Study Hall: Georgia Tech 31, Clemson 17

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 29: Tevin Washington #13 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets rushes against Rashard Hall #31 of the Clemson Tigers at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

You probably cannot beat Georgia Tech if you cannot force passing downs. And I have hated the "Same old Clemson" sentiment this week as much as I knew it was. A) Georgia Tech is pretty damn good (occasionally). B) Clemson was not Top Five good to begin with -- they were just good. This wasn't some epic underachievement on the road, and this wasn't some massive letdown. They lost to another good team on the road. Little shame in that.

Georgia Tech 31, Clemson 17

Clemson GT Clemson GT
Close % 99.3% STANDARD DOWNS
Field Position % 36.9% 51.3% Success Rate 52.2% 59.7%
Leverage % 70.8% 81.6% PPP 0.22 0.38
S&P 0.744 0.980
TOTAL
EqPts 16.1 28.2 PASSING DOWNS
Close Success Rate 46.9% 51.3% Success Rate 36.8% 14.3%
Close PPP 0.23 0.37 PPP 0.31 0.32
Close S&P 0.700 0.884 S&P 0.679 0.459
RUSHING TURNOVERS
EqPts 4.6 26.6 Number 4 2
Close Success Rate 47.6% 54.6% Turnover Pts 19.0 11.6
Close PPP 0.16 0.40 Turnover Pts Margin -7.4 +7.4
Close S&P 0.633 0.949
Line Yards/carry 3.78 3.55 Q1 S&P 0.441 0.646
Q2 S&P 0.696 1.274
PASSING Q3 S&P 1.242 1.232
EqPts 11.5 1.6 Q4 S&P 0.366 0.330
Close Success Rate 46.5% 30.0%
Close PPP 0.27 0.16 1st Down S&P 0.666 0.829
Close S&P 0.732 0.457 2nd Down S&P 0.970 1.027
SD/PD Sack Rate 3.9% / 5.9% 0.0% / 25.0% 3rd Down S&P 0.421 0.678
Projected Pt. Margin: Georgia Tech +19.5 | Actual Pt. Margin: Georgia Tech +14

Quick glossary (complete with national averages) after the jump.

A Quick Glossary

F/+ Rankings: The official rankings for the college portion of Football Outsiders. They combine my own S&P+ rankings (based on play-by-play data) with Brian Fremeau's drives-based FEI rankings.

Field Position %: The percentage of a team's plays run in their opponent's field position. National average: 43%.

Leverage Rate: A team's ratio of standard downs to passing downs. National average: 68%. Anything over 68% means a team did a good job of avoiding being leveraged into passing downs.

Passing Downs: Second-and-7 or more, third-and-5 or more.

PPP: An explosiveness measure derived from determining the point value of every yard line (based on the expected number of points an offense could expect to score from that yard line) and, therefore, every play of a given game. National average: 0.32.

S&P: Think of this as an OPS (the "On-Base Plus Slugging" baseball measure) for football. The 'S' stands for success rate. The 'P' stands for PPP, an explosiveness measure that stands for EqPts Per Play. S&P is measured for all non-garbage time plays in a given college football game. Plays are counted within the following criteria: when the score is within 28 points in the first quarter, within 24 points in the second quarter, within 21 points in the third quarter, and within 16 points (i.e. two possession) in the fourth quarter. For more about this measure, visit the main S&P+ page at Football Outsiders. National average: 0.747. Standard downs S&P average: 0.787. Passing downs S&P average: 0.636.

Standard Downs: First downs, second-and-6 or less, third-and-4 or less.

Success Rate: A common Football Outsiders tool used to measure efficiency by determining whether every play of a given game was successful or not. The terms of success in college football: 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth down. National Average: 42%.

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