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Big 12: BTBS Box Scores (Week Three)

Confused?  Catch up with the BTBS Primer.

I've fallen a day behind again...oh well...that just means the Nevada BTBS preview will end up coming only a few hours before kickoff...

Week 1 BTBS Box Scores
Week 2 BTBS Box Scores

Remember last week, when most Projected and Actual margins were dead on?  Not the case in week three, when seemingly close games were easy wins and vice versa.

Texas 34, Texas Tech 24



Close %
Field Position %
41.8% 51.4%
Leverage %
67.1% 77.8%
EqPts 25.2 21.6
Close Success Rate 45.6% 47.2%
Close PPP 0.32 0.30
Close S&P 0.774 0.773
EqPts 2.1 11.1
Close Success Rate 28.6% 46.0%
Close PPP 0.15 0.30
Close S&P 0.435 0.758
Line Yards/carry
2.54 2.52
EqPts 23.1 10.6
Close Success Rate 49.2% 48.6%
Close PPP 0.35 0.30
Close S&P 0.847 0.788
SD/PD Sack Rate
2.3% / 9.5% 0.0% / 7.7%
Success Rate 52.8% 50.0%
PPP 0.33 0.29
S&P 0.859 0.793
Success Rate 30.8% 37.5%
PPP 0.29 0.33
S&P 0.600 0.700
Number 3 2
Turnover Pts 14.4 8.9
Turnover Pts Margin
-5.5 +5.5
Q1 S&P 0.618 0.600
Q2 S&P 0.450 0.481
Q3 S&P 1.215 1.146
Q4 S&P 0.839 0.749
1st Down S&P 0.739 0.748
2nd Down S&P 1.055 0.810
3rd Down S&P 0.290 0.763
Projected Pt. Margin
-1.9 +1.9
Actual Pt. Margin
-10 +10
  • So Georgia and Arkansas combine for almost 100 points...and Texas and Texas Tech failed to score an offensive touchdown in the first half.  Up is down, left is right, etc.  For the game, neither team managed even a 0.800 S&P, which was seemingly the bare minimum for acceptable offense last year in conference.
  • Texas Tech's performance in this game was one of the weirder you will see.  They very much lost both the field position and leverage battles, they failed to even pretend to be able to run the ball...and yet they gained a comfortable amount more than Texas and only lost due to turnovers and special teams.
  • The Texas offense continues to struggle on Passing Downs, which continues to make me pound my chest.
  • Absolutely no threat of a running game whatsoever from Tech.  I love the way their defense played last weekend, and it's the main reason I'm picking Tech to beat Houston this weekend, but man oh man...healthy rushing was as much a cause of Tech's unprecedented success last year as Harrell-to-Crabtree.  Can they not have good defense and rushing offense at the same time?
  • Stat of the game: Texas Tech's 3rd Down S&P murdered them.  They weren't very good on Passing Downs, and with no running game, they weren't particularly good in short yardage either.

