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Study Hall: Tennessee 45, South Carolina 42

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee 45, South Carolina 42

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics South Carolina Tennessee Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 73 95
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 100.0%
Avg Starting FP 28.1 33.5 29.8
Possessions 15 14
Scoring Opportunities*
8 11
Points Per Opportunity 5.25 4.09 4.69
Leverage Rate** 75.3% 75.8% 68.2%
Close S&P*** 0.615 0.607 0.505
* A scoring opportunity occurs when an offense gets a first down inside the opponent's 40 (or scores from outside the 40).
** Leverage Rate = Standard Downs / (Standard Downs + Passing Downs)
*** When using IsoPPP, the S&P formula is (0.8*Success Rate) + (0.2*IsoPPP)
EqPts (what's this?) South Carolina Tennessee
Total 40.4 44.0
Rushing 18.6 24.7
Passing 21.9 19.3
Success Rate (what's this?) South Carolina Tennessee Nat'l Avg
All (close) 48.0% 54.7% 41.8%
Rushing (close) 47.1% 61.8% 43.4%
Passing (close) 48.7% 45.0% 40.1%
Standard Downs 50.9% 55.6% 47.1%
Passing Downs 38.9% 52.2% 30.5%
IsoPPP (what's this?) South Carolina Tennessee Nat'l Avg
All (close) 1.16 0.85 0.85
Rushing (close) 1.16 0.73 0.73
Passing (close) 1.15 1.07 0.99
Standard Downs 1.07 0.73 0.77
Passing Downs 1.49 1.23 1.14
Line Stats South Carolina Tennessee Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 3.92 4.07 2.92
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 12.5% 0.0% 4.7%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 13.3% 0.0% 7.6%
Turnovers South Carolina Tennessee
Turnovers 1 1
Turnover Points (what's this?) 1.5 3.5
Turnover Margin +0
Exp. TO Margin South Carolina +0.29
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Tennessee +0.29
TO Points Margin South Carolina +2.0 points
Situational South Carolina Tennessee
Q1 S&P 0.563 0.529
Q2 S&P 0.581 0.710
Q3 S&P 0.753 0.509
Q4 S&P 0.873 0.680
1st Down S&P 0.577 0.580
2nd Down S&P 0.636 0.624
3rd Down S&P 0.716 0.513
Projected Scoring Margin: Tennessee by 1.5
Actual Scoring Margin: Tennessee by 3

From today's Numerical:

I struggled with the thought of Tennessee tearing off quarterback Josh Dobbs' redshirt in the eighth game of the season last week when Tennessee played Alabama. Call it a gag reflex, after I was long ago scarred by something similar; in 1999, a desperate Larry Smith pulled the redshirt off of Missouri freshman quarterback Justin Gage in an attempt to breathe life into an offense that had been dead for weeks. Gage predictably struggled, then moved to wide receiver the next season. As it turned out, he was an excellent receiver, one Missouri could very much have used on its 2003 squad. But he was out of eligibility by then.

So yeah, I may just have an aversion to late-season redshirt removals. Still, playing Dobbs over Nathan Peterman against Alabama just meant that Tennessee lost to Alabama by a smaller margin and didn't actually help toward a win.

The next week, however, Dobbs led them toward a win. Dobbs was incredible late against South Carolina, completing 12 of his last 17 passes in regulation for 154 yards, leading three consecutive scoring drives, wiping out a 14-point deficit in the final two minutes, and, with help from an increasingly impressive pass rush, defeating the Gamecocks, 45-42, in overtime.

Dobbs finished with 301 passing yards, 166 rushing yards, and five combined touchdowns, with no sacks and one interception. That's phenomenal. And Tennessee is now within striking distance of bowl eligibility because of it. So maybe my reflexes will be proven incorrect here ... though one has to wonder just how sketchy Dobbs must have been in fall camp to have earned a redshirt in the first place. This version of Josh Dobbs is certainly quite a bit better than Justin Worley, who began the year as starter.

Dobbs was impressive, but Tennessee probably should have put the game away before overtime. In all, the Vols created scoring opportunities on 11 of 14 possessions, three more than the 'Cocks. But they turned the ball over on downs at the SC 1, they missed two field goals, and Dobbs threw a pick, and SC had a 42-28 lead with two minutes left because of it.

And then Tennessee went and won anyway.