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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Temple Owls: A Statistical Preview

What do stats tell us about Geoff Collins’ return to Philly?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 USF at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After Tech’s game against REDACTED, Kieffer gave us a look at how Tech was doing in some advanced stats, thanks to an agreement between SB Nation and Sport Source Analytics. With this agreement, some other folks within SB Nation have built some really cool things too, like the Tableau feature I’ll be using to preview all of Tech’s remaining games, which is courtesy of Zane Murfitt from Coug Center (Houston’s SBN team site).

This feature takes the data and gives us a comparison of offense and defense that will be perfect to use for preview pieces. I’ll still be looking at key match-ups in my How to Watch post, but this will serve as a more inclusive preview piece.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Geoff Collins will be making a return to his most recent coaching stop: Philadelphia. He will be coaching against his former team, most of which was recruited by Collins and his staff. It should hopefully prove to be a fun game in which Georgia Tech can find an offensive identity.

Georgia Tech’s Offense vs. Temple Defense

Statistics courtesy of Sports Source Analytics, Visualization courtesy of Zane Murfitt (Coug Center)

Looking at this, Temple’s defense matches up really well against Georgia Tech’s offense, mostly because Temple’s defense has proven to be well-rounded so far this season, while Tech’s offense has been non-existent.

Tech has been most successful this season when running the ball, and that should surprise approximately nobody. That is going to end up being the easiest path to victory for the Yellow Jackets. Unfortunately for Dave Patenaude and the Tech offense, Temple’s defense is pretty good at stopping the run, limiting teams to a 36.6 percent success rate when rushing the ball (42nd-best in the country). The Yellow Jackets have also only been around right around or below the national average when rushing the ball.

What’s interesting about Temple’s defense is that despite being a top 20-30 defense in most categories listed, they are a bottom-30 team in havoc rate (The percentage of plays in which a defense either recorded a tackle for loss, forced a fumble, or a pass is intercepted or broken up). That bodes well for Tech, because they have been bad at preventing those havoc plays. With continued injuries along the offensive line, I’m curious to see how this match-up goes.

Tech has found the majority of its success in the red zone, which is definitely a good place to have a lot of success. The Yellow Jackets have scored on 80 percent of their red zone possessions.

Georgia Tech’s Defense vs. Temple’s Offense

Statistics courtesy of Sports Source Analytics, Visualization courtesy of Zane Murfitt (Coug Center)

Like Georgia Tech, Temple’s offense also isn’t anything super special. They’re slightly above the national average in a couple of categories, but it’s an easily defendable offense. Luckily for Tech, they actually haven’t been garbage on defense this year. I’m willing to call the REDACTED game a fluke, but the game that really impressed me was Tech’s game against Clemson. In that game, outside of a few explosive plays, Tech did a good job of stuffing the run and forcing Trevor Lawrence into some sticky situations.

In most categories, I think Tech’s defense matches up well with Temple’s offense, in that they are both pretty close to the national average in most categories. One thing Collins will need to do to ease the minds of some Tech fans is show off why he earned the nickname “Minister of Mayhem.” Tech hasn’t done much in terms of building up a havoc rate this year, and Temple has been really good at preventing such plays. Moving into the ACC schedule after this game, that is something that will be interesting to keep an eye on.


Tech is only going to win this game if they can keep Temple from outscoring them. I know that sounds very cliched, but at this point, the offense has not proven that they can win the game for Tech. In the Yellow Jackets’ lone win this season, it was the defense that won the game, with the help of a goal line stand that ended in a forced fumble right on the goal line.

On offense, I think Tech would be smart to stick to their rushing attack, so I’m hoping to see a heavy dose of Tobias Oliver. Running the ball is exactly how Buffalo beat the Owls last weekend. Jaret Patterson scored two touchdowns while rushing for 133 yards as the Bulls continuously pounded the ball the whole game.

How are you feeling about the Temple game?