Virginia Tech 16, Nebraska 15



Close %
Field Position %
44.0% 23.4%
Leverage %
66.7% 60.9%
EqPts 16.3 15.1
Close Success Rate 30.3% 28.1%
Close PPP 0.25 0.24
Close S&P 0.550 0.517
EqPts 9.3 6.2
Close Success Rate 36.1% 21.2%
Close PPP 0.26 0.19
Close S&P 0.618 0.400
Line Yards/carry
3.15 1.95
EqPts 7.0 8.9
Close Success Rate 23.3% 35.5%
Close PPP 0.23 0.29
Close S&P 0.467 0.641
SD/PD Sack Rate
0.0% / 0.0% 27.3% / 5.0%
Success Rate 40.9% 28.2%
PPP 0.29 0.25
S&P 0.700 0.534
Success Rate 9.1% 28.0%
PPP 0.16 0.21
S&P 0.250 0.490
Number 2 0
Turnover Pts 10.9 0.0
Turnover Pts Margin
-10.9 +10.9
Q1 S&P 0.004 0.633
Q2 S&P 0.822 0.477
Q3 S&P 0.573 0.014
Q4 S&P 0.411 0.672
1st Down S&P 0.614 0.214
2nd Down S&P 0.375 0.599
3rd Down S&P 0.646 0.853
Projected Pt. Margin
-9.7 +9.7
Actual Pt. Margin
-1 +1
  • Was Nebraska lucky to be that close despite a poor turnover margin, or were they unlucky to have only scored 15 points on five scoring drive?  They performed well enough to win and poorly enough to lose.  They have played respectably enough to validate themselves statistically (they did, after all, get mentioned as a positive surprise in my latest Insider piece), but the mistakes they made were pretty costly and full of red flags.  Is Zac Lee going to be able to come through against decent defenses, especially on the road (which is where they play both KU and MU)?  Has the NU secondary gotten any better at preventing big plays?
  • This game might be the first example of a field position battle that nobody won.  Virginia Tech ran only two of every nine plays from NU territory, and NU's 44% field position rate was nothing to write home about.
  • The BTBS stats were not as impressed with Roy Helu Jr.'s line as the typical box score line was.  Helu carried the ball 28 times for 169 yards, but he apparently managed neither a high rate of efficiency (Success Rate) or explosiveness (PPP).  This makes sense, really, if most of Helu's yards came on Nebraska's side of the field.  NU wasn't able to run very well in VT territory, where the yards are worth more EqPts, and it hurt them.
  • The secondary may have let them down, but the NU defensive line held up its end of the bargain.  They held VT under 2 line yards/carry while getting after Tyrod Taylor all day long.  With MU and Blaine Gabbert's pregnant deep ball on the horizon, the secondary needs to improve very quickly, but obviously if Gabbert is constantly on the run, it's a lot harder to complete the deep ball.
  • Stat of the game: NU's Passing Downs S&P shows exactly why they ended up having to settle for five field goals and screwed themselves despite dominating the field position "battle".

UConn 30, Baylor 22



Close %
Field Position %
66.7% 33.3%
Leverage %
72.8% 70.8%
EqPts 25.4 19.4
Close Success Rate 50.6% 32.5%
Close PPP 0.31 0.32
Close S&P 0.820 0.640
EqPts 17.5 12.8
Close Success Rate 58.2% 60.0%
Close PPP 31.8% 59.0%
Close S&P 0.900 1.190
Line Yards/carry
3.59 3.63
EqPts 8.0 6.6
Close Success Rate 34.6% 16.0%
Close PPP 0.31 0.15
Close S&P 0.652 0.311
SD/PD Sack Rate
5.9% / 8.3% 7.1% / 16.7%
Success Rate 59.3% 47.1%
PPP 0.32 0.51
S&P 0.914 0.980
Success Rate 27.3% 14.3%
PPP 0.29 0.15
S&P 0.567 0.293
Number 0 3
Turnover Pts 0.0 13.3
Turnover Pts Margin
+13.3 -13.3
Q1 S&P 0.779 1.124
Q2 S&P 0.932 0.197
Q3 S&P 0.868 0.861
Q4 S&P 0.717 1.068
1st Down S&P 0.796 0.665
2nd Down S&P 0.797 0.707
3rd Down S&P 0.863 1.142
Projected Pt. Margin
+19.3 -19.3
Actual Pt. Margin
+8 -8
  • It's pretty obvious what will make or break Baylor's bowl chances this year: Passing Downs.  They are H1N1 for the Baylor offense.  For all of Robert Griffin's potential and explosiveness, he is not a "make big plays with his arm" guy.  Baylor was devastatingly efficient on Standard Downs against Wake Forest, and it allowed them to stay unpredictable and dynamic with their play-calling.  Against UConn, they were still pretty good on Standard Downs (0.980 S&P), but they were completely inept and ineffective when they did fall into Passing Downs.  Part of that has to do with what is shaping up to be a super-stout UConn defense (see the Insider "Sleepers" link above), but part has to do with Baylor's very well-defined strengths and weaknesses.
  • In the end, Baylor was killed by turnovers, and UConn dominated the field position battle as well as you'll ever see someone dominate the field position battle, and Baylor was very lucky to only lose by single digits.  They had no business staying within 17 points, especially considering how brutal the second quarter was to them.
  • Stat of the game: I've already given it away, but Baylor's not winning many games with a 0.293 Passing Downs S&P.  Missouri almost lost to Bowling Green with a line like that, and not even Hot Tub Griffin III can overcome that type of struggle.

