clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BIFFF on Boise State versus San Jose State

We know that Boise State's offense was firing on all cylinders Saturday night. But to what degree? We saw plenty of Joe Southwick and Jerrell Gavins against the Spartans. But did we judge them with math?

Continue reading for this week's version of advanced stats and game charting, not that this game was deserving of so much attention. Still, Boise State is really good, and there are numbers to prove it. Details after the jump.

The Bronco Institute of Football Facts and Figures (BIFFF)seeks to add context and numbers to Boise State statistics. Some of it is math, much of it is game charting, and the rest is pie charts. Mmm, pie.

The BIFFF Box Score

Statistics Explanations
Final Score 48 0

Swing Points 7 0 Points on defense, special teams or drives < 25 yds
Turnovers 2 1

Total Yards 535
Net Yards 484
Yards on offense minus penalties
Wasted Yards 146
Yards on non-scoring drives (including penalties)
Yds on Scoring Drives 370
Yards on scoring drives (including penalties)
Passing Yards 322

Completions 23
Attempts 32 23
Yds per Attempt 10.1
Rushing Yards 213 -12
Attempts 39
Average 5.5 -0.4
Penalty Yards 51 26

Penalties 5 4

Average 10.2

Plays 71

Yds per Play 7.5

Run:Pass Ratio 41:30

Negative Plays 4
13 Plays that gained negative yardage
Third Down Conversion Pct 55% 13%
Conversions 6 2
Attempts 11 15
Avg Yards to go 6.0 9.4
Avg Field Position BSU 36 SJSU 28
Average starting field position


  • It is remarkable how similar this game was to the Wyoming game, statistic-wise. Wyoming had negative rushing yards. SJSU had negative rushing yards. Wyoming converted only two 3rd downs with an average of nine-and-a-half yards to go. SJSU did the same. Wyoming had 13 negative plays. Ditto SJSU.
  • Yes, the Broncos held San Jose to minus-12 rushing yards. But keep in mind that QB sacks count toward the rushing total, and the Broncos got to Spartan QBs four times. Take away the 38 yards lost to sacks plus a kneel down, and San Jose is left with 28 yards on 24 attempts. Still really bad.

The five most interesting stats from Boise State versus Wyoming


Out of Boise State's first 18 plays, 16 of them were successful

The Broncos had it going on in the first half against San Jose State and were moving the ball with alarming efficiency. Keep in mind that successful plays are those that gain 50 percent of needed yards on 1st down, 75 percent of needed yards on 2nd down, and 100 percent of needed yards on 3rd or 4th down. Boise State did that a lot on Saturday.

The Broncos started with six straight successes, then Kellen Moore scrambled for a short gain, then six more successes in a row, then Jeremy Avery got tackled for a loss, then four more successes one after the other.

In total, the Broncos ran 31 plays in the first half. Twenty-three of them were successes; San Jose State got stops only eight times.


In contrast, San Jose State had seven successful plays all game

Considering Boise State had six in its first six plays, yes, this game was lopsided.


Joe Southwick threw short a lot, channeled his inner Michael Coughlin

File this in the "interesting" category rather than the "predictive" category. Southwick threw the ball 13 times on Saturday, and 10 of those throws went inside of 10 yards. Typically Southwick is more of a gunslinger and risk-taker, so it may be that the situation did not call for such bold QB play as we are used to seeing. Evidence of that, four of Southwick's 10 short throws were screens.


Jerrell Gavins was targeted seven times while filling in for Jamar Taylor

I wouldn't say that the Spartans were going after Gavins, but he did end up having a lion's share of attention on Saturday night. Out of the seven targets, three of them were completed for 35 yards, one resulted in a pass interference penalty (and a sketch one at that), Gavins broke up another, and the rest fell incomplete (including one drop).

What can we take from this? Probably nothing because San Jose State is terrible, but it was notable nonetheless.


San Jose State earned four 1st downs all night

The stats have them down for six 1st downs, but considering two of them were by penalty (Gavins and Brandyn Thompson interference calls), SJSU really only gained four by themselves.

Half of the first downs came on the second quarter drive that resulted in a blocked field goal. The other two were a 3rd and 12 pick-up late in the second quarter and a quick 1st down to start a drive in the third quarter. They were all through the air because, remember, the Spartans do not run the ball well (interestingly enough, they did have a 3rd and 1 and got stuffed on a running play).

Your turn

Did this game remind you at all of the Wyoming blowout? What did you make of Joe Southwick's QB play? Happy with how Gavins did in place of Taylor? Share your thoughts in the comments.