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The Analytical: Examining the numbers from Iowa State vs Kansas State

Nugget took a deeper statistical look at the Iowa State game, and the results show just how close this game really was.

Jake Waters put in everything short of a super human effort to ensure that we won this game in front of, for him, a hometown crowd.
Jake Waters put in everything short of a super human effort to ensure that we won this game in front of, for him, a hometown crowd.
David Purdy

Again, a big thanks goes to Matt Mills, @millsGT49, over at From The Rumble Seat for the Win Probability Graph and help with post development. Thanks Matt! If you like this post or even if you don't go check out his work. All the cool kids are doing it.

If you have any questions as to how these stats are found, let me know in the comments below. For definitions of most of these, visit Bill Connelly's Advanced Stats Glossary over at Football Study Hall (a pretty cool site too, btw).

Game At-A-Glance

A new addition to this week's Analytical, your football statistics toe dip the Game At-A-Glance:

Basics Possessions 12 13
Plays 75 77
Yards 319 395
Yards/Play 4.3 5.1
Yards/Possession 26.6 30.4
Rushing Rushes 31 35
Rushing Yards 144 211
Yards/Carry 4.6 6.0
Passing Comp-Att-Int 22-32-1 16-29-0
Passing Yards 212 238
Sacked-Yards 2-16 3-3
Net Passing Yards 196 235
Yards/Attempt 6.1 8.1
Yards/Completion 9.6 14.9
Turnovers Total Turnovers 1 0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Total Fumbles-Recovered 0-0 0-0
Int-Passes Defensed 0-0 1-0
3rd Downs 3rd Down Conversions 3-13 5-14
Avg. Yards To Go 4.9 6.9
Avg. 1st Down Gain 4.7 7.0
4th Downs 4th Down Conversions 1-3 0-1
Field Position Avg. Starting F.P. 25.4 27.0
Special Teams Punts-Net Yards/ Punt 5-41.2 5-19.2
Kickoffs-Net Yds/Kickoff 3-78 6-81
Field Goals 0 2

A quick note: This chart is based on the "New Box Score" from Bill Connelly's book Study Hall. Go read it. Seriously.

This game. Kansas State vs. Iowa State, or college football in general, I swear it is trying to kill me. (And if it doesn't my wife probably will because of my reactions to the game...) After a dominating first few drive for K-State, Iowa State came back and made it a game with a few stellar plays. K-State won by shutting them down in the second half. Oddly enough, when you look at the stats for this game, they all point to a evenly matched game, which Kansas State won through marginal advantages throughout. (Sound familiar?)

And now to full-on shove you in, the Advanced Box Score. We are all nerds, you guys can take it.

Advanced Box Score

Iowa State Cyclones 28 - Kansas State Wildcats 32
Passing Downs Quarter Performance
Plays 21 21 Yards / Play Success Rate Yards / Play Success Rate
Yards / Play 5.52 4.43 Q1 5.50 50% 9.78 56%
Success Rate 57% 24% Q2 7.13 53% 5.21 47%
Standard Downs Q3 4.13 44% 4.42 42%
ISU KSU Q4 2.76 32% 6.86 62%
Plays 39 48 Down Performance
Yards / Play 4.30 6.73 ISU KSU
Success Rate 39% 60% Yards / Play Success Rate Yards / Play Success Rate
Passing Plays 1 4.69 34% 6.97 55%
ISU KSU 2 6.72 60% 8.09 45%
Plays 34 32 3 1.38 31% 4.57 43%
Yards / Play 5.76 7.34 4 -1.00 33% 0.00 0%
Success Rate 56% 38% Drive Performance
Sack Rate   (SD / PD) 15% / 0% 17% / 6% Num of Drives Avg Start Spot % Methodical % Explosive
Running Plays ISU 12 25.4 17% 8%
ISU KSU KSU 13 27.0 15% 23%
Plays 31 35 ISU KSU
Yards / Play 4.65 6.03 % Possible Yards Gained 36% 42%
Success Rate 39% 66% Turnovers 1 0

Here are the things I noticed:

  • K-State's offense played terribly on Passing Downs (2nd and 7 or more, 3rd and 5 or more, and 4th and 5 or more), a 24% Success Rate is plain abysmal.
  • K-State's defense played well in the fourth quarter. Keeping Iowa State to 2.76 yards per play and a 32% Success Rate. This, along with the increased production from the offense fueled the comeback.
  • The Wildcats had a lot of success running the ball. 6.03 yards per carry is exactly what you want from a rushing attack, and the 66% Success Rate shows the ability to pick up these yards consistently.
  • The Wildcats also had a very explosive passing attack (7.34 yards/play), but it was not very consistent(38% Success Rate).

Win Probability Graph

The win probability graph illustrates the flow of the game well. Kansas State won the first quarter right up until the end, while it seemed like Iowa State controlled most of the rest of the game. Kansas State caught up through incremental advantages until scoring and stopping Iowa State on the last drive.

Drive Chart


(Click to embiggen.)

Finally, one more addition to this edition of the Analytical, the drive chart. This chart shows the starting point and result of each drive consecutively throughout the game. Kansas State drives are in purple and Iowa State drives in red. The chart shows a number of wasted drives by both teams, with the only scoring drives for Iowa State coming in the second quarter. After those three, Kansas State did a good job in holding Iowa State to their side of Kansas State's 40 yard line.

Stay tuned; the Auburn edition of the Analytical will be coming out later on this week.