Florida State Football: The hidden yards v. Bethune Cookman

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

In the hidden yardage battle, The Noles gain over 130 yards against FCS opponent Bethune-Cookman.

Even when Florida State plays an inferior FCS opponent, it is worth it to take a look at the drive chart data. Here at Tomahawknation, we like too take a look at the "hidden yardage" in each game the Seminoles play in. The following data is compiled from the drive charts provided by FSU and they do not include garbage time drives. Note that although the box score included Telvin Smith's pick six in the drive charts, I did not include it for the analysis. Garbage time also began after Bethune's 9th drive of the game.

Florida State's Offense
Result Possible Gained Plays Per Play % Gained
FIELD GOAL 86 58 7 8.29 67%
Fumble 41 38 6 6.33 93%
TOUCHDOWN 46 46 4 11.50 100%
TOUCHDOWN 82 82 12 6.83 100%
TOUCHDOWN 66 66 8 8.25 100%
TOUCHDOWN 69 69 4 17.25 100%
TOUCHDOWN 53 53 4 13.25 100%
Totals 443 412 45 9.16 93%

  • The Seminoles gained 9.16 yards per play before garbage time. Well that certainly is not horrible. The offense did a great job against an inferior opponent. The offense also had 5 straight touchdown drives (a sixth if you count garbage time)
  • Florida State's average starting field position was at their own 37 yard line. That is also not too terrible at all. Compare that do Bethune on average starting on their own 18 yard line. Counting for FSU's non garbage time drives, that means they outgained BCU by 133 yards, or just think of it as an extra 13 first downs. That is quite good, and can account for a lot of the variance when explaining how Florida State won the game.
  • Only 3 explosive drives for FSU in this game (PANIC EVERYONE, PT. 13). Not as much as previous games, but this really is not a concern. Florida State seemed much more keen to run the ball in this contest which could attribute to not as many explosive drives. The lowest YPP in a drive was on the fumble drive where they average 6.33 yards per play, which in all seriousness, is not bad at all.
  • The big thing to take away from this performance is that the Noles were efficient. They gained 93% of possible yards. That's just ridiculous. Every week there's something ridiculous about this offense. It is very very good right now, and the current S&P ratings reflect that. The Noles are currently ranked with the 5th best offense in the country behind Baylor, Oregon, Texas A&M, and Alabama.
  • The jury is still out on Cason Beatty. We have not really seen him punt during meaningful playing time, thanks to the offense being so good.
Florida State's Defense
Result Possible Gained Plays Per Play % Gained
INTERCEPTION 81 41 12 3.42 51%
Punt 80 20 9 2.22 25%
Punt 98 4 3 1.33 4%
Safety 97 -3 1 -3.00 -3%
Punt 58 1 3 0.33 2%
Punt 94 15 4 3.75 16%
End of Half 84 28 5 5.60 33%
TOUCHDOWN 75 75 12 6.25 100%
Punt 75 -2 5 -0.40 -3%
Totals 742 179 54 3.31 24%

  • Florida State's defense only allowed 3.31 yards per play during non-garbage time drives. This is very good, even against an FCS opponent. BCU got a lot of their yards on broken plays and having speedy running quarterbacks. Only allowing BCU to gain 24% of their possible yardage is very very good. This defense is still not where it could potentially be, but it's getting better and better with each game. It should also be noted that the Noles did not give up any explosive drives.
  • Florida State did not allow BCU to start in their own territory the entire game. This is good. If the Noles can keep trending towards this against their FBS opponents, they're going to have a hard time losing games.
  • We can see how pinning an opponent deep in their own territory can lead to quick defensive stops (this obviously does not always happen). When BCU was forced to start within their own 10 yard line they only gained a total of 2 yards on 3 drives. This is a major reason contributing to teams winning on a regular basis.
The hidden yardage battle largely contributed to Florida State's victory on Saturday. The Noles took care of business and avoided any disastrous slip ups against a very decent FCS squad (Bethune-Cookman has about 22 FBS transfers on their team). It is encouraging that the Noles handily defeated an inferior opponent and did not look past them to the next game. We'll have another article on this topic next week after the game against Boston College.

While Jameis Winston did not have a performance similar to his first two starts, I'm still rolling in cheeseballs over here.
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