTRS we will be providing charts, graphs, and analysis into the characteristics of how our opponent plays, not just the quality of their performances. You can view all past Opponent Previews in the Football Analytics Story Stream.

I'll be honest guys, I'm surprised that most Tech fans seem to be really worried about this game. Maybe because a loss would be extra terrible so we are preparing ourselves for the worst? I'm not sure, but Georgia Tech is clearly the better team in this matchup.

Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern NCAA Ratings
Method Georgia Tech Georgia Southern
S&P+ 49 115
F/+ 32 117
ESPN FPI 53 80
SRS 31 50
Vegas GT - 18

Obviously anything can happen in a game and 18 point favorites have lost before, however I just don't see this game being close. Georgia Southern whooped up on Savannah State, but so does everyone. Georgia Southern just beat UF last year so maybe that is fresh in our minds, but that doesn't mean its any more likely to happen again. I haven't researched this (but it has to be close to exactly right), but since not a single player on their team was offered a scholarship here means Georgia Tech should be a large favorite in this game.

When Georgia Tech Has The Ball

Run / Pass Tendencies

Because there are have only been two games this season I wanted to use last year's information to get a feel for the teams. However Georgia Southern has a new coach this year so that won't really help us at all. Last year their Coach was at Sam Houston State but I don't have data for their games since they are FCS. So here are Georgia Tech's percentage of plays where a run is called and the percentage of plays that Georgia Southern's opponents have called runs (For the loyal readers: I haven't had time to edit these since last week, still working on improvements):


Georgia Tech continues its slow march to running more often than average at every down and distance. Georgia Southern's opponents have passed the ball more often than average on first and second downs, but I would assume this is because Savannah State was down a ton for the whole game.

Yards per Play


Georgia Tech's offense has been a little above average this year, nearly 10 yards per play gained on mid-range 2nd downs is  great, lets hope we can continue that. Georgia Southern's opponents haven't had much success anywhere on the field except second and short INSERT EARLY IN THE SEASON WARNING HERE.

Success Rate


The Jackets have done a great job converting third downs this year. However, we could really do better at avoiding third downs all together if we improved our success rate on second downs. Georgia Southern's opponents have also found some success on third down and on short-to-go distances. Georgia Tech will have some big plays as always but converting those third and second downs is what keep drives alive.

When Georgia Southern Has The Ball

Run / Pass Tendencies


Well Georgia Southern may have left the option but they still try and run the ball a ton. Granted, they had a huge lead the whole game against Savannah State but still, that's a lot of running.

Yards per Play


I guess when you win a game 83-9 your offense looks pretty good by any measure. Georgia Tech's defense actually has done a good job of allowing less yards per play than an average team. Then again its not like we have been playing offensive juggernauts or anything.

Success Rate


Maybe Georgia Tech's problem hasn't been allowing too many yards but not being able to stop teams once they get going. A nearly 50% success rate on 2nd and 7-10 to go is really not going to help you out. That means half the time we have a successful first down to force the opposing offense into 2nd and longs we allow them to immediately get a first down or a manageable third down, which we also have had trouble stopping them from converting. Georgia Southern has shown the ability to convert third downs so this will be a battle to watch.

And one last thing. The current money line on the game has Georgia Tech as around -1100 to win. That means you would have to put down 1100 bucks to get 100 dollars back. That means Vegas thinks we have around a 90% chance of winning the game.

What about you? Are there any trends you noticed that make your more or less confident about Saturday?