The Florida State Seminoles lost this weekend to N.C. State, 47-28.
Using Bill Connelly’s advanced stats from Football Study Hall, we can measure where the game was truly won and lost.
FSU had a post-game win expectancy of 23 percent. That is a number which takes into account all of the factors, and compares it against thousands of games, finding ones with similar performances and looks at the outcomes. It tells me that FSU played slightly better than the score, but did not deserve to win.
Let’s go over the five factors.
Efficiency edge: N.C. State (significant)
N.C. State had a 54 percent success rate before garbage time, while FSU had a 40 percent success rate.
There are two things of note here. First, FSU’s success rate is higher than I would have expected it to be. Looking back, it seems another factor limited the Seminoles to only 28 points.
FSU had a 29 percent success rate rushing, and a 46 percent success rate passing. It was strangely much better on longer down/distance (50 percent than it was on standard downs (33 percent). That is likely related to the running game. FSU cannot get any movement up front.
Having a 33 percent success rate on first down kills any shot at going up tempo.
The second thing to note is that allowing a 54 percent success rate is a bad performance by the defense. FSU’s linebackers were again exposed in this game.
N.C. State had a 50 percent success rate rushing, which is extremely high against an FSU defense this season. And a 61 percent success rate passing, which is high, but FSU has been better against the run than pass this year. Many of those passes were short passes.
Ryan Finley completed 13 of 15 passes targeting receivers Jakobi Meyers and Kelvin Harmon. And some egregiously incorrect pass interference penalties didn’t help FSU’s defense.
The Wolfpack did a great job to stay on schedule with a 53 percent success rate on standard downs.
Explosiveness edge: FSU (significant)
FSU had an impressive 1.53 IsoPPP in this one. And it limited N.C. State’s explosiveness to just 0.98. That’s a large gap.
Almost all of the passing explosion came via the James Blackman to Tamorrion Terry combo. Terry was targeted eight times, and had a yards/target of 17.8, which is exceptional. And that does not even include the plays called back for holding.
Turnovers (and turnover luck) edge: N.C. State
FSU had two turnovers, N.C. State had none. FSU should have probably had about 1.59, like the graphic shows, but turnover luck did not play a major role in this one, as FSU was only unlucky to the tune of about two points.
Field position edge: N.C. State (massive)
This was really the key to the game. N.C. State had a field position edge of 19.3 yards/drive, which was third best in the entire nation for the weekend. That is a 241-yard edge in field position for the game, a much larger difference than any offense or defense yards edge.
FSU has been playing on a slanted field all season, and this is the main reason for the lopsided scores.
Finishing drives edge: FSU (slight)
FSU had 5.60 points/opportunity, while N.C. State had 5.22.
Any questions? Just ask.