Your Numbers Entry

As you know…SFN LOVES NUMBERS. You need to look no further than the links on the right side of the front page of our blog and see that we have a whole Category designated to “Absolute Best Stat Entries”. VaWolf…where are you? 🙂

We’ve recently run across quite a few entries that are definitely worth your attention.

At the macro-level

* Did you know that scoring in college football games is down almost 11% from 2005? Golly…what a surprise. When the games are so much shorter than before then it is no surprise. (Important link) Thank goodness that the Einstein’s in college football have decided to save an extra 20 to 30 minutes per game…for a less exciting product…that you are being asked to pay more for than ever before. The Wizard of Odds has an entry that you should definitely check out linked here.

On a more micro-level:

* The N&O did a great job with their entry of “Truth in Numbers” entry.

There are three statistics of consequence in football: points scored, points allowed and turnovers. Note the intentional exclusion of yardage.

You win football games by scoring more points than your opponent. Yards, gained or allowed, is a means to that end but not a genuine reflection of how good, or bad, your team is.

Points and turnovers, however, don’t lie.

Why are Duke, UNC and N.C. State awful, at worst, and marginal, at best?

Let’s look at those three stats, starting with turnovers.

* Similarly, the always great Section Six has charted “Offensive tendencies” in the ACC in an absolutely fantastic entry.

The only team averaging less yardage per pass than per rush? NC State. I don’t think I need to point this out, but I’ll do so anyway: that negative pass attempt/rush attempt differential is bad. Very not good.

It means NC State needs to run the ball more. Maybe a lot more. For one thing, State is getting more yardage per handoff than per pass. That’s reason alone to run the ball more often. I think what we’ve seen isn’t just extra passing because we’re behind in games, but also Trestman’s adjustment to other teams’ adjustments. We’re known as a running team, and that’s what opponents key on. Trestman knows this, so he’s trying to surprise them by passing more frequently. I’ve noticed that we aren’t nearly as run-heavy on first down as we were last season. Trestman is doing what he can to keep the defenses honest. But based on the yards-per-carry numbers, why does he think he needs to? Ninety-seven runs in four games = a little over 24 per game. You’d expect the team with QB issues to need to throw more often; not the case with NC State.

* Section Six has also taken a look at turnover margin.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

'06 Football General

14 Responses to Your Numbers Entry

  1. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 8:57 AM #

    For some reason people around here don’t seem to mind punting the ball away after three unsuccessful running attempts, but let a pass be thrown off target or just dropped, and all hell breaks lose.

    I don’t care for the run VERSUS pass mentality. It is about what the opposing defense is keying and loosening them up for the other. Everyone shouldn’t cry when a pass falls incomplete anymore than they do when when a RB gets stopped at the LOS. The OL is not overwhelming anyone, so somewhere along the way the run/pass have to become somewhat complimentary of one another. And the opposing defense should have to guard against both from the first quarter, all the way through to final second.

  2. cfpack03 10/05/2006 at 9:09 AM #

    Just b/c we average more yds/run than yds/catch doesn’t automatically mean we should run more often. That’s the kind of logic politicians use. I’ll go out on a limb and say the reason for the invert is b/c of all the horizontal swing passes behind the LOS. Omit passes where the catch is made b/c the LOS and we’ve probably attempted and completed less forward passes than anyone in the ACC (except Duke of course).

  3. cfpack03 10/05/2006 at 9:10 AM #

    Also, one game that reaally skewed our stats was against So Miss. Unfortunately, most people can’t comment on it b/c no one saw it

  4. packbackr04 10/05/2006 at 9:34 AM #

    cf^^ speaking of SM… did u see South. Miss’ strong showing the other night against the golden hurricanes… or whatever their mascot is. Pathetic, what was the final score like 13-7?

  5. Woof Wolf 10/05/2006 at 9:52 AM #

    I don’t think anyone would argue that our passing game has been good. The answer is not to stop passing but to get better at it. The change at quarterback was, in my opinion, a move in that direction. Hopefully we will continue to improve.

    We are not talented enough (OL) to line up and run at most of the teams we play. We have to make them respect the pass for our running game to be effective.

    Usually statistics can be found to back up almost any argument, but in this
    case Section Six had to create them.

  6. Akula Wolf 10/05/2006 at 10:41 AM #

    The point is that running the ball more often is one of the ways to get better (i.e., more effective) at passing. Make the defense focus on stopping the run and you’ll get opportunities through the air. If we pass the ball more selectively the hope is that we can improve yards per completion and completion percentage.

    No drastic changes are necessary. Right now, we’re throwing the ball 58% of the time. Dropping that to 45% would mean about 7 fewer attempts per game.

  7. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 10:56 AM #

    “Right now, we’re throwing the ball 58% of the time.”

    That stat is based on what time frame?

  8. class of 74 10/05/2006 at 11:22 AM #

    Any good OC would tell you it is not just the number of runs or passes that are called but the way you set them up. Sometimes you will run a play that may not be the optimum for the moment just to set up another that will be.

    With our offense the yardage gained on first down will be telling. I don’t think our line is good enough to let FSU tee off on 2nd and long or 3rd and long all night.

  9. cfpack03 10/05/2006 at 12:01 PM #

    Right now, we’re throwing the ball 58% of the time.
    Not sure where this came from but, I still say if you omit the behind-the-LOS swing passes, and count of only forward passes, that stat is cut in half.

  10. Akula Wolf 10/05/2006 at 2:27 PM #

    redfred/cf — that’s from the second table in my post, and that’s based on all of the plays we’ve run through four games. 135 pass attempts, 97 runs. 135/232 = 58.2%

  11. VaWolf82 10/05/2006 at 3:15 PM #

    VaWolf…where are you?

    Alive and well, thanks.

    I’m hoping that we will see State develop an offense that would allow me to ignore the first four games of the year and look a little closer at the numbers.

  12. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 4:02 PM #

    Akula Wolf

    Thanks for the info. I don’t know how much trouble it would be or even if you can, but a sixteen quarter breakdown would be something to look at. Basing the %’s on the when the majority of pass attempts occurred and how much scoreboard dictated the pass. Also agree with CF, lateral type passes behind the LOS are, but are not, considered real passing attempts down field.

  13. Wolfpack4ever 10/07/2006 at 3:15 PM #

    I knocked Trestman for his O when Marcus Stone was QB — round peg in a square hole. Some knock Chuck/Trestman for not dumping Stone without a chance. We knocked the Pack for its showing or non-showing as the case may be, against SM.

    In one regard we were all right on, however, let’s put some context to the whole thing. Dumping Stone without due cause would not fit the “family feel” that Chuck has so meticulously developed at NC State. Adopting an offense that fit Marcus would have been very short-sighted and would not fit “the plan.” SM is just what we needed to give Daniel a chance — and no, I don’t think it was done with intent.

    Credit Marcus stone for being a big part of the different team feel that we enjoy today. Just like Philip Rivers in San Diego before he became the man, Marcus is not sulking. He asked Chuck to let him play somewhere. When he was, I’m sure, told that what was needed was back-up for Evans if Evans got his bell rung or worse. Stone is constantly with Evans in full support — like you would expect from a Philip Rivers protege. He learned more than football from Rivers.

    We had the offense to win a national championship and we had the defense to win a national championship. It will come together and we will have both at the same time. We will be on the national championship stage. Whether or not we win it, God only knows and she ain’t saying. 😉


  1. The ACC Basketblog - 10/05/2006

    The Daily Roundup

    We’re blogging about StateFansNation at the ACC Basketblog. Get over there!!!

Leave a Reply