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Advanced Stats Review: GT vs. FSU

Georgia Tech dominates FSU statistically behind True Freshman QB and experienced Defense

Florida State v Georgia Tech

Final Score: GT 16-13.

Projected EPA Margin of Victory: GT by 9

GT Win Probability by Success Rate and Yards Per Play: 92%

GT dominated this game, holding an advantage in every significant statistical category. If not for the 2 interceptions by Jeff Sims and 2 blocked field goals, this would have been a convincing Georgia Tech win.

Advanced Stats Comparison

GT vs. FSU Final Stats

Metric Additional Info Gt Offense FSU Offense National Avg
Metric Additional Info Gt Offense FSU Offense National Avg
Success Rate Success Rate
Down 1 58.1% 41.9%
2 45.5% 44.0%
3 53.3% 37.5%
4 100.0% 60.0%
Qtr 1 46.7% 80.0%
2 52.0% 26.1%
3 58.8% 39.1%
4 58.3% 47.6%
Pass P 61.1% 38.0%
Rush R 43.8% 51.9%
Overall 53.6% 42.9% 42%
YPP 5.51 3.69 5.7
Snap Count 69 77 71.5
# Pass plays 38 52 31
YPA (incl. sacks, scrambles) 7.79 4.21 7.39
Avg Starting FP 63.30 71.80 70.5
Avg Air Yards / Completion 6.90 4.22
Air Yards / Attempt 9.03 9.80
Avg EPA/play (offense) 0.00 -0.11 0.175
Avg EPA/pass -0.01 -0.26
Total EPA 0.06 -8.70
xCP 61.04% 60.51%
CPOE 4.59% -8.24%
Havoc Rate (GT) 19% 10%
% of Passes on 1st Down 53% 52%

Let’s break down and explain some of the key numbers from this week.

Success rate is the baseline metric for efficiency. A successful play gains 50% of the needed yards on 1st down, 70% on second down, and 100% on third or fourth down. GT held almost an 11 point advantage against the Noles. After posting a 36% success rate on offense last season with a season high single game number of 47%, GT fans should be overjoyed at the offensive efficiency in this game.

We will be including both sacks and scrambles in our yards per pass attempt numbers because this more accurately reflects the results of called pass plays. GT dominated in this area, 7.8 YPA to 4.2. Even without Tre Swilling and with Tariq Carpenter missing snaps with an injury, the GT secondary was fantastic against a dangerous FSU receiving corps. And the GT receivers did a great job getting open, while Jeff Sims progressed through his reads and made on target throws.

I’m charting air yards this season for GT games. This is the distance from the line of scrimmage to the intended receiver. This number helps us calculate xCP, which is expected completion percentage, based on all throws of similar distance in previous seasons. Then, we can calculate CPOE, which is the quarterback’s completion percentage in comparison to the expectation. Sims was 4.6% over his expected, while Blackman was 8.24% under his. This was a massive improvement for GT over last year’s QB play and is a great indicator for the potential for this passing game this year.

EPA Highlights

EPA calculates the expected number of points added (or lost in the case of a negative number) on a particular play based on the down and the location on they field. Akshay Easwaran did a great job priming us for EPA this summer. Check out his column here for background. You can see the average EPA numbers from the game in the table above, but I want to highlight the most helpful and the most hurtful plays from the game from GT’s perspective.

Five Most Helpful Plays

  1. Curtis Ryan Strip Sack of James Blackman on 2nd and 19 from their 45, with David Curry returning the fumble to the FSU 11. 6.63 EPA
  2. Georgia Tech Defense’s 4th Down stop on final FSU drive on 4th and 2 from the 24, bringing pressure that resulted in an incomplete pass. 5.33 EPA
  3. James Blackman interception on 3rd and 16th from the FSU 40, returned by Quez Jackson to the FSU 22. 5.00 EPA
  4. Georgia Tech Defense’s 4th down stop on the second to last FSU drive on 4th and 8 from the GT 38, forcing a fumble that FSU recovered short of the line to gain. 3.13 EPA
  5. Jeff Sims third quarter completion to Jalen Camp on 3rd and 14 from the GT 28 for 20 yards. 2.88 EPA

Five Most Hurtful Plays

  1. Jeff Sims’s 2nd interception on 1st and 10 from the FSU 15, returned by Asante Samuel Jr. to the FSU 42. -6.61 EPA
  2. Jeff Sims’s 1st interception on 3rd and 13 on the FSU 37, returned by Asante Samuel Jr. to the FSU 48. -4.93 EPA
  3. Georgia Tech’s 2nd blocked field goal on 4th and 9 from the FSU 21, returned to the FSU 29. -3.81 EPA.
  4. Georgia Tech’s 1st blocked field goal on 4th and goal from the 5, with the ball placed at the FSU 20. -3.80 EPA.
  5. James Blackman completion on 3rd and 15 for 18 yards in the middle of the 3rd Q to the GT 43. -2.40 EPA

Tracking Season Goals

I set these goals for the 2020 season in some of my offseason preview work. We will be tracking them as we go this year.

GT Advanced Stat Goals Week 1

Metric Season Goal This Week Season Long
Metric Season Goal This Week Season Long
Offensive Passing Success Rate 40% 61.10% 61.10%
Offensive Power Success Rate 70% 100% 100%
Defensive Power Success Rate 70% 100% 100%
Defensive Stuff Rate 20% 28% 28%
Defensive Havoc Rate 21% 19% 19%


  1. We have a QB who can throw accurately, navigate pressure, and make plays with his arm and his legs.
  2. We have a defense that can defend passes, create more pressure than in years past, and prevent explosive plays.

Le’s enjoy this one for a few days. We’ll be looking at the matchup with UCF on Thursday.