It’s All Relative

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I started wondering over the weekend how the Hokies fare statistically when you compare their stats to their opponents’ averages. In other words … on average, does Virginia Tech fare better statistically than other teams their opponents play?

If I’m not being clear, let me tell you what I did: I took each of the Division 1A teams on Virginia Tech’s schedule (no Austin Peay), researched their average statistics in a few key categories, and checked to see if Virginia Tech did better than average when the teams in question played the Hokies.

Here’s an example — here are Georgia Tech’s statistical averages in key offensive and defensive categories, compared with statistics from VT’s 20-17 win on Labor Day night.

The upper box of stats represents Georgia Tech’s offensive statistical averages against their entire schedule; the bottom box represents GT’s defensive statistical averages against their full schedule.

How to read the table:

  • Example #1: Georgia Tech averages 455.1 ypg total offense; they had 288 against VT; the Hokies held GT to 167.1 yards below their season average.
  • Example #2: Georgia Tech scores 35.1 ppg; they had 17 against VT; the Hokies held GT to 18.1 points below their season average.
  • Example #3 (a defensive stat): Georgia Tech gives up 411.6 yards per game; VT had 326 yards vs. GT; GT held VT to 85.6 yards below GT’s season average.

And so forth. If you’re a Virginia Tech fan, a negative difference in all the GT offensive stats at the top (except one, TFL allowed) is good, because it means VT’s defense held GT below their season averages. A positive difference in the defensive stats at the bottom is good (except for TFL), because it means the Hokie offense exceeded the Georgia Tech defensive season averages.

One note: GT’s statistical averages DO include the Virginia Tech game, and any D1-AA opponents the Jackets might have played.  I didn’t take the time to remove VT stats or D1-AA stats.

Stats in which VT did well are displayed in black (good job by VT); areas where they failed to play up to Georgia Tech’s averages are displayed in red (bad job by VT).

A quick scan of the table shows that the Virginia Tech defense played better against GT than the Jackets’