Texas A&M 38, Utah State 30

With no view of the stands, this pic makes it look like ATM and USU played at a high school stadium.



Close %
Field Position %
40.9% 49.4%
Leverage %
65.6% 65.1%
EqPts 31.3 37.1
Close Success Rate 45.6% 46.2%
Close PPP 0.34 0.45
Close S&P 0.793 0.908
EqPts 15.9 14.5
Close Success Rate 54.8% 51.3%
Close PPP 0.42 0.31
Close S&P 0.969 0.828
Line Yards/carry
2.95 3.77
EqPts 15.4 22.5
Close Success Rate 37.8% 41.0%
Close PPP 0.27 0.58
Close S&P 0.645 0.988
SD/PD Sack Rate
6.7% / 13.6% 0.0% / 5.9%
Success Rate 49.2% 51.9%
PPP 0.40 0.46
S&P 0.897 0.979
Success Rate 34.4% 31.0%
PPP 0.21 0.42
S&P 0.551 0.732
Number 2 0
Turnover Pts 9.8 0.0
Turnover Pts Margin
-9.8 +9.8
Q1 S&P 1.320 1.114
Q2 S&P 0.361 0.714
Q3 S&P 0.624 0.924
Q4 S&P 0.767 0.840
1st Down S&P 0.692 0.857
2nd Down S&P 1.072 1.101
3rd Down S&P 0.397 0.586
Projected Pt. Margin
-15.6 +15.6
Actual Pt. Margin
-8 +8
  • Interesting mix for the ATM offense here: they were efficient and not at all explosive running the ball, and they were rather inefficient but extremely explosive throwing the ball.  In the end, that's not too bad a combination, huh?  Then again, they played Utah State, not Utah.  The offense looked solid across the board, but it maybe should have looked a little more solid.
  • Red flag: ATM did not do nearly well enough in avoiding Passing Downs.  That they were competent in those situations (0.732 S&P is better than average) is almost beside the point--they won't do as well in those situations against UT, OU, etc., so they better learn how to avoid them now.
  • Good response by the Aggies' defense.  After an absolutely brutal first quarter, they responded with a near-perfect second quarter and solid second half.  Of course, they were still brutal in the first quarter, and they let USU off the mat in the fourth quarter, but still...without the second-quarter turnaround, they'd have lost.
  • One day I will figure out why teams (in this case, Utah State) can be so good on some downs (second) and so bad on others (third).  To me, second down is the play-calling down.  Bear with me here: first down is the game-planning down.  Even if you don't script your plays, first down is the fresh start when you get to go back to how you planned to attack the defense.  Third down is the "somebody needs to make a play" down, dictated somewhat by whether it's a Passing Down (3rd-and-5 or more) or a Standard Down (4 or less).  That leaves second down as the transition down, where your playcalling is not yet completely dictated by the first down marker, and you can run, pass, go long, go short, whatever, but you are at least somewhat directed by first down success.

    Yeah, that probably didn't make a lot of sense.  Moving on...
  • Good performance by the ATM offensive line, by the way.  Very good line yardage figures, combined with just one sack.  Again, this was Utah State, but good is good, right?
  • Stat of the game: Thanks to freshman Uzoma Nwachukwu's "three catches, 101 yards, three touchdowns" performance, Texas A&M's Passing S&P of 0.988 was one of the best of the week, and it made the major difference in what turned out to be a shootout.

