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Advanced Analytics: Florida State vs. Georgia Tech

A more in-depth breakdown on the Yellow Jackets

ACC Championship - Florida State v Georgia Tech Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Florida State Seminoles football begins the 2020 season Saturday against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Doak Campbell Stadium.

We’ve looked at both scheme and matchups — one other way we can evaluate the opponent is by looking at a combination of 2020 projections and 2019 advanced stats, and see how they stack up nationally and against the other opponents on FSU’s schedule.

As always we will be acquiring data from, courtesy of @CFB_data, using the cfbscrapR package, created by Meyappan Subbaiah (@msubbaiah1), Tomahawk Nation contributor Saiem Gilani (@SaiemGilani) and Parker Fleming (@statsowar).

Georgia Tech Offense

We will start on the offensive side of the ball. According to SP+, Bill Connely’s metric for gauging efficiency, Georgia Tech is projected to take a step forward offensively. In 2019 Georgia Tech finished with an offensive SP+ rating of 18.8, which was good for 117th in the nation.

According to table 1 they are projected to leap up to the 90th ranked offense, which is still below average nationally but an improvement nevertheless. They are not projected to be one of the better offenses FSU faces this season, which is a welcoming sight for a new head coach and defensive coordinator.

In 2019 Georgia Tech could not keep their offense on the field for very long, averaging only 4.73 plays per drive. On its own this statistic does not tell us much, as teams can still be potent in their limited time on the field.

Digging a little bit deeper, this does not appear to be the case for Georgia Tech. They were one of the worst teams nationally on both run and pass plays, which is showcased in the table in the form of Expected Points Added (EPA). In terms of explosiveness, (EPA on successful plays) Georgia Tech was above average nationally, but this came far and few between as evidenced by their 122nd ranked success rate.

Finally we look at their OL play through stuff rate and OL yards. Stuff rate shows us how many runs were stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage. Georgia Tech had a very high stuff rate in 2019, which we can attribute to poor OL play.

This can also be seen in OL yards, which is an attempt to credit the OL for run plays. Georgia Tech was below average nationally in OL yards, which is more evidence of bad OL play. This should be a welcoming sign for the defensive line, which boasts two of the best defensive lineman in college football in Marvin Wilson and Corey Durden.

Overall, Georgia Tech’s offense is one of the weaker offenses the Noles will see this season.

Georgia Tech Defense

Transitioning over to defense, Georgia Tech is projected to have a top 40 defense in terms of SP+ rating.

This is a sizable jump from their 71st ranked defense at the end of the 2019 season. They are only the 5th ranked defense on FSU’s schedule, which means the Noles offense will be put to the test for most of the 2020 season.

In 2019 Georgia Tech was below average nationally on defense against both rushes and passes. Teams had a 43% success rate against Georgia Tech, which was also below average nationally.

Havoc rate looks at plays such as tackles for loss, pass breakups, interceptions, and forced fumbles — and as you can see from the table Georgia Tech did not cause much havoc, ranking 103rd in the nation and last in terms of the Noles 2020 opponents.

Finally, their defense was not very successful in stuffing runs, ranking well below average nationally in defense stuff rate. Overall defensively Georgia Tech is not one of the tougher opponents the Noles will face this season. This is promising for a Noles team looking to break in a new offense under a new head coach.

If you liked this post and would like to see more graphs and stats, stay posted for more articles and in the meantime, you can follow my Noles Analytics twitter account at ScalpRNoles.