Monday Thoughts: Red Zone Woes in Historical Context

Tre Turner Virginia Tech
Tre Turner vents his frustration after Saturday’s final play. (Ivan Morozov)

There are a lot of what-ifs for Virginia Tech in this loss to WVU, and most of them have been covered in endless message board discussions and by Chris in his excellent Sunday column.

The big, fat glaring issue in this game was red zone scoring. Not just red zone scoring, but specifically scoring from first and goal situations. For those who aren’t sure what the red zone is (I know you’re out there), it’s the area inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

“Red zone scoring” is a big metric in football, and it has been tracked for many years by the NCAA as an official statistic.

I dislike the way they track it. They count the number of rushing touchdowns plus passing touchdowns plus field goals, then divide by the total number of red zone opportunities. Then they rank teams by that percentage.