Stats & Info: Clint Chelf

Chelf, Cowboys defense dominate Baylor

November, 24, 2013
11/24/13
1:04
AM ET

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesClint Chelf and the Oklahoma State defense were too much for Baylor Saturday

It was a decidedly un-Baylor-like performance where the Bears got shut down by Oklahoma State, managing just three points through the first three quarters of the game. Baylor didn’t score a touchdown until there was 14:04 left in the fourth quarter, and by then the Bears were trailing 35-3.

Oklahoma State’s 32-point win is the third-largest win against a BCS top-four team. The last time a BCS top-four team lost by a margin that wide was 2008, when Oklahoma blew out No. 2 Texas Tech by 44.

Baylor came into the game averaging an FBS-best 61.2 points per game but was held to 17 points, Baylor’s fewest points in a game since December 29, 2010 against Illinois in the Texas Bowl. Baylor has lost 37 straight road games against AP-ranked opponents, with its last road win against an AP-ranked opponent coming in 1991.

Clint Chelf threw for a career-high 370 yards, his second career 300 yard game. His other one? It came against Baylor last year.

How was he so successful? He threw the deep ball well.

Chelf had nine completions on passes thrown 15 or more yards downfield Saturday, the most such completions in a game for a Big 12 quarterback this season. Chelf had twice as many completions, yards and touchdowns as Bryce Petty on such throws.

Petty entered the game as the Big 12-leader in completions, yards and touchdowns on passes thrown 15 yards or more downfield.

Chelf threw for all three of his touchdowns against five or more pass rushers Saturday, tied for the most touchdowns against the blitz by a Big 12 quarterback in a game this season.

Baylor entered Saturday as one of 16 teams without a turnover in the red zone. Against Oklahoma State, the Bears had two turnovers and didn’t score a touchdown in the red zone for the first time since Sept. 18, 2010 at TCU.

Baylor's offense was forced into four three-and-outs Saturday, its most three-and-outs in a game since Sept. 2, 2011 against TCU. The Bears entered the game with an FBS-low seven three-and-outs for the season.

Oklahoma State offense revived under Chelf

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
1:16
PM ET
Oklahoma State enters its matchup with fourth-ranked Baylor (Saturday, 8 ET on ABC) riding a six-game win streak, and is averaging nearly 48 points per game over the last four games since Clint Chelf took over as the starting quarterback. One important part of its recent offensive success has been an increased reliance on the run.

Getting back to the ground game
In the first six games, rushing attempts accounted for fewer than 45 percent of the Cowboys’ total plays; since then, Oklahoma State has called a run on nearly 60 percent of its plays. The ground game has been more explosive over the last four games, totaling 10 rushes of at least 20 yards, which is six more 20-yard runs than it had in the first six games.

The key to Oklahoma State’s success on the ground has been improved play in the trenches. It has averaged 2.3 yards before contact per rush in its first six games and was first contacted behind the line of scrimmage on more than a quarter of its carries. In the last four games, the Cowboys have totaled at least 130 yards before contact in three of four contests, and are averaging 3.3 yards before contact per rush.

Chelf has set career highs in rushing yards in three of four games since taking over as starter, averaging 72 yards per game and 10.7 yards per rush on designed runs. His signature play was a 67-yard touchdown run up the middle in Oklahoma State’s win over Texas Tech.

As noted in the graphic above, in the last four games, Oklahoma State is averaging 12 more points per game than in its first six games. Yet at the same time, the Cowboys are averaging 27.4 fewer yards per game in the last four games than they did in their first six games.

More efficient in the red zone
One reason for Oklahoma State’s increased efficiency on offense is that the team is doing a better job of getting into the end zone when inside the 20-yard line.

Oklahoma State has scored a touchdown on 90.5 percent of its red zone opportunities in the last four games, the sixth-best rate in the FBS since the start of Week 9. From Weeks 1-8, the Cowboys scored a touchdown on 64.5 percent of their red-zone opportunities, 51st among FBS teams.

