Sunday, September 22, 2013
Baylor, Oregon lead offensive powers
By Sharon Katz
Below are some storylines from Week 4 of the college football season using ESPN’s new set of analytical storytelling metrics for college football. For more background on these metrics, read Dean Oliver’s primer on all of them and his explanation of college Total QBR. For complete college Total QBR information, go here.
Best Offense in the Country: Baylor or Oregon?
The numbers are ridiculous: The Baylor Bears and Oregon Ducks have combined for 393 points and 4,270 yards through their first three games.
They have each scored at least 21 touchdowns in two minutes or less (23 for Baylor and 21 for Oregon), which is nine more than any other team through three games this season. But which team has been more impressive?
Baylor has the slight edge in offensive EPA, meaning its offense has contributed about 1.3 more net points towards its margin of victory than Oregon’s offense. However, Oregon has faced two more BCS AQ opponents than Baylor, which is not currently accounted for in offensive EPA.
In the past 10 seasons, only two teams (2005 Texas Tech and 2011 Georgia Tech) have had a higher offensive EPA per game through their first three games than Baylor and Oregon this season.
Petty Off to Hot Start
Bryce Petty posted a 98.5 Total QBR on Saturday after accounting for 377 yards and five touchdowns in Baylor’s 70-7 win over Louisiana-Monroe.
Petty leads the FBS with a 98.4 Total QBR this season, and joins an elite group of QBs that have had a Total QBR of 95 or above (min. 50 action plays) through their first three games.
Of the seven players that accomplished this feat prior to 2013, all went on to lead their teams to double-digit wins, including former Baylor QB Robert Griffin III in 2011 (95.2 Total QBR).
Backups Fill in Nicely for Injured Starters
This season has had its share of backup quarterbacks performing admirably in the absence of injured starters. Week 4 was no different:
--Tyler Murphy was called into action early the first quarter when Jeff Driskel injured his leg. Murphy posted a 98.1 Total QBR on 24 action plays as Florida defeated Tennessee 31-17. His 98.1 QBR was the fourth-highest QBR of the weekend and the highest by a Florida quarterback since Tim Tebow had a 98.9 Total QBR against Vanderbilt in 2008.
--Kenny Guiton continued his hot start by posting a 74.4 Total QBR in Ohio State’s 76-0 rout of Florida A&M. Guiton threw for a school-record six touchdowns in that game, which brings his season total to 13. Guiton’s precise passing has some wondering what Ohio State will do when Braxton Miller returns. Since the start of last season, Guiton has thrown 17 touchdowns in 118 attempts, compared to 17 touchdowns in 278 attempts for Miller.
--Nebraska QBs Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Ron Kellogg III combined to complete 20-of-24 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns in the Cornhuskers’ 59-20 victory over South Dakota State. Armstrong and Kellogg had a combined 96.1 Total QBR in the game. In 42 career starts, Taylor Martinez had a Total QBR of 96 or above in just three games.
--Miami was only facing Savannah State, but when quarterback Stephen Morris went down early in the first quarter, Ryan Williams was able to fill in and lead Miami on five-straight scoring drives to end the half. Williams finished the day with a 99.5 Total QBR on 13 action plays.