College Football Analytics: Week 4 Recap

A week of upsets, chaos, and Alabama winning big

This weekend was just another amazing weekend in the college football universe. We had upsets, nail-biting finishes, and Alabama cruising to another victory. It still feels like there may be more parity in college football than there has been in recent memory. Here is a look at some of the notable games from this past weekend of football.

*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.

Wake Forest 37 - Virginia 17

Your ACC leader in the clubhouse… Wake Forest? Considering the other ACC games this weekend, this might actually be the correct answer. Wake Forest dominates Virginia on the road and continues to roll offensively. This is shaping up to be one of the best offenses we have seen from Dave Clawson’s Wake Forest squad. Successful on half of their plays, an extremely efficient passing game, and 0 EP lost to turnovers. That is exactly how you want to play offense in this era of football. Outside of a few explosive runs, the Wake Forest running game wasn’t that efficient, but considering this game went into garbage time relatively quickly, this might not be a cause for concern.

Georgia 62 - Vanderbilt 0

A bloodbath from beginning to end. In my time doing these box scores I rarely see performances this lopsided. This game was over almost minutes into the game, and Georgia never looked back. This is a clean sweep of the box score, and my god do those Vanderbilt numbers look horrifying. A 6.5% success rate, and losing -0.858 EP per pass. Georgia defense is very much on pace to be one of the best defenses we have seen in a long time.

Notre Dame 41 - Wisconsin 13

Wisconsin came into this game around a 5 to 6 point favorite against the Irish. My model had the Irish covering, but I still wasn’t sure what Vegas was thinking with that line. In any event the Irish handle their business against Wisconsin. The scoreline and Wisconsins EPA/Pass were both heavily influenced by late game back to back pick 6’s. Graham Mertz was highly thought of by a lot of people including myself, but it appears those feelings are all but gone.

Texas 70 - Texas Tech 35

Texas football is back! Maybe? Similar to week 1, Texas has one of those games we use to see when coach Steve Sarkisian coached at Alabama. Very highly efficient offense, especially in the passing game. Texas RB Bijan Robinson looks to be a star in this Longhorn offense, and a player to keep your eye on.

Henry Colombi came in for Tyler Shough, and did nothing but ball out. This was a 100th percentile game for Colombi, which actually overshadowed Casey Thompsons 99th percentile game. To be honest, Tyler Shough didn’t do bad either, and in most other games this type of performance would be top of the line. All 3 of these QB’s earned QBR’s higher than 87, and this was one of the best QB box scores we have seen this season.

Arkansas 20 - Texas A&M 10

Our first upset of the day! Arkansas came in and was in control of this game from the get go. Both teams averaged negative EPA/Play, so overall it wasn’t the best performance for either team. But on the back of Arkansas passing game, they were able to stay ahead and upset the Aggies.

NC State 27 - Clemson 21

Our second upset of the day came from the ACC, where NC State downed Clemson in double OT. Similar to the previous upset, both offenses weren’t really that great today. in the end NC State was a bit more consistent, and a bit more explosive, and that got the job done. Clemson is struggling offensively, which is something we haven’t seen from the Tigers in quite some time. Whether or not Clemson decides to stick with DJ Uiagalelei, they will have to figure something out quickly.

Georgia Tech 45 - North Carolina 22

Sticking with the ACC upset theme, Georgia Tech comes out and surprises UNC to give the Tar Heels another loss in conference play. Georgia Tech was highly efficient on the ground, and kept a clean sheet on the turnovers. UNC on the other hand lost 15 EP to turnovers. The player of the game was Jeff Sims, who came off the bench to provide a spark for the Yellow Jackets:

This was exactly the type of game we expected to see from Sims coming to the season. Explosive, efficient, no EP lost to turnovers or sacks. We still need to see consistency out of Jeff Sims, but games like this prove how deadly he can be when everything comes together.

Oklahoma 16 - West Virginia 13

To wrap it up we end with a near upset, but ultimately Oklahoma wins on a last second FG against West Virginia. In what is becoming a theme for the Sooners this season, they win but struggle offensively. A lack of explosive plays is a continuing theme for this Sooners offense. It ultimately has not cost them wins so far, but if this trend continues we may end up seeing a Sooner loss sooner rather than later.

Power 5 QB Performances

Group of 5 QB Performances

If you’re wondering where your QB is, they either did not reach the minimum play requirement, or there was no ESPN QBR data available at the time of this graph creation.

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Cover Photo: Brett Davis | USA Today