Protecting the ball
Another reason for Oklahoma State’s improved offensive output is better ball protection. The Cowboys have turned the ball over on 6.5 percent of their drives in the last four games, down from 10.6 percent in the first six games. They are one of nine teams in the FBS without a lost fumble since the start of Week 9.

Oklahoma State’s recent success in the running game will be tested this weekend against Baylor. The Bears have added 63.5 expected points on opponents’ rushes, the second-best rushing defense EPA in the FBS. Rushing defense EPA is a measure of the contribution that it makes to its team’s net scoring margin when opponents run the ball.

Chelf, Wisconsin rate among best of week

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
11:31
AM ET

Clint Chelf/USA TODAY SportsClint Chelf rated the best of any quarterback last week.

Week 12 featured some of the craziest endings of the year. Auburn completed a 73-yard touchdown with 25 seconds remaining to defeat Georgia, UCF scored 10 points in the final 2:04 to beat Temple, and Michigan slid its way to a game-tying field goal and eventual win against Northwestern.

With the help of ESPN’s new college football metrics (see explanations here), ESPN Stats & Information takes a look back at the best performances of Week 12 and ahead to next week’s matchup between Baylor and Oklahoma State.

Best Individual Performances
Clint Chelf had a season-high 97.3 opponent-adjusted QBR in Oklahoma State’s 38-13 win at Texas, with his rushing proving critical. Chelf ran for a career-high 95 yards and six first downs against the Longhorns.

Jameis Winston had a 95.0 opponent-adjusted QBR in Florida State’s 59-3 win against Syracuse. It was his seventh game with an opponent-adjusted QBR of 90 or higher, most in the FBS this season. Winston completed his first 10 passes of the game and threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

Blake Bortles posted a 89.0 Total QBR against Temple, but when adjusted for the strength of Temple’s defense that number falls to 70.7. Bortles led UCF on a game-tying and game-winning drive in the final two minutes of the game. In the fourth quarter, he threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns and had a 96.6 Total QBR.

Best Team Performances
OffenseWisconsin added 33 expected points to its net scoring margin on offense in its win against Indiana despite having a below average (negative EPA) passing offense. The Badgers ran for 554 yards and six touchdowns, the most rush yards by an FBS team in a game since last season, when Wisconsin had 564 rushing yards, also against Indiana.

DefenseBoise State added 25.7 expected points on defense in its 48-7 win against Wyoming. Entering the game, Wyoming averaged 33.6 points and 492 yards per game but was held to seven points and 210 yards against the Broncos. They had four turnovers and three failed fourth-down attempts in the game.

Special TeamsMichigan State added 9.3 expected points on special teams in its 41-28 win at Nebraska. Michigan State’s average drive started on its own 43 yard line, which was 21 yards closer to the goal line than Nebraska’s average starting field position. Michigan State punter Mike Sadler had three punts downed inside of the 10 yard line, and Michigan State forced a fumble in the second quarter on another punt.

Looking ahead to Week 13
Baylor heads to Stillwater (8 ET, ABC) in a matchup of top-10 opponents looking to grab a hold of the Big 12.

The biggest question heading into this game is whether Oklahoma State can slow Baylor’s offense. The Bears are averaging 61.2 points and 684.8 yards per game; they are on pace to break the FBS records for points (56.0) and yards (624.9) per game that were set by Army in 1944 and Houston in 1989, respectively.

In terms of offensive efficiency, Baylor is on pace to have the highest offensive efficiency in the past 10 seasons.

Oklahoma State ranks 10th in defensive efficiency and has been one of the top teams at creating turnovers. The Cowboys have forced 26 turnovers, tied for seventh most in the FBS, and have at forced at least one turnover in all 10 of their games.

Oklahoma State’s opponents have a 27.2 Total QBR this season, seventh lowest in the FBS. Yet, Oklahoma State has not faced an opponent who ranks in the top 20 in QBR. Bryce Petty ranks second in the FBS with a 89.9 Total QBR and has a Big-12 high 84.7 QBR in conference play.

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