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Baylor vs. Texas Tech Advanced Stats Preview

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The Bears head to Arlington to square off against Texas Tech in a game where Vegas thinks that they are a huge favorite. We're looking at the advanced stats to see what they have to say about the matchup.

John Weast/Getty Images

It's time to look more closely at the Texas Tech matchup through the eyes of Football Outsiders' advanced statistics. We're skipping over the Big 12 Advanced Stats rankings post this week because there was no position movement between teams week over week, and very little movement in the overall position of the stuff we talk about each week. Given the fact that we're on a bit of a condensed schedule, I'm going ahead with the Advanced Stats post for this week.

If you've never looked at any of these posts, might I direct your attention to my Advanced Stats Primer that I wrote last week in an attempt to give you an idea of what we're looking at and why they're important to us. As always, if you have any questions whatsoever about anything discussed here, please do not hesitate to ask.

As Always, A Few Notes:

Our process here remains the same. We're comparing stats against one another and giving one team the edge in a totally arbitrary manner. With that out of the way, here's what the values in the EDGE column mean:

  • EVEN = 10 or fewer ranking spots difference
  • Lowercase = 11-39 ranking spots difference
  • UPPERCASE = 40 or more ranking spots difference.

There's been one change this week. Kalon, who writes for sister site Addicted to Quack and handles their advanced stast stuff, offered to automate grabbing the data for our previews. In doing so, he slightly altered the Special Teams previews so that the table features match ups. I'll explain the changes in more detail below, but we are greatly appreciative to Kalon for his help.

2014 FootballOutsiders Metrics for the Baylor Bears vs. the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Hit this link to the last stats preview/predictions post to see where we were before the last game vs. now.

Overall:

Category

Baylor(9-1)

TT(4-7)

EDGE

Overall F/+ Rk 10 (27.9%)
82 (-8.6%)
BAYLOR
Overall FEI Rk 11 (.229)
88 (-.095)
BAYLOR
Overall S&P+ Rk 5 (249.3)
91 (185.8)
BAYLOR
Field Position Advantage 6 (.561)
113 (.466)
BAYLOR

This is the second week in a row that the overall rankings give us a significant advantage. Baylor is in the top 10 (or just outside, in the case of FEI) in each of the major stat categories, while Tech is in or near the bottom third in all of the categories listed.

Looking at the Individual Units (in this game):

1. Baylor Defense -- 10 (13.7%)
2. Baylor Offense -- 13 (12.8%)
3. Baylor Special Teams -- 34 (1.4%)
4. Tech Offense -- 48 (3.7%)
5. Tech Special Teams -- 82 (-0.7%)
6. Tech Defense -- 116 (-11.6%)

When Baylor Has the Ball:

Category

Baylor Off

TT Def

EDGE

Offensive/Defensive FEI Rk
16 (.426)
114 (.443)
BAYLOR
Raw OE/DE 12 (.469)
121 (.501)
BAYLOR
First Down Rate 7 (.776)
121 (.758)
BAYLOR
Available Yards Rate 5 (.591)
113 (.560)
BAYLOR
Explosive Drives 18 (.190)
122 (.218)
BAYLOR
Methodical Drives 6 (.207)
61 (.137)
BAYLOR
Value Drives 6 (.531)
120 (.523)
BAYLOR
Offensive/Defensive S&P+
11 (121.9)
114 (85.8)
BAYLOR
Play Rating
14 (126.0)
106 (89.0)
BAYLOR
Std. Downs S&P Rk 15 (125.0)
107 (89.7)
BAYLOR
Pass. Downs S&P Rk 30 (123.5)
95 (89.9)
BAYLOR
Rushing S&P+ Rk 23 (123.5)
111 (84.1)
BAYLOR
Passing S&P+ Rk 14 (129.3)
82 (96.0)
BAYLOR
Drive Rating
11 (127.0)
110 (86.2)
BAYLOR

Baylor's offense is a massive favorite in every category here. Baylor's offense continues to be highly efficient, ranking in the top 20 in both FEI and S&P+. Meanwhile, Tech's defense is one of the worst in both the Big 12 and all of FBS. Interestingly, their Methodical Drives rating is the Red Raiders' highest-ranked individual component. That's surprising because they are abjectly terrible against the run. Through the air, on the ground, explosive or methodical, Baylor holds a significant edge over Texas Tech in this game. If Baylor doesn't shoot itself in the foot on Saturday offensively, they should be able to roll right over this defense.

