Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sting Stats -- GT passing game....

I saw a Clemson fan who was upset at giving up so many big passing plays to "that terrible passing offense in that awful scheme."

That just made me laugh.

It's true that GT passes the least of any BCS team at 11.9 times per game. In the NCAA, only the three service academies pass less -- no big surprise that the four triple option teams are the four last teams in passes per game.

VT throws the next fewest passes behind GT, 19.0 times per game. That's a big margin between the lowest and second lowest in the BCS leagues. However GT is clearly a better passing team than VT, since they throw 60% more often but we have more yards per game and more TD's.

GT also has the lowest completion percentage in the NCAA, at 48.2%. That number alone could bring back some unpleasant memories from the previous regime.

The thing is, GT still leads the ACC in passing efficiency.

Sounds impossible: how can you have the lowest completion percentage of all BCS teams, but lead the ACC in passing efficiency?

The answer is: you throw a lot of long passes!

GT is third in the BCS leagues in yards per pass attempt, at 9.9. Only OU and Okie State are higher.

GT is first in the NCAA in yards per completion, by a huge margin, at 20.5 yards per catch. The next best team has 17.2 yards per catch.

None of this is new for this coaching staff. From 2003-2007 Johnson's Navy teams were #2 overall in the NCAA in yards per pass attempt (behind Louisville), and they were #1 in yards per completion, once again by a huge margin of over 3 yards per catch.

Of course the reason for all this is that teams sell out to stop the running game, allowing the offense to go over the top to wide open receivers. Also, while GT doesn't pass that much, we throw almost as many long passes as many "conventional" offenses. The passes that aren't getting thrown as often are screens and short dumps.