Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats Preview Part I: The Stats

Now, are you going to show me how to "sync" my "iPhone" or what? - Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Absolute Stats:

Baylor:
Passing Rushing Total Offense First Downs Penalties Turnovers
Split G Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg Pass Rush Pen Tot No. Yds Fum Int Tot
Offense 9 24.3 39.3 61.9 367.7 2.9 41.0 196.3 4.8 2.4 80.3 564.0 7.0 14.4 11.7 1.7 27.8 7.3 62.0 0.7 1.2 1.9
Defense 9 27.0 41.3 65.3 321.1 2.9 42.6 198.7 4.7 2.6 83.9 519.8 6.2 14.7 11.1 1.7 27.4 5.7 45.1 0.7 1.1 1.8
Difference -2.7 -2.0 -3.4 +46.6 0.0 -1.6 -2.4 +0.1 -0.2 -3.6 +44.2 +0.8 -0.3 +0.6 0.0 +0.4 +1.6 +16.9 0.0 +0.1 +0.1
Kansas State
Passing Rushing Total Offense First Downs Penalties Turnovers
Split G Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg Pass Rush Pen Tot No. Yds Fum Int Tot
Offense 10 15.1 21.7 69.6 207.5 1.2 41.3 213.6 5.2 3.5 63.0 421.1 6.7 9.6 11.4 1.6 22.6 3.2 25.1 0.3 0.3 0.6
Defense 10 23.8 38.3 62.1 251.2 1.2 30.6 98.9 3.2 0.6 68.9 350.1 5.1 12.3 6.5 1.0 19.8 4.3 36.0 1.2 1.4 2.6
Difference -8.7 -16.6 +7.5 -43.7 0.0 +10.7 +114.7 +2.0 +2.9 -5.9 +71.0 +1.6 -2.7 +4.9 +0.6 +2.8 -1.1 -10.9 -0.9 -1.1 -2.0

Advanced Stats

OVERALL When Baylor
Has the Ball ...
When Kansas State
Has the Ball ...
Category Baylor
(4-5)
Kansas St.
(10-0)
Baylor
Off
Kansas St.
Def
Baylor
Def
Kansas St.
Off
2012 F/+ Rk 61 2 4 15 118 13
2012 FEI Rk 53 1 1 (+0) 5 121 (+2) 18
2012 S&P+ Rk 43 15 12 (+5) 30 99 (+7) 8
2012 FPA 49 1


2012 FD Rk 1 (+0) 50 107 (-1) 33
2012 AY Rk 3 (+0) 30 120 (-2) 5
2012 Ex Rk 7 (-1) 4 114 (+1) 4
2012 Me Rk 6 (+1) 99 114 (-2) 83
2012 Va Rk 3 (-1) 44 108 (-2) 6
2012 Rushing S&P+ Rk 10 (+2) 46 90 (+8) 8
2012 Passing S&P+ Rk 15 (+7) 26 104 (+4) 7
2012 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 6 (+5) 32 80 (+13) 9
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)

2012 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 11 (-1) 28 108 (+7) 7
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)



Ok, there's a lot going on here that I'll try to explain as best I can. In past stat previews, I've used 4 different tables to say what I'm now saying in 1. That is obviously going to be a little difficult to understand since you're not in my head when I did it.

The second and third columns from the left (entitled OVERALL) are the FEI and S&P+ rankings for each team overall. That's easy enough to understand, and it shows how the teams compare generally. After that, the FEI, F/+, and S&P+ rankings correspond to each side of the ball for each team. For example, Baylor's offense is ranked first by FEI against fifth for Kansas State. Our defense is 121st by the same measure where theirs is 18th. The same goes for each other measure represented from top to bottom. Their balance is the primary reason Kansas State is considered the best team in the country at this point. No other team has so few weaknesses on both sides of the ball. That KSU was able to do this mostly without the benefit of outstanding recruiting classes is a testament to good coaching, the discipline of the individual players involved, and once again good coaching. I think I said that last one already.

For Baylor, I once again added the change in each measure in parenthesis to show how last week's game affected our rankings. Defensively, we improved in every category that goes into S&P+ (which is adjusted for opponents), while we did not in the categories going into FEI. That's because OU's offense and defense are both ranked highly and our units performed relatively well. The positive trends for our defense, in particular, should give you some hope for the next three games.

What these numbers show most of all is that the two teams that will take the field on Saturday are relatively evenly-matched on offense with Baylor perhaps having a slight edge. Defensively, however, it isn't even close. Kansas State's defense is far superior to our own no matter which set of statistics you prefer. Their strongest point defensively is stopping explosive drives; much like OU last week they are quite good at preventing big plays. Methodical drives are a completely different story, once again just like OU. That gives me hope that our offense should be able to move the ball given our resurgent rushing attack, though Nick Florence may not like how things work out. Good things happen when Briles' offense runs the ball, and this week should be no different. Focusing on KSU's 46th-ranked rushing defense by S&P+ and propensity to give up methodical drives gives us our best chance for sustained offensive success.

On the other side, Kansas State's offense is probably not exactly like you expected it to be in that it is so much better at explosive drives than the methodical variety. Did you expect to see that from a Bill Snyder-led team? My belief is that the offense is so good through big plays, both runs and passes, that it simply doesn't need to string out drives. It's an interesting phenomenon from a team that runs the ball as much as KState does, especially since QB Collin Klein is the straw that stirs the drink.

One of the things that had me so worked up going into the OU game last week was the fact that OU's strength-- passing-- matched up so clearly against our biggest weakness -- defending the pass. That they would pass with success was basically a foregone conclusion. This week is somewhat different. Though KState both passes and runs well, I believe it likely that Snyder will try to deny our offense the ball through a commitment to the rush. He's seen other teams grind our defense down over the course of complete games and will want to do the same. I'm projecting a bit based on hope, but it works logically given what we know of KState's tendencies (I'm still working to fill those blanks with the right data) and Klein's particular skillset. If Baylor can limit the run-- and we're better against the run than the pass -- we should have a chance.

That statement begs the question of how we go about doing that, a question for another day. For now, let me know if you need any further explanation of what I've done in the comments.

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