The Cincinnati offense: Advanced Stats

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Virginia Tech faces Cincinnati in the Military Bowl, and today we’ll start bringing you up to date on the Bearcats, using advanced stats. We’ll begin with the offense, but before we get to the offense, here’s a quick look at the overall ratings of both teams.

This might surprise you, but Virginia Tech is ranked #32 overall in FootballOutsiders.com’s combined ratings. They include both FEI and S&P efficiency ratings for both offense and defense, as well as a special teams rating.

Here are Tech’s ratings…

Combined offense: #91
Combined defense: #4
Special teams: #67

The Hokies are a bad offensive team, a great defensive team, and they are mediocre on special teams. The defensive has been extremely efficient, which raises the overall team rating to #32 nationally. They are the third highest ranked 6-6 team in the country, with only Arkansas (#20) and Miami (#24) being higher.

Here are Cincinnati’s combined rankings…

Combined offense: #25
Combined defense: #88
Special teams: #17

Despite being ranked higher than the Hokies in two of the three categories, Cincinnati’s overall ranking is only #46 nationally, a full 14 spots behind Tech. The Bearcats are ranked higher than VT on offense and special teams, but the Cincinnati defense has not been good.

Now let’s take a closer look at the Bearcats on the offensive side of the ball. The strength of Cincinnati’s football team is their offense. They have the ability to put a lot of points on the board, and quarterback Gunner Kiel has put up big numbers this season. First, let’s take a look at their FEI offensive efficiency ratings. As a reminder, here are the categories used in the FEI ratings…

FD: First Down rate, the percentage of offensive drives that result in at least one first

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