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Advanced box score: Florida State v. Northern Illinois

FSU dominated this game even more than the score showed.

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles beat the Northern Illinois Huskies 37-19 Saturday in Tallahassee.

The offense performance was encouraging compared to what FSU had done so far. Northern Illinois is a legitimate defense, and the best FSU has faced so far this year.

Florida State’s defense was mostly good, but also had some hiccups against a bad NIU offense.

Using Bill Connelly’s advanced stats from Football Study Hall, we can measure where the game was won.

FSU had a win expectancy of 96 percent.

That is by far its highest of the season. The only other game in which it has a win expectancy over 50 percent was Virginia Tech.

FSU gained 5.31 yards/play

That’s better than Utah (5.03) or Iowa (4.82) did against the NIU defense. Northern Illinois has a strong defense.

More importantly, FSU’s success rate was 43 percent.

That is much higher than Utah (37) or Iowa (33). This is an important area for FSU. It has hit some explosive plays at times this year, but its success rates so far had been abysmal. In this game, more than two in five plays were successful, which is a major step up.

Additionally, this was by far FSU’s highest of the season against an FBS opponent. It was 15 percent against Syracuse and 24 against Virginia Tech.

FSU’s defense held NIU to its lowest success rate of the year (28 percent)

Utah held NIU to 34 percent, and Iowa held the Huskies to 33. That is very good down-to-down performance.

FSU out-gained NIU by 47 percent per play.

That is some excellent work. I like to use a percentage to measure this because the gap between, say, four and five yards, is larger than the gap between six and seven.

NIU was +1.87 in turnover luck.

Turnovers are not all luck, but they do have a significant luck component to them. NIU was very fortunate with bounces in this game.

Both teams had identical 5.3 points/opportunity

Offenses carried the day in the red zone for both sides.