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Thread: 2021 statistical post-mortem

  1. #1
    Senior Member Prediction? Pain.'s Avatar
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    2021 statistical post-mortem

    Pretty slow day down here at the cracker factory so I figured I'd make a faux fancy chart with some numbers for us all to gawk at while we wait for Barry Switzer to fly Coach Leach out to his ranch on Looney Tunes Lane.

    First I'll drop the data and then make a few basic observations and then y'all can banter away.

    The chart covers the offense in every year since Mullen arrived in 2009. The stuff on the left two-thirds of the chart reflects SEC-only games and are mostly big-picture offensive stats. The "RZ TD %" is the % of red-zone trips that result in a touchdown and the "20+ YDs" category is the number of offensive plays that get 20+ yards. I think the rest are self-explanatory.

    The stuff on the right third of the chart is from the FEI advanced stat rankings, which you can find here and here. The "FEI Off." is the national, overall offensive efficiency rank, which is an opponent-adjusted stat that's calculated with many different raw efficiency-based inputs. I've included two of those raw, unadjusted inputs in the chart as well just to give you a flavor for the thing. The first, which I've called "% Yards Gained," is the percentage of available yards that an offense gains per drive. The second, which I've called "TD %," is the percentage of an offense's drives that results in a touchdown. (Other categories that feed into the FEI offense ranking include percentage of drives that result in at least one first down, that end in a turnover, or that end in zero or less yards gained.) Keep in mind that the "FEI Off." national rank is adjusted for opponent quality. So when you see 2018's high adjusted ranking, for instance, remember that over half our games that year were against teams that finished in the Top 26 nationally in scoring defense. (Five SEC teams plus Iowa. Two more, La. Tech & A&M, were both Top 50, too.)



    My quick takeaways:

    - Though we don't have the defensive stats side-by-side for comparison, it's always good to remember how most years, Mullen won with defense first. The offenses were up and down and, Dak aside, at their best when they were efficient and competent, not when they were high-powered. I've looked at this before and don't remember the results exactly, but I believe that most years during his tenure, the defenses outperformed the offenses statistically.

    - Moorhead's offense made some small strides in Year 2 all things considered, didn't it? Too bad the defense was horrific and the off-field stuff was getting sloppy.

    - Just in case you weren't paying attention: last year's offense was God awful.

    - The improvement from Year 1 under Leach to Year 2 is nuts. I mean, seriously, WTF? I know why it happened because Leach tells us every freaking press conference. Reps, reps, reps, consistency, consistency, consistency. But damnation, people, it's still amazing to see it in writing at season's end.

    - In his second year of a complete program overhaul, taking almost a decade of run-first football into the wacky, alternate dimension of the air raid, Leach produced an offense that scored more TDs per drive and gained more yards per drive (as a % of available yards) than any offense since 2009 save two that were led by the Dallas Cowboys' starting QB and one of the best (if not the best) players in program history. That's pretty damn strong.

    A few notable things I omitted:

    - We were 4th nationally in % of drives that gained at least one first down. The previous high since 2009 was 18th, which we hit in 2013 and 2015.

    - Our offensive line did pretty well overall. You can look at sack rates and "line yard" stats here if you'd like. Low sack rates, low TFL-allowed rate, and a really solid rate of short-yardage conversions on runs, too.

    - Will finished 6th in the SEC in passer rating in SEC games.

    - The creator of the FEI system got with the dude who created the S&P+ advanced-stat system -- which is now mostly behind a paywall at ESPN -- many years ago and created a composite of their rankings called the "F+" rankings. Our offense is ranked No. 20 nationally in that system, which tells me that the S&P+ likes our offense, too.

    - The S&P+ system assigns post-game "win expectancy" percentages to every game. The gist is that regardless of the score, the system tells you which team would normally be expected to have won the game based upon their play-by-play efficiency throughout the game. Our post-game win expectancy in the Memphis game was 94.9% and 63.7% against Arkansas. Insert gif of man getting kicked in the nards.

    - This has nothing to do with the offense, but our special teams play has to be addressed. The FEI ranks our special teams play at 124th nationally and the S&P+ ranks it at 125th, and it's almost entirely due to punts, punt coverage, and field goals. The field goal situation is what it is. Get a kicker. Now. But the punt game, man, what the crap? In a game where every additional yard your opponent gets on a punt increase the points they're on average going to score, that can't continue.
    Last edited by Prediction? Pain.; 11-30-2021 at 02:15 PM.

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    Senior Member BeardoMSU's Avatar
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    Really good stuff. Thanks for putting this together, dude.

