By the Advanced Numbers: Eagle Defense, Feeble Offense

Statistical preview of Hokies-Eagles; the computers are backing Virginia Tech, big.

The Clemson game didn't turn out the way Hokie Nation wanted, but fans can step back from the edge of the cliff just a little bit. The Tigers are arguably the best team in the country, only Alabama challenges them at the moment. While the Hokies wanted the upset, virtually all would have agreed that winning would in fact be an upset. At the end of the day, Virginia Tech finished with more yardage than Clemson, and with less turnovers/mistakes, it is a more competitive game. Let's let on-field success drive better recruiting, and trust that the many freshman and sophomores on the field need a little more development time under Justin Fuente.

On to Boston College, a team that features a very good defense paired with a Scot Loeffler offense because someone in Massachusetts is allergic to points.

Where the Season Stands

Virginia Tech is currently 4-1, and still controls their destiny in the ACC Coastal division. The actual and predicted score difference and odds of winning each game are:

The odds of each possible regular season win total are now:

The Hokies sit at a 99.74% chance of continuing the bowl streak, but sights are obviously set on higher goals than bowl eligibility. The one record that guarantees a rematch against Clemson is 11-1, with a 2.55% chance...get there and defeat Clemson in the ACCCG and a playoff berth is still a possibility.

Rankings and Computer Predictions

The computer rankings and predictions for each team:

Computer ratings overwhelmingly favor Virginia Tech in this game, with even the most pessimistic still predicting a 7-point win and some predicting as high as 28 points. The odds of a 16.5-point favorite winning are 87.9%. S&P+ projects an even higher 92.6% chance of Virginia Tech winning.

Next is a look at any overall offensive or defensive advantages:

Given Boston College features one of the most impotent offenses in the entire country, it may not come as a surprise that screen indulger Scot Loeffler remains the coordinator for the Eagles. However, the Boston College defense remains challenging and will be a good test for Josh Jackson and the Hokies offense.

Who To Watch Out For

It's hard to tell if there are playmakers on the BC offense because the unit rates so poorly statistically, but the team is not without talent:

  1. Lukas Denis is tied for the national lead in interceptions (5), and complements those picks with 4 pass breakups.
  2. Mike Knoll is 2nd in the country in punting - not distance of course, but in terms of how often he has to punt: 7.6 per game! There are only 13 QB's in FBS that throw for more yards per game than Knoll punts.
  3. Michael Walker is 49th in the country in kickoff return average at 23.26 yards. But who cares? Joey Slye who is first in the country in touchback percentage at 96.97%. There are only three players in the country with more tackles than Joey Slye has touchbacks.

Statistical Key to the Game

This game should be an easy win, but as with any game nothing is a given. While it would be a big surprise if the Eagles were able to move the ball consistently, the Hokies will still need to put points on the board. Not to overreact to Clemson, but it feels like turnovers are the one way Boston College could pull off the upset. Win or tie the turnover battle and Tech should cruise.

Statistical Prediction

The season gets back on track with a dominating victory. Josh Jackson throws for over 300, and Coleman Fox makes another late game entry to delight me.

Virginia Tech 37, Boston College 10

As always a thanks to Football Outsiders, cfbstats.com, and Minitab Statistical Software.

Comments

I want to hang 50 on these jack wipes. And then do it again next year and the year after and the year after...

Ceterum censeo BostonCollegem esse delendam

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

only a 64% chance to beat LOLUVA??? thanks for a good laugh this morning.

I don't know what a Hokie is but God is one of them- Lee Corso

I can't wait to see Duke steamroll those wahoos this weekend. Then I want UNC and BC to get their respective shit together just enough to eek out wins over LOLUVa so that they end the season 3-9 and can't manage a win over a P5 team...It's pretty much the only thing on my Christmas wish list.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I don't know, I think it's fun when they go into their game against us knowing they have to win to go to a bowl.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

On the other hand it's absolutely infuriating when we go into that game knowing we have to win to go to a bowl.

God I can't wait till they get beat by actually good teams. Wins over one of the worst FBS teams in UConn and and terrible Boise State team got things out of whack.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Agreed. Not sure exactly where these stats came from. Well, LOLUVA is as high as they've been in a while, beating up on Boise State, who seemed to be a bit beaten up w/o their starting QB and a few other skill players. Plus, we're playing away for that game, but still, seems like it should have been at least 75%.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"..because anytime you go upside a man's head, or a woman's, they have a tendency to blink their eyes.." - Deacon Jones

only 3 players I the country have more tackles than Slye has touchbacks

Add 1 tackle to that total too

I ran some advanced numbers. I present the following:

Let's Go

HOKIES

that's much less fun tho

The Hokies sit at a 99.74% chance of continuing the bowl streak

Even though technically we have the longest "active" streak (at least recognized by the NCAA), I would love nothing more than for Florida State to not win 6 games this year and legitimately make us first in this list. This could be the year...

.....
95% of what I say is sarcastic. The other 5% is usually taken out of context.

I feel you. I think if Wake took care of business last week, it would've been possible, but I think they probably get to 6 (or 5 with how it's been working lately).

Currently 1-2.
Miami 1-3
Duke 2-3
Louisville 2-4
BC 3-4
Syracuse 4-4
Clemson 4-5
Delaware St 5-5
Florida 5-6

APR rank 124th

No bowl

Miami 2-2

Hello all you boys and girls I'd like to take you to the inside world It's quite an irregular place to be But never fear you're safe with me. Well maybe

They likely whip Florida, and will probably beat at least 1/2 of Louisville and Miami, but there is a path!

But how are we doing in time of possession this year?

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

Dammit RebJanus.

Dominated by Delaware, narrow loss to Clemson, narrow win over WVU, and convincing wins over ECU and ODU.

You know what I love about these posts? I can have it wide open at work and not worry about people seeing my screen since its just a bunch of graphs and text.

That team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked! I mean I've seen teams suck before, but that was the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

Even better, I can WRITE them at work and no one can tell the difference.

Almost totally off-topic - Someone needs to get you a Power BI subscription

I am not a data analyst. But duuuuuude the stuff you can do with power BI

That team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked! I mean I've seen teams suck before, but that was the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

I love the look of the numbers, but statistics don't win games. We need to go out and execute, period. I feel statistics can cause a overly high sense of entitlement to the win, without effort, yielding an upset.

Play hard, every play, and dominate. GO HOKIES!

What do the stats say about slow starts in Chestnut Hill? I hope I'm wrong but I'm expecting a very sloppy VT game due to Clemson hangover and upcoming bye. The boys are probably not quite as focused.

Hope it's the exact opposite! GO HOKIES!

Agreed. Chestnut Hill is scary for us, almost as bad as that damn Carrierdome. I hope they can get past the Clemson game and focus on the task at hand. BC will be fired up to hand us another loss, and if we take them lightly, it will happen, regardless of what the stats say.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"..because anytime you go upside a man's head, or a woman's, they have a tendency to blink their eyes.." - Deacon Jones

But Statistics ain't played nobody, Paawwl!! What Conference are they in anyway?

We put the K in Kwality

Almost Competitive Conference

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?