College Football Analytics: Week 2 Recap

Recapping the notable games of the week

Week 2 of the College Football season was full of surprises, upsets, and realizing we still have a long way to go to figuring out these football teams. Even though my team (FSU) lost to a FCS team (Jacksonville State), I still found some excitement in some of the other games on this slate! Let’s take a quick look back at week 2.

*Note* During the season if I miss a certain game in my recaps, simply email ( DM on Twitter (@CFBNumbers) and I will happily provide you any number related thing you desire.

Also, I use Expected Points Added rather frequently in these recaps. If you need help digesting the decimals, I wrote about how to make it easier to read EPA/Play numbers.

Coastal Carolina 49 - Kansas 22

Despite the 99% post game win expectancy, this game felt a lot closer than it appeared. In the end the Coastal offense was too strong for Kansas, headed by Grayson McCall and a 0.749 EPA/Play.

The Coastal defensive line deserves recognition as well, stuffing 14.8% of runs, and helping to keep Jason Bean in check. Kansas was really only in this game because of explosive plays, as you can tell by the low success rate but high explosiveness.

Overall Jason Bean had a relatively good game, but was still marred down by EPA lost to turnovers and sacks. It is a little surprising to see Grayson McCall with negative rushing EPA, but in the end he still turns in an elite performance, highlighted by a 69% success rate.

Oregon 35 - Ohio State 28

Our first ranked matchup in the noon slot and we have an upset ladies and Gentleman! Oregon gets it done on the road with a 78.8% post game win expectancy. Oregon was able to keep that potent Ohio State rushing game in check, and was able to match their passing ability punch for punch. It wasn’t a bad offensive performance for the Buckeyes, they were just the second best offense on the field that day.

You can see it more in the QB box score, where both QB’s were essentially at 0.30 EPA/Play. CJ Stroud was even more successful than Anthony Brown, but in the end it comes down to EPA lost to turnovers and sacks. Anthony Brown was able to record a clean sheet this game, which earned him a performance above the 75th percentile in terms of EPA/Play.

Pittsburgh 41 - Tennesse 34

At a 92% post game win expectancy, Pitt handled its business against Tennessee, despite what the final score may say. The Pitt passing game, led by Kenny Pickett, was the difference maker in this ball game. Tennessee is still trying to figure out its passing identity this season, which was a staple for Josh Heupel at UCF.

The bright side for Tennessee is they might have something in transfer QB Hendon Hooker. EPA Lost still needs to be cleaned up, but positive EPA from the QB is something Tennessee desperately needs.

Army 38 - Western Kentucky 35

In my exciting games article, this was one of the games I had on my list of games to keep your eye on, and it certainly delivered. Army’s triple option attack proved to be too strong for the WKU defense, and their Air Raid offense came up just short in keeping up. WKU was still explosive on offense, even with a 25% stuff rate on runs. The main headliner was the QB play:

Despite losing 15 EPA to sacks and turnovers, Bailey Zappe still produced an explosive performance. I’d have to check but I would imagine 6.629 EPA passing might be the most EPA passing for an Army QB in recent history. Both QB’s had great success rates, and overall you can be proud of how each QB played this game.

Notre Dame 32 - Toledo 29

Notre Dame’s home opener and first game on the Peacock sports app was… this game.. where they survive a scare from Toledo. Both teams struggled heavily in the rush game, with over 30% stuff rates and less than 2.5 OL yards per carry. In the end Notre Dame was more consistent and got something out of their passing game, with Jack Coan delivering the game winning touchdown pass to seal the victory. Toledo had a chance to answer, but penalties sealed their fate.

Miami 25 - Appalachian State 23

Speaking of almost scares, Miami survives a near upset at home against Appalachian State. Similar to ND/Toledo, both teams struggled offensively, especially in the running game. The Miami passing game really hasn’t gotten into form yet this season, which will continue to be a storyline as we get into conference play.

Jacksonville State 20 - FSU 17

Well, my alma mater lost to a FCS team, and had an 83% post game win expectancy. College Football is fun right? You can see the problem pretty clearly, the passing game for FSU. Even with McKenzie Milton the Noles just can’t seem to get an efficient passing game. The rushing game is elite, averaging 0.37 EPA/Rush. But if you can’t pass efficiently, your odds of being good decrease dramatically. Credit to Jacksonville State for the game they played, especially in the end when they were down until the last play of the game.

Stanford 42 - USC 28

To end the recap we have a last night upset! Stanford upsets USC with a 99% post game win expectancy. Stanford QB Tanner McKee put on a show with a 97 QBR and helped Stanford reach a 0.684 EPA/Pass. Stanford relied more on explosive plays to down USC, owned the success rate battle 57.3%-43.4%.

QB Performances

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