Thursday, January 2, 2014
Inside the numbers: FSU dominates
By Toby Petitpas
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesFlorida State has won a school-record 13 games and is undefeated heading into bowl season for the first time since it won the BCS National Championship during the 1999 season.
Florida State has celebrated one title and has another within reach.
The Seminoles have won every game by at least 14 points and their average margin of victory (+42.3) is on pace to be the highest since Army set the FBS record in 1944 (+52.1). The last team to win all of its games by at least 14 points was Utah in 2004, with Urban Meyer as head coach.
Florida State is the only FBS team that has not trailed in the second half this season. The Seminoles’ average in-game win probability is 84 percent, the highest for any team in the last 10 seasons.
Average in-game win probability is a team’s chance of winning across all of its plays. Florida State’s lowest win probability in the second half this season was 54 percent during Boston College’s first drive of the third quarter.
Florida State leads the nation in scoring defense and ranks second in scoring offense. According to ESPN’s team efficiency rankings, the Seminoles have the highest-rated offense and defense in the FBS.
Florida State has scored more than 35 points in all 13 games this season. That is tied for longest streak of such games in FBS history with the 2011-12 Oregon Ducks and the 2012-13 Texas A&M Aggies.
In addition to being consistent, they are also efficient. The Seminoles average 3.8 points per drive, the most by an FBS team since Hawaii averaged 3.84 in 2006.
Big plays have been a staple of the offense. The Seminoles had 103 plays that gained 20 yards or more, tied with Baylor for the most in the FBS entering the bowls. However, Baylor has run 108 more plays than Florida State. Per play, the Seminoles gain 20 yards once every 8.6 snaps, the best rate for any FBS team in the last five seasons.
Big plays have led to quick scores. Florida State’s 18 touchdown drives with three plays or fewer rank second in the nation behind Baylor (20).
The offense has been led by Jameis Winston, who has thrown a school-record 38 touchdown passes. Winston leads the nation in opponent-adjusted QBR (90.5) and is on pace to tie Johnny Manziel for the sixth-best season in the 10-year history of QBR.
Winston has been the model of efficiency. He has thrown a touchdown every 9.2 attempts, the best rate in the nation, and averages 11 yards per attempt, the highest since Boise State’s Ryan Dinwiddie averaged 11.1 in 2002.
Florida State has held every opponent except for Boston College to 17 or fewer points. Every other FBS team has allowed at least two opponents to score more than 17 points.
The Seminoles have allowed an FBS-low 0.80 points per drive, on pace to be the best since Alabama allowed 0.55 in 2011. That Alabama defense had six players drafted after the season, including three in the first round.
Pass defense has been Florida State’s strength. The Seminoles have held opponents to an FBS-low 18.1 Total QBR and they have an FBS-high 25 interceptions.
Miami (FL)’s Stephen Morris (52.1) was the only starting quarterback to have an above average Total QBR against Florida State (average equals 50).
Overall, the Seminoles have 34 takeaways, which have led to an FBS-high eight defensive touchdowns, two more than any other team.
What does it mean for Jan. 6
If you look at how dominant Florida State has been this season, it could be a rough night for Auburn. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, which is a predictive measure of team strength that uses expected points added breakdowns, Florida State is 13 points better than Auburn on a neutral field.