UCLA 23, Kansas State 9



Close %
Field Position %
54.2% 37.9%
Leverage %
66.7% 65.5%
EqPts 13.4 20.7
Close Success Rate 40.3% 46.6%
Close PPP 0.19 0.36
Close S&P 0.589 0.823
EqPts 7.4 9.7
Close Success Rate 45.2% 44.1%
Close PPP 0.24 0.28
Close S&P 0.691 0.725
Line Yards/carry
2.81 3.25
EqPts 6.0 11.1
Close Success Rate 36.6% 50.0%
Close PPP 0.15 0.46
Close S&P 0.513 0.961
SD/PD Sack Rate
17.4% / 11.1% 0.0% / 0.0%
Success Rate 47.9% 50.0%
PPP 0.18 0.43
S&P 0.664 0.932
Success Rate 25.0% 40.0%
PPP 0.19 0.22
S&P 0.441 0.615
Number 2 2
Turnover Pts 7.9 7.5
Turnover Pts Margin
-0.4 +0.4
Q1 S&P 0.771 1.235
Q2 S&P 0.534 0.647
Q3 S&P 0.822 0.304
Q4 S&P 0.255 1.014
1st Down S&P 0.703 1.001
2nd Down S&P 0.625 0.740
3rd Down S&P 0.331 0.512
Projected Pt. Margin
-7.7 +7.7
Actual Pt. Margin
-14 +14
  • So K-State wins the field position battle, leverages UCLA into tons of Passing Downs, stays even on turnovers...and loses by 14.  Two main reasons:

    1) UCLA had a 40% success rate on Passing Downs.  That's too high.  In all, K-State's defense performed relatively well--this is not an amazing UCLA offense by any means, but it wasn't the defense's fault that the offense was so inept in the passing game.  But UCLA found just enough success on Passing Downs that they were able to overcome a very poor leverage rate.

    2) Kansas State can't pass.  I know I have an unhealthy love of all things Coffman, but I'm not too sure that Carson Coffman's the man for KSU.  When you're on the road against a (somewhat) superior opponent, and your defense is playing its behind off, you need to come through with something on Passing Downs or in the passing game in general, and KSU did not.
  • Special teams screwed KSU again as well.  In about a five-minute span in the second half, KSU botched a PAT and missed a FG, then UCLA boomed home a 48-yard FG, making for something of a seven-point swing in what was at the time a seven-point game.  But in the end, unlike the UL-Lafayette game the week before, special teams didn't make the sole difference.  It could have kept KSU closer, but I don't see them closing the gap with S&Ps of 0.513 passing, 0.441 on Passing Downs, 0.331 on 3rd Downs, and 0.255 in the fourth quarter.  It just wasn't happening.
  • KSU fans can be at least a little encouraged by their third quarter performance, however.  After a somewhat listless start to the game, they adjusted at halftime, and when Daniel Thomas scored to cut the UCLA lead to 13-9 (after the botched PAT), it looked like KSU might have a chance to actually win.  And then the offense disappeared like a set of keys.
  • Stat of the game: Actually, despite all the offensive S&Ps I mentioned above, I'm going to go in a different direction: on Standard Downs, where if you'll recall, an offense has the advantage because they can run or pass and do a variety of things, KSU's PPP was 0.18, and their overall S&P was just 0.664, barely better than what UCLA managed on Passing Downs.  To me, that speaks to the complete lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball.  Daniel Thomas (54 rushing yards, 61 receiving yards) looked solid, especially in the third quarter, but that was almost literally all KSU had going for them.  The two main receivers, Lamark Brown and Brandon Banks, combined for just 76 yards on ten catches.  Brutal.  Somebody has to be able to either get open downfield or make somebody miss near the line of scrimmage, and it doesn't appear that KSU really has that guy.

Oklahoma State 41, Rice 24



Close %
Field Position %
51.9% 62.5%
Leverage %
66.7% 76.8%
EqPts 23.9 25.3
Close Success Rate 29.0% 49.0%
Close PPP 0.15 0.46
Close S&P 0.436 0.948
EqPts 10.1 9.3
Close Success Rate 40.0% 41.4%
Close PPP 0.19 0.22
Close S&P 0.593 0.634
Line Yards/carry
3.03 3.00
EqPts 13.7 16.1
Close Success Rate 21.7% 60.0%
Close PPP 0.11 0.80
Close S&P 0.334 1.403
SD/PD Sack Rate
0.0% / 7.4% 0.0% / 0.0%
Success Rate 42.6% 53.5%
PPP 0.27 0.44
S&P 0.698 0.979
Success Rate 33.3% 23.1%
PPP 0.34 0.48
S&P 0.674 0.709
Number 2 2
Turnover Pts 11.0 8.5
Turnover Pts Margin
-2.5 +2.5
Q1 S&P 0.520 0.888
Q2 S&P 0.433 0.982
Q3 S&P 0.971 1.330
Q4 S&P 0.744 0.581
1st Down S&P 0.539 0.991
2nd Down S&P 0.670 0.997
3rd Down S&P 0.991 0.457
Projected Pt. Margin
-3.9 +3.9
Actual Pt. Margin
-17 +17
  • It really is not a positive sign the way OSU is letting Conference USA teams off the mat.  Against Houston, the Cowboys fought back from a 24-7 deficit to take the lead...and then promptly gave the lead back and lost by ten.  Against Rice, it was nothing that extreme, but after taking a 21-3 lead at halftime, OSU was outscored in the second half and actually saw their lead cut to 35-24 in the fourth quarter before finally finding the neck and stomping on it.  OSU barely outgained them in terms of EqPts and was actually outgained in terms of pure yardage.  This is a Rice team that Texas Tech beat by 45, by the way.  And the stats say it should have been MUCH closer.
  • So what exactly is ailing OSU?  For this game, it was mostly a) rushing offense, and b) focus.  OSU was, for the most part, fine when the game was actually in "close-game" circumstances (within 24 points in Q1, 21 in Q2, and 16 in the second half), but the killer instinct was nowhere to be found, as represented by, among other things, Rice's 0.991 3rd Down S&P.  Way too high.

