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Georgia Tech Football: Option Advanced Stats Report: USF

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Georgia Tech v South Florida Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Before reading, be sure to open up BillC’s Advanced Stat Glossary and Week 2 Advanced Box Scores

Another game, another late collapse. It defies logic that Tech can do this game after game, especially when looking at the offensive numbers but... oh the defense gave up what success rate? 53.3%? The special teams did what? Oh.

This week the Report is going to look at a breakdown of statistics by play call and by ball carrier on run plays only. Both were fairly revealing. Nishant has been working tirelessly to add functionality to our analysis tool, and we hope to bring you different breakdowns(hopefully not our own emotional breakdowns) as the weeks go forward.

One big disclaimer before diving into the data: A good portion of Tobias Oliver’s Keep plays are classified here as speed options, since that’s what they most closely resembled from a blocking standpoint. There was just no read. To keep things from getting out of hand on season stats later in the year, some generalizations like this will need to be made. These follows differed too much from the standard Zone Dive-based QB follow to be lumped in that category. Additionally, both the A-back and B-back Speed Options are under one category for now, we may change that later.

One smaller disclaimer: The Triple Option that resulted in a forward pitch incomplete pass was counted as a 0 yard run. It counts as a Run Stuff against the offense.

Data by Play

Play Count YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp Total Highlight Yards
Play Count YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp Total Highlight Yards
Triple Opt 7 2.9 42.9% 28.6% 28.6% 1.5 3
Zone Dive 6 4.2 66.7% 0.0% 50.0% 1.2 3.5
Counter Opt 1 17.0 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 10.0 10
Ctr Spd Opt 4 1.0 25.0% 50.0% 25.0% 1.0 1
Rocket Toss 4 9.5 50.0% 25.0% 50.0% 11.5 23
QB Follow 11 2.9 54.5% 9.1% 36.4% 0.8 3
QB Counter 3 29.3 66.7% 0.0% 100.0% 22.8 68.5
Speed Opt 20 10.2 80.0% 5.0% 70.0% 7.3 101.5

The Speed Option, which was run heavily when both QBs were in the game, is what pops off the page statistically. It’s no coincidence. With the defensive front USF utilized, they were trying to free up the deep LB to get to the edge on Triple Options. On a Triple, the OT is tasked with the deep Linebacker, which is a difficult block to make. By using the Speed Option, Tech allowed the OT to block the shallow Linebacker and have the AB go for the deep Linebacker. Both are easier blocks to execute, so Speed Option is preferred against this type of stacked LB formation. It showed. A 70% Opportunity rate suggests excellent blocking, and the 80% success rate was outstanding for a play run so many times. Of 20 Speed Options called, only one play was Stuffed.

The comparisons also back up the tactical choice to use Speed Option. The Triple Option, albeit with a smaller sample size, achieved just a 28.6% Opportunity Rate and 42.9% Success Rate. It simply wasn’t being blocked as well, as USF’s defense was designed to stop it.

The Counter Speed Options should have been better statistically, but suffered from at least one bad read from Marshall resulting in a Stuff when the pitch had an opportunity to convert on 3rd down.

The QB follow was used extensively in short yardage and goal line stations per normal, resulting a good(54.5%) success rate despite less than 3 YPC.

Data by Ball Carrier

Play Count YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp Total Highlight Yards
Play Count YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp Total Highlight Yards
Searcy 3 15.0 66.7% 33.3% 66.7% 15.5 31
Oliver 18 5.4 77.8% 5.6% 55.6% 2.4 23.5
Howard 1 1.0 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0 0
T. Marshall 13 9.7 38.5% 23.1% 46.2% 14.9 89.5
Lynch 1 0.0 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0 0
Mason 13 7.3 46.2% 7.7% 46.2% 8.0 48
Benson 5 8.2 80.0% 20.0% 80.0% 4.5 18
Cottrell 4 5.0 75.0% 0.0% 50.0% 1.8 3.5

Admit it, you looked at Oliver and TaQuon first, didn’t you? I understand. Oliver’s stats were eye popping, with 77.8% success rate and 55.6% Opportunity Rate. It’s important to look at the opportunity rate along with the success rate here. Coach Johnson was calling plays that the offense was blocking up well, and which were ideally suited to the defensive front shown, as was discussed previously. Oliver was still outstanding in the role he was given, but it’s important to keep it in perspective.

Marshall wasn’t nearly as efficient, but oh was he explosive. TaQuon led the team in highlight yards by a wide margin, moving the ball in chunks instead of steadily down the field. While he wasn’t given the same high opportunity rate as Oliver, some of that was his own fault with a couple missed reads leading to stalled drives. This data wont’ settle the debate, but it does help in understanding each QB’s performance.

Kirvonte Benson will be missed, but Mason held his own, coming in 2nd on the team in highlight yards thanks to a long speed option run with Oliver at QB. Mason won’t be as efficient as Benson, and may not be as explosive either, but he and Jerry Howard should effectively hold down the position while Benson heals.

While they didn’t get the same workload as the BBs or QBs, the ABs had an efficient day that should be seen as a big positive after they were ineffective a year ago. They likely would have gotten a higher volume of work if Marshall had played the entire game, so it’s a small sample size, but still a positive sign going forward.

The offense overall was stellar outside of some poorly-timed mistakes, and the stats back up the unit’s performance. Tech is unlikely to sustain this level of performance in ACC play, but it shouldn’t have to play this well in order to win games. Defensive and Special Teams adjustments will determine success going forward.

We aim to add new features to article each week, so be sure to leave suggestions! We’ll try to cover as much as we can.