When Texas Tech Has the Ball:

Category

Baylor Def

TT Off

EDGE

Offensive/Defensive FEI Rk
19 (-.415)
37 (.226)
Baylor
Raw OE/DE 13 (-.394)
40 (.164)
Baylor
First Down Rate 6 (.514)
65 (.672)
BAYLOR
Available Yards Rate 8 (.328)
43 (.485)
Baylor
Explosive Drives 57 (.126)
23 (.185)
Texas Tech
Methodical Drives 9 (.072)
97 (.109)
BAYLOR
Value Drives 11 (.255)
65 (.378)
BAYLOR
Offensive/Defensive S&P+
6 (127.3)
59 (100.0)
BAYLOR
Play Rating
17 (122.1)
34 (116.0)
Baylor
Std. Downs S&P Rk 19 (119.4)
51 (106.1)
Baylor
Pass. Downs S&P Rk 25 (122.9)
9 (142.5)
Texas Tech
Rushing S&P+ Rk 18 (126.4)
42 (110.9)
Baylor
Passing S&P+ Rk 28 (117.8)
30 (117.9)
EVEN
Drive Rating
3 (147.8)
108 (88.3)
BAYLOR

As is to be expected with a Kliff Kingsbury air raid team, Tech's offense is fairly respectable and even holds the edge in a few statistical categories. It's clear that the key matchup in this game will be Tech's air raid passing attack vs. Baylor's pass defense. Baylor will need Ryan Reid and Xavien Howard to be on form, and our linebackers and safeties will have to be strong in coverage too. If the Bears can limit explosive plays in this game, they should have no trouble. I suspect that Tech will have success early on like they have in years' past against Baylor, but that the Bears will adjust quickly and limit the effectiveness of Webb or Mahomes, whichever gets the nod this week.

I went back and took a look at last year's Stats Preview and I was somewhat surprised to see a flipping of the Methodical/Explosive Drive rankings from last year. Tech was content to move methodically down the field on short passes and were not as explosive. This year, the roles are reversed. Tech is one of the more explosive teams in the country, while they suffer when needing to move the ball methodically. They still run the same style of offense, looking for shorter, horizontal passes instead of going vertical, but they're just more successful at it. They get the running backs involved via screens on a regular basis. The Bears are going to need to get to the quarterback quickly with their defensive line, and the cover guys must be disciplined in staying with their man because given enough time, the Tech QB will find the open man.

Special Teams:

Category

Baylor(9-1)

TT(4-7)

EDGE

F/+ Special Teams
34 (1.4%)
82 (-0.7%)
BAYLOR
Special Teams Efficiency
34 (.784)
82 (-.412)
BAYLOR
Field Goal Efficiency
65 (.017)
54 (.074)
Texas Tech
Punt returns vs. punt efficiency
78 (-.110)
20 (-.227)
TEXAS TECH
Kickoff returns vs. kickoff efficiency
18 (-.053)
75 (-.129)
BAYLOR
Punting vs. punt return efficiency
16 (-.251)
109 (-.234)
BAYLOR
Kickoff vs. Kickoff return efficiency
95 (-.075)
103 (-.231)
EVEN
Opponent Field Goal Efficiency
14 (-.500)
93 (.232)
BAYLOR

Here's where Kalon's changes show up. Instead of having individual rankings for each of these without matchups, we've actually got the stats linked up to give you a feel for how the special teams across from each other match up. You've got Punt returns vs. Punt Efficiency, Kickoff returns vs. efficiency, etc. Some of these aren't exactly matched up opposite each other, but you get the idea.

Tech's strongest advantage comes here in the realm of Punting Efficiency, but that shouldn't really have much of an impact on the game. The Bears are usually content to wave for the fair catch and rely on their offense to move the football, regardless of field position.

The Bottom Line

Texas Tech is playing in their bowl game this Saturday. They end their disappointing season in this game, so expect to see the Red Raiders come out fired up and ready to play. To win they're going to need to be successful on the offensive side of the ball in a way we've seen from no opponent this year and they'll need our offense to completely crawl. The blueprint was the same last year; Texas Tech succeeded in starting fast, and Baylor sputtered out of the gate. But, the Bears quickly got their feet underneath them and by the end of the first quarter, they had the lead and didn't look back for the remainder. Tech's going to need to stop Baylor for more than 3/4 a quarter this time around, and I don't see them doing that. The Bears hold the edge in almost every major category. Barring a herculean effort by the Red Raiders, the Bears should win this one handily, and if they're to have any hope of impressing the Selection Committee, they need to.