Study Hall: Arkansas 29, Kansas State 16

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 06: Jarius Wright #4 of the Arkansas Razorbacks makes a touchdown pass reception against Arthur Brown #4 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 6, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Just enough Hog offense to prevent another Bill Snyder magic act. And if you missed The Numerical from this one, click here.

Arkansas 29, Kansas State 16

Arkansas KSU Arkansas KSU
Close % 100.0% STANDARD DOWNS
Field Position % 52.5% 31.4% Success Rate 42.1% 51.2%
Leverage % 62.3% 58.6% PPP 0.30 0.23
S&P 0.721 0.746
EqPts 20.1 11.9 PASSING DOWNS
Close Success Rate 37.7% 38.6% Success Rate 30.4% 20.7%
Close PPP 0.33 0.17 PPP 0.38 0.08
Close S&P 0.706 0.556 S&P 0.682 0.287
EqPts 7.9 7.2 Number 1 2
Close Success Rate 40.7% 39.4% Turnover Pts 5.2 11.9
Close PPP 0.29 0.22 Turnover Pts Margin +6.7 -6.7
Close S&P 0.700 0.613
Line Yards/carry 2.54 2.65 Q1 S&P 0.249 0.279
Q2 S&P 0.805 0.463
PASSING Q3 S&P 0.880 1.063
EqPts 12.2 4.7 Q4 S&P 0.801 0.403
Close Success Rate 35.3% 37.8%
Close PPP 0.36 0.13 1st Down S&P 0.659 0.785
Close S&P 0.711 0.504 2nd Down S&P 0.491 0.382
SD/PD Sack Rate 5.9% / 11.8% 26.7%/13.6% 3rd Down S&P 1.056 0.377
Projected Pt. Margin: Arkansas +14.9 | Actual Pt. Margin: Arkansas +13

Five Thoughts

  1. Kansas State spent most of the game facing passing downs on their side of the 50, but there was about a 10-minute span where it looked like Bill Snyder Magic™ had struck again. A 19-0 game was suddenly 19-16 after a blocked PAT, a sack-and-strip, and other timely plays, but Arkansas shut things down after that, and they deserve serious kudos for that.

  2. Collin Klein is as gritty as they come, but he was sacked far too much in 2011. It made a slim margin for error even slimmer all season, and Arkansas' continued presence in the KSU backfield (and Klein's occasional tendency to hold onto the ball for too long) made a comeback too difficult here.

  3. At the same time, however, KSU's pass defense was quite impressive as well. They got to Tyler Wilson three times and limited Arkansas' big-play ability more than most. Jarius Wright and Joe Adams combined for just 12 targets and eight catches, but Arkansas got enough from secondary targets Cobi Hamilton and Greg Childs to move the ball.

  4. Both offenses were dreadful in the first quarter, but the Arkansas offense figured things out about 15 minutes before KSU did.

  5. You think third downs were maybe important in this one?

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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