Let’s Talk About Stats: SFA Lumberjacks vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Photo via Kimberly Vardeman @ Flickr

Texas Tech faces Stephen F. Austin to open the season, let’s check out the stats for each team, both traditional and advanced stats.

Photo via Kimberly Vardeman @ Flickr

Hopefully this is good news for everyone, I’ll be using traditional stats and advanced stats this season, and they’ll be in their own post, the less than clever name, Let’s Talk About Stats. For a full glossary of advanced stats, check out Football Study Hall.

Traditional Stats

Unfortunately, all we have at this time for the lone game against an FCS opponent is traditional stats. No advanced stats for the FCS teams. No problem, right?

And even though we’ll have traditional stats, this doesn’t necessarily mean that comparing an FBS team and an FCS team will necessarily translate, but you only have to live with this for one week. The traditional stats are really intended to show efficiency, or lack thereof depending on your point of view.

I’ve decided to use yards per play, rush, pass attempt, etc. as a better measure for that efficiency rather than total yards, which isn’t always indicative of how efficiency, but I do think it’s better than total passing yards and things like that. I’m also a big fan and big believer in conversion percentages.

With all of that out of the way, you can see how good Texas Tech was offensively, high marks on yards per play, rushing attempt and yards per pass attempt. Nearly 7 yards a play is pretty good. I think the turnover margin could be better, but I think that’s the focus of this season. The third down and red zone conversion percentages are pretty important for Texas Tech’s offense, a passing offense where Texas Tech will often be faced with third downs that the receivers have to convert.

Defensively, things aren’t as rosy, the yards per rushing attempt and passing attempt are pretty terrible overall and when your defense is giving up more points per play than your very terrific offense, then there might be a problem. Same problems with opposing offenses having the ability to convert on third down and in the red zone is equally troublesome.

Advanced Stats

Football Study Hall has links to each and every team for advanced stats. You’ll have to trust me when I write that Texas Tech scores generally very good offensively and you can imagine that if the defense has the same or similar stats, then things aren’t so great.

And that is problematic for the defense, just looking at the numbers, you can see how similar they are to the offense and sometimes they are even better/worse, depending on your point of view. That’s not good and we’ve talked for the past few years about how the defense is going to have to make a stand.

It’s pretty simple for the defense, don’t allow so many big huge plays, try to force teams to be less efficient, force teams into worse field position, and don’t allow teams to finish drives.

Enough about the defense though, the offense is clearly elite, the only thing that they don’t do well is field position, other than that, Texas Tech is a top 3 offense according to S&P+ and top fifteen in the other S&P+ five factors (sans field position). It will be interesting to see if those punt returns help that field position metric, the hope that Texas Tech offense will gain a few more yards.


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