    That, and running backs Keith Toston and Beau Johnson (in for the ailing Kendall Hunter) managed just 103 yards on 30 carries.
  • Luckily for OSU, Dez Bryant came through in an "I still want to be known as the best receiver in the country" way.  Nine catches, 161 yards, two first-half touchdowns.  Zac Robinson looked (according to the stat sheet, anyway) more comfortable as well, completing 70% of his passes (almost two-thirds of which went to Bryant) and breaking off a decent 14-yard run at one point.  He missed a ton of practice in August, and his timing just hasn't been what it was last year, so hopefully for Poke fans, this is a sign of progress.
  • Then again, a 23.1% success rate on Passing Downs for OSU's offense is very much not a sign of progress.
  • Stat of the game: We'll go with Rice's Passing S&P.  They made a nice second-half comeback despite quarterbacks Nick Fanuzzi and John Shepherd finding nothing of note in the passing game.  I'm pretty down on OSU here, but they did still win by 17, and it was mostly because Rice had no chance of quick scores and downfield passing.  So they get kudos, at least, for that.

Oklahoma 45, Tulsa 0



Close %
Field Position %
48.0% 58.5%
Leverage %
57.5% 73.2%
EqPts 13.5 37.7
Close Success Rate 38.7% 61.1%
Close PPP 0.20 0.59
Close S&P 0.590 1.197
EqPts 6.5 9.0
Close Success Rate 45.5% 56.3%
Close PPP 0.25 0.31
Close S&P 0.700 0.874
Line Yards/carry
2.99 4.04
EqPts 7.0 28.7
Close Success Rate 35.0% 65.0%
Close PPP 0.18 0.80
Close S&P 0.530 1.455
SD/PD Sack Rate
15.0% / 13.0% 0.0% / 0.0%
Success Rate 38.1% 55.0%
PPP 0.17 0.44
S&P 0.556 0.992
Success Rate 29.0% 36.4%
PPP 0.20 0.51
S&P 0.488 0.872
Number 3 2
Turnover Pts 14.8 8.0
Turnover Pts Margin
-6.8 +6.8
Q1 S&P 0.533 0.927
Q2 S&P 0.633 1.369
Q3 S&P 0.508 0.911
Q4 S&P 0.397 0.657
1st Down S&P 0.533 0.817
2nd Down S&P 0.629 0.915
3rd Down S&P 0.412 1.352
Projected Pt. Margin
-31.0 +31.0
Actual Pt. Margin
-45 +45
  • Near perfect performance by OU in the trenches.  The offensive line opened huge holes (leading to huge line yardage) and allowed no sacks of Landry Jones.  Meanwhile, they were all Tulsa's QBs and didn't do too poorly against the run.
  • I've called touchdowns "the Runs Batted In of football," in that they look impressive without actually telling us a lot, but that said, six touchdown passes will never not be impressive.  (That said...Landry, would it hurt you to start looking to the tight ends more?)
  • Stat of the game: Tulsa's overall S&P.  OU's defense is MIGHTY good if they can limit Tulsa to that kind of ineptitude.