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    That just makes me hate the Memphis and ARky game even more.

    I would be interested to know what the post game expectancy of the LSU game was?

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    Senior Member KOdawg1's Avatar
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    Rep given.

    Nice work man.

    Pretty encouraging to see the jump from year 1 to year 2. Hope year 3 will be even better, and it should be with so much production returning.

    The main areas I want to see us improve in are the RZ TD% (which got better as the year went on) and 20+ yard plays. If we get those two areas in the top 1/3 of the conference while maintaining or improving upon the others, 9-10 wins is possible, even with that gauntlet of a schedule.

    Great stuff.

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    Senior Member Catfish's Avatar
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    Good post !!

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    Senior Member Prediction? Pain.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick91 View Post
    That just makes me hate the Memphis and ARky game even more.

    I would be interested to know what the post game expectancy of the LSU game was?
    For LSU it was 37.8%.

    He hasn't posted anything for last week's game yet. Here's a link to his giant Google doc with a bunch of data, including the post-game win expectancy numbers. (He provides the link to that doc on his Twitter page.) I wish all his data was still free like it was when he was at SB Nation. But the drive-by-drive stuff with the FEI is a pretty solid replacement resource.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KOdawg1 View Post
    Rep given.

    Nice work man.

    Pretty encouraging to see the jump from year 1 to year 2. Hope year 3 will be even better, and it should be with so much production returning.

    The main areas I want to see us improve in are the RZ TD% (which got better as the year went on) and 20+ yard plays. If we get those two areas in the top 1/3 of the conference while maintaining or improving upon the others, 9-10 wins is possible, even with that gauntlet of a schedule.

    Great stuff.
    I'm really interested to see next year, too. I think everyone -- at least everyone who wasn't predisposed to think that his offense would fail in the SEC for one reason or other -- expected some growth in year two, but I don't think anyone expected the jump to be quite this big. The thing is, we've basically skipped year two at WSU and maybe even years three and four to an extent. They cratered in year one under Leach like we did and improved in year two as well but to a much smaller degree -- from an FEI offensive rank of 100th to 62nd. In years three and four, they got to 41st and 40th, which is still great improvement. Then in years five through eight, the offense was golden three of the four seasons -- 11th, 77th, 6th, and 12th. (Not sure where the hell the 77th came from. Second worst offense of his entire tenure that randomly came in year 6. Weird, but whatever.) I don't know if that's where we're headed, but I'll sure as hell take it if it is.

    Agreed on the RZ TDs and hopefully that's in the cards. Five out of eight seasons at WSU, they were in the top have of the PAC 12 in that category. And in four of those five seasons, they were top three. Plays of 20+ yards is doable, too. Half his seasons at WSU they were top three in the PAC 12 at 20+ yard plays. The bigtime explosive plays over 30 and 40 yards a pop don't seem to be a feature of the offense regularly, but so it goes.

    Oh, and on the note about big plays, I'm reminded of an interesting article the S&P+ dude several years back where he concluded based upon a few seasons' worth of data that big plays are inherently random and that the best thing you can do to generate them is simply run more plays on offense. The takeaway bodes well for our chances, I'd like to think: "The key to explosiveness is efficiency. The key to making big plays is being able to stay on the field long enough to make one."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prediction? Pain. View Post
    For LSU it was 37.8%.

    He hasn't posted anything for last week's game yet. Here's a link to his giant Google doc with a bunch of data, including the post-game win expectancy numbers. (He provides the link to that doc on his Twitter page.) I wish all his data was still free like it was when he was at SB Nation. But the drive-by-drive stuff with the FEI is a pretty solid replacement resource.
    Ha. Well that makes me feel a slight bit better about losing that game then. At least we by a offensive standpoint was not supposed to win.

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    So basically a ton of crap had to go wrong for us to lose to Memphis and not be 8-4. It did.

    That 95% win expectancy has to be one of the highest of the year for any team that lost the game.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ShotgunDawg's Avatar
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    Now do the kicker stats....
    CAN'T PUT A SADDLE ON A MUSTANG

    Quit Your Bi$&$&?!, He's Not Going to Run the Ball More

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShotgunDawg View Post
    Now do the kicker stats....


    KRE and KE = Efficiencies for kickoffs and kickoff returns
    PRE and PE = efficiencies for punts and punt returns
    FGE and OFG = field goal efficiency and opponent field goal efficiency
    OFP, DFP, and NFP = starting field position for our offense, starting field position for our defense, and the difference between the two

    The kickoff and punt efficiencies are both based upon the "scoring value" of the yards gain by us or our opponents on kicks.

    The punting and field goal numbers are a freaking travesty.

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    And real quick, here are the same numbers for the defense from '09 - '21:



    I've got to run so I'll leave the commentary to y'all. Quick takeaway seems to be that the defense was roughly on par with last year's, at least from a % standpoint. Gave up less yards available to opponents but allowed a slightly higher rate of TD drives. The drop in RZ and 3rd down D is disappointing, too. Overall, though, not too shabby given the level of offenses we faced. (Bama, U. Miss, and Kentucky (of all teams) are in the Top 15 nationally in FEI offense.)

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    The third down conversions rate is disappointing. My guess is that has to do with lack of an edge rusher.

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    Our Pretentious Preacher preachermatt83's Avatar
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    Great post
    Romans 5:8

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    Senior Member KOdawg1's Avatar
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    Need to improve next year in a few areas on defense, specifically 3rd down D. With pretty much everyone except Emerson coming back, I expect to do that.

    Jordan Davis and Demonte Russell need to give us a legit pass rush threat. Wouldn't hurt to get a guy from the portal either.

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    Makes you realize that we could been somebody if we had been able to combine the '18 defense with the '14 or '15 offense. Too bad we were jomo'd in '18.

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    Senior Member Todd4State's Avatar
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    Great as always!

    Offense: We're just getting started with the Leach era and I think we will make a jump again next year. Will hasn't quite mastered the offense- but he's getting close. 47 of our touchdowns this year were scored by a freshman or a sophomore with a sophomore QB throwing them the ball. Will is going to have a chance to set some national records if he keeps performing like he is. We do have to rebuild the o-line for next year but I believe we will be OK there as we return three players who have starting experience and I don't think Albert Reese is a typical RS freshman. I think part of the reason why we are seeing what we are seeing compared to Wazzu is Leach has more talent here to work with and there isn't as big of a gap between us and most of the other SEC schools relatively speaking. Also, teams out West have faced passing offenses for decades whereas here in the SEC most schools want to run the ball at least half the time still. And sure SEC teams see Air Raid teams OOC but there is a big difference between MSU players running the Air Raid and say North Texas or Samford (Hi Dan!)

    Defense: I'd be interested to know what our Havoc Rate is- but it's probably pretty bad. If Jordan Davis is the missing link at EDGE that we think he is and we find some DB's that can replace Emerson while upgrading our safety room we could be really good next year. Worst case scenario we are still really strong against the run and getting Davis back will add depth and put people back in their more natural positions on the DL plus we should be better with the experience we have coming back. Conservatively even a 3 point per game improvement may win us another game or two.

    Special Teams: We need a kicker badly which goes without saying. I thought Archer Trafford did a solid job but that may be because Tucker Day was so inconsistent that Trafford looked better than he actually is. We need a kicking coach like we had when Chris Boniol was here. That's an off the field position so we wouldn't have to fire anyone on staff and recruiting kickers is a different animal than the other positions. Someone with connections to the major kicking academies in the off season could be very valuable for us. We also need to find a walk-on or a reserve that can play the Steve Tasker role for us. This year I think CJ Morgan, Sherman Timbs, or Jay Jimison could have played that role well. Designate that player as the Mad Dawg Captain and make it a big deal like Jackie did. Basically make playing special teams a point of pride. Really IMO the most critical unit to improve is special teams above the others.

    Hopefully we have some great days ahead!

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    Senior Member Todd4State's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redstickdawg View Post
    Makes you realize that we could been somebody if we had been able to combine the '18 defense with the '14 or '15 offense. Too bad we were jomo'd in '18.
    Or how about just not do 1A/1B in 2014 and start Chris Jones and see what happens?

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    Senior Member Commercecomet24's Avatar
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    Thanks Pain! You are by far and away the best stats/analyst of anyone on here and it's not close. It looks like we can put the "air raid will never work in the sec" crap to bed! Strides we made on offense this year we're huge. We have to fix special teams just like you said! Thanks again!

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    Senior Member Todd4State's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commercecomet24 View Post
    Thanks Pain! You are by far and away the best stats/analyst of anyone on here and it's not close. It looks like we can put the "air raid will never work in the sec" crap to bed! Strides we made on offense this year we're huge. We have to fix special teams just like you said! Thanks again!
    Really the only thing about the Air Raid that I see is figuring out how to be competitive with Alabama. I know Dan and Joe really weren't able to either- but Alabama doesn't look invincible anymore to me. We should be more competitive with them.

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