Inside The Numbers: The Offense And Advanced Metrics

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Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech’s struggles in the redzone are well-documented, but what do the advanced metrics say about the offense as a whole? (Ivan Morozov)

Today we’ll take a dive into some deeper analytics of the Virginia Tech offense.  Total yards hasn’t always been the best metric to measure offensive and defensive effectiveness, but for many years that’s all we’ve had.  Fortunately we have a wide array of modern metrics available these days that helps us undertake more advanced studies.

I’ve talked about the metric “Available Yards” in the past, but here’s a little refresher.  Available Yards is calculated by dividing drive yards earned by available yards measured from starting field position to end zone.  In other words, if you start at your own 20-yard line, you’ve got 80 yards to go to reach the endzone.  If you gain 40 of those yards on the drive, then you have an available yards percentage of 50%.

Available Yards is perhaps a more important metric than total yards, at least in my opinion.  For example, if Team A takes advantage of a turnover and starts at the 50 and drives 50 yards for a touchdown, it gained 100% of the yards available to it.  However, if Team B then starts at its own 20 and