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Florida State Football: The hidden yards v. N.C. State

FSU completely dominated ACC opponent NC State, let's take a look at what helped them win the game statistically.

Jeff Gammons

So, NC State is a pretty bad team this year (93rd in F/+ rankings) but everyone was labeling this as a trap game for Florida State since they lost to the Wolfpack on the road last year. Well that definitely did not happen. Florida State completely dominated a bad team at home and put the game away very early (we could argue after the first quarter after the Noles went up 35-0).

Let's take a look at some of the stats for this game, specifically hidden yards and yards per play. Remember, garbage time drives and end of half clock killing drives are excluded from the analysis. Apparently garbage time did not start until the 4th quarter in this one despite FSU pullings its starters after the first drive of the second half. Also note that any F/+ numbers I use right now reflect the rankings before Saturday's slate of games.

Florida State's Offense
Result Possible Gained Plays Per Play % Gained
TOUCHDOWN 65 65 4 16.25 100%
TOUCHDOWN 39 39 1 39.00 100%
TOUCHDOWN 62 62 7 8.86 100%
TOUCHDOWN 14 14 2 7.00 100%
TOUCHDOWN 89 89 5 17.80 100%
Punt 63 25 5 5.00 40%
Punt 72 17 8 2.13 24%
TOUCHDOWN 54 54 6 9.00 100%
Interception 71 45 5 9.00 63%
Punt 96 53 8 6.63 55%
Interception 66 1 2 0.50 2%
Totals 691 464 53 8.75 67%
  • Well this was just a silly performance for FSU. 8.75 yards per play is absolutely ridiculous. That's one of the highest marks on the season for the Noles. The first 5 drives were touchdowns and 3 of those drives were explosive drives (more than 10 YPP). The offense sputtered a bit after the first quarter barrage but you would have to think that they were just not playing as hard at that point in the game. The second stringers did not do that great, turning the ball over twice. The offense mainly did its job and looked really good against a horrible defense (85th in F/+ defense)
  • Florida State continues to prove that it has one of the most efficient offenses in the country, gaining 67% of total possible yards and keeping a high clip for YPP throughout the game)
  • FSU's average starting field position was on their own 34 yard line, which is ridiculous to say the least. Kenny Shaw had a real nice game as a punt returner and was able to drop down NC State's net punting numbers with a few positive returns throughout the game.
Florida State's Defense
Result Possible Gained Plays Per Play % Gained
Interception 65 0 2 0.00 0%
Punt 92 6 3 2.00 7%
Punt 79 8 3 2.67 10%
Fumble 75 -11 2 -5.50 0%
Punt 75 12 6 2.00 16%
Interception 80 39 11 3.55 49%
Punt 80 9 3 3.00 11%
Punt 84 -1 3 -0.33 0%
Punt 75 18 4 4.50 24%
FIELD GOAL 94 75 12 6.25 80%
Punt 54 -2 3 -0.67 0%
TOUCHDOWN 88 88 7 12.57 100%
TO on Downs 48 16 11 1.45 33%
Totals 989 257 70 3.67 26%
  • You can really tell at this point that the defense is starting to understand Pruitt's system now. They only gave up 3.67 yards per play, which is quite ridiculous (that mark was around 2.15 in the first half). The second stringers struggled quite a bit against NC State's offense, which is not good at all (101st in F/+).
  • The Noles only limited NC State to one explosive drive (late in the second half) and only once about 4.5 YPP, that's incredible.
  • The Noles also only allowed NC State to gain 26% of their possible yardage. Total domination.
  • NC State's average starting field position was at their own 24 yard line. Florida State out gained NC State by 62 yards in hidden yardage. That's definitely very good, especially considering NC State had 13 non garbage drives and FSU had 11 (FSU had a clock killing drive before the end of the first half).
Hidden yards have not been a major factor for FSU, and they're really going against the grain with this. Teams starting on their own 40 yard line are statistically more likely to score on that drive than if they start on their own 20 yard line. This has not exactly been an issue for FSU (especially the offense) because they seem to put up points no matter where they start from. The defense has also been excellent in stopping teams from scoring when they have a short field. The evolution of the defense since the Boston College game has been tremendous.

Once again, we'll have another one of these articles rolled out for you after the Miami game.