Aggies overcome odds to beat Rebels

Below are some storylines from Week 5 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.

Texas A&M comes back to win

Texas A&M and Ole Miss combined for 41 points in the fourth quarter of the Aggies’ 41-38 win. There were five touchdowns, two lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter.

Texas A&M’s win probability was 73 percent following Josh Lambo’s 37-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter.

The Aggies’ win probability fell below 15 percent on two separate drives during the final 12 minutes. They had a 14.7 percent chance of winning before Johnny Manziel completed a 27-yard pass on third down with nine yards to go from their own 26 yard-line with the team trailing 31-24. Then they had a 14.6 percent chance of winning before Manziel ran for 13 yards on a fourth down and seven from Ole Miss’ 45 yard-line with a 38-31 deficit.

Texas A&M is the fourth team this season to win in regulation when it had less than a 15 percent win probability on two separate drives in the fourth quarter.

The Aggies started their final drive with a 52 percent chance of winning the game.

Stanford’s offense struggling

Stanford’s offense added -0.9 expected points toward its scoring margin in its 27-21 loss at Utah. It was the first time that the Cardinal had a negative offensive EPA in back-to-back games since David Shaw became the head coach in 2011. The Cardinal had two turnovers that led to six points for the Utes, doubling the amount of points off turnovers that Stanford had allowed entering Saturday.

Ty Montgomery had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter, his second straight game with a return touchdown. Stanford’s special teams finished the game with an EPA of +2, its third game this season in which it had a higher EPA than the offense.

Kevin Hogan had a below average Total QBR for the second straight game (average = 50). Hogan started off strong with an 82.3 Total QBR in the first quarter, but finished with a 26.6 in the final three quarters.

Business as usual for Marcus Mariota

In Oregon’s 45-24 win at Washington, Marcus Mariota posted a 92.2 Total QBR, 27.1 points higher than the sum of the Huskies’ three previous opponents combined. It was Mariota’s FBS-high fifth game with a Total QBR of at least 90 this season.

Highest Total QBR This Season

Mariota finished the game with 454 total yards and was responsible for four touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter.

He has 852 total yards, 11 touchdowns and no turnovers in his last two games. Mariota and Oregon State’s Sean Mannion are the only two players this season with at least three touchdowns in six games.

Notable quarterbacks

AJ McCarron posted a 85.2 Total QBR in Alabama’s 48-7 win at Kentucky. McCarron finished with career highs in pass yards (359) and completions of 20 yards or more (8). McCarron has a 91 Total QBR in his last two games, after starting the season with a 67.4.

Johnny Manziel had a 88.7 Total QBR in Texas A&M’s win. In the fourth quarter, he completed 8-of-10 passes for 126 yards and had six carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.