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BIFFF on Boise State versus Idaho

The Broncos dominated the Vandals on defense. But how lopsided was it really? Kellen Moore rarely plays in the fourth quarter. How ridiculous is that getting?

After the jump, I apply the advanced stat power of BIFFF to the Boise State - Idaho "rivalry" game and see what shakes out. Study up on some new stats, find out how ugly this thing really was, and be blown away by how little Kellen Moore throws late in games.

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.

The BIFFF Box Score

Statistics Explanations
Final Score 52 14
Swing Points 14 7 Points on defense, special teams or drives < 25 yds
Turnovers 1 3
Total Yards 424 316
Net Yards 378 236 Yards on offense minus penalties
Wasted Yards 108 224 Yards on non-scoring drives (including penalties)
Yds on Scoring Drives 256 83 Yards on scoring drives (including penalties)
Passing Yards 225 215
Completions 22 28
Attempts 33 54
Yds per Attempt 6.8 4.0
Rushing Yards 199 101
Attempts 36 25
Average 5.5 4.0
Penalty Yards 46 80
Penalties 4 7
Average 11.5 11.4
Plays 69 79
Yds per Play 6.1 4.0
Run:Pass Ratio 35:34 25:54
Negative Plays 4 12 Plays that gained negative yardage
Third Down Conversion Pct 25% 26%
Conversions 3 5
Attempts 12 19
Avg Yards to go 7.3 7.3
Avg Field Position BSU 33
IDA 24
Average starting field position


  • Boise State was oddly mediocre on 3rd down against Idaho, only converting three times all game. Granted a lot of the scoring drives never even got to 3rd down, but still.
  • The Broncos rarely give up swing points (points scored on defense, special teams, or drives of less than 25 yards), so the garbage time Idaho defensive TD stands out. I demand reparations from Joe Southwick in 2012 and not a season sooner.
  • Run/pass balance. Idaho doesn't have it.
  • So many of these statistics (rushing, yards per play) are skewed by those two long fake punts. Take away those 93 yards, and the Vandals have 2.8 yards per play.
  • For negative plays, half of Boise State's were on Joe Southwick fumble sacks. Most of Idaho's were with the first-teamers in the game.

The five most interesting stats from Boise State versus Idaho


93 of Idaho's 101 rushing yards came on two fake punts

I really hope you have seen this stat already since I know it would bring you great joy. The Vandals only really had 8 yards rushing on offense. How great is that? Compared to last year's Vandal ground attack, which posted xx yards, I'd say the Broncos are better against the run and Idaho is far, far worse with the run.


The Vandals had 126 yards of total offense with Nathan Enderle at quarterback

The box score will say 316 total yards, but 93 of those were on the two fake punts and 97 came with backup Brian Reader at the helm. Nathan Enderle and the Vandal offense was not good against Boise State and the Broncos' No. 1 defense.


Boise State's defense kept the Vandal offense in passing downs almost half the time, and not vice versa

Make room in your heads for this new stat: Leverage percentage. Basically, this stat determines the percentage of a team's plays that were run on non-passing downs with the idea that the more often an offense can stay in non-passing downs, the more likely they are to succeed. What qualifies as a non-passing down? Good question.

Non-passing downs: defined as all first downs, second down and 7 or less, or third/fourth down and 4 or less

As evidence of Boise State's control on this game, the Vandals ran 79 plays and only 40 of them came on non-passing downs. By contrast, the Broncos ran 69 plays, and 51 came on non-passing downs.


Boise State's offensive line > Idaho's offensive line

Offensive line stats! They exist! Thanks to the guys at Football Outsiders, there is a stat to measure the effectiveness of offensive line blocking. The idea is that the line can be credited with a certain percentage of yards gained at or near the line of scrimmage, with an increasingly smaller percentage the farther past the line you get (when wide receiver blocks and sprinting have more to do with yards gained). Here is the specific breakdown that Line Yards uses:

Rushes (not including QB or WR carries) are broken down into four categories: losses, 0-4 yards, 5-10 yards, 11+ yards. The following formulas are then applied: losses count for 120 percent, 0-4 yards 100 percent, 5-10 yards 50 percent, 11+ yards zero percent. A carry can fall into more than one category. For instance, an eight-yard carry would earn six line yards. Max per carry is 7.

Confused? I don't blame you.

Well, know this. The Idaho Vandals had a Line Yard per carry average of 1.4. The Boise State offensive line had a 3.5. Score another for the Broncos.


Kellen Moore has thrown a total of 16 fourth quarter passes all season

By contrast, Idaho QB Brian Reader threw 20 fourth quarter passes against the Broncos.

The breakdown of Boise State's total fourth quarter passing looks like this (big tip of the hat to MKingery for assisting on this stat):

Opponent Quarterback Attempts Completions
Virginia Tech Kellen Moore 10 5
Wyoming Michael Coughlin 1 1
Oregon State Kellen Moore 4 3
New Mexico State Michael Coughlin 1 1
Toledo None N/A N/A
San Jose State Michael Coughlin/Joe Southwick 8 4
Louisiana Tech Kellen Moore 2 1
Hawaii None N/A N/A
Idaho Michael Coughlin/Joe Southwick 5 2

Kellen Moore's fourth quarter line FOR THE SEASON: 9-for-16