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Music City Bowl Study Hall: Notre Dame 31, LSU 28

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame 31, LSU 28

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics LSU Notre Dame Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 52 77
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 100.0%
Avg Starting FP 20.6 29.2 30.0
Possessions 9 11
Scoring Opportunities*
5 6
Points Per Opportunity 4.20 5.17 4.65
Leverage Rate** 76.9% 70.1% 68.3%
Close S&P*** 0.605 0.523 0.506
* 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?) LSU Notre Dame
Total 26.6 29.7
Rushing 18.2 18.5
Passing 8.4 11.2
Success Rate (what's this?) LSU Notre Dame Nat'l Avg
All (close) 50.0% 42.9% 41.8%
Rushing (close) 58.3% 39.2% 43.2%
Passing (close) 31.3% 50.0% 40.3%
Standard Downs 47.5% 42.6% 47.0%
Passing Downs 58.3% 43.5% 30.6%
IsoPPP (what's this?) LSU Notre Dame Nat'l Avg
All (close) 1.02 0.90 0.86
Rushing (close) 0.87 0.92 0.74
Passing (close) 1.68 0.86 0.99
Standard Downs 1.10 0.92 0.77
Passing Downs 0.83 0.86 1.13
Line Stats LSU Notre Dame Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 4.07 2.94 2.92
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 20.0% 0.0% 4.8%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 0.0% 0.0% 7.6%
Turnovers LSU Notre Dame
Turnovers 1 0
Turnover Points (what's this?) 3.9 0.0
Turnover Margin Notre Dame +1
Exp. TO Margin LSU +0.22
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Notre Dame +1.22
TO Points Margin Notre Dame +3.9 points
Situational LSU Notre Dame
Q1 S&P 0.636 0.530
Q2 S&P 0.499 0.594
Q3 S&P 0.786 0.504
Q4 S&P 0.492 0.492
1st Down S&P 0.695 0.428
2nd Down S&P 0.512 0.549
3rd Down S&P 0.590 0.678
Projected Scoring Margin: Notre Dame by 7.0
Actual Scoring Margin: Notre Dame by 3

Obviously there was a horrific replay review that negated an LSU touchdown late in the first half, and obviously that would have potentially made a difference in how the second half played out. But if you forget about that play, you can certainly see a game in which Notre Dame simply outplayed the Tigers.

The Irish won the field position battle and finished scoring opportunities better. They matched wits in the big-play department (which is saying something considering how good Leonard Fournette looked), and they won the turnover battle (with some luck). They played with fire they hadn't really shown since the Florida State loss. It was a welcome sight.

LSU put itself in position to win this game with Fournette's kick return score and an efficiency advantage, and ... really, this was just a fun, well-played game. Both teams looked good.

I guess this was just a fun bowl season, too. Most teams showed up and seemed to care. (Not all teams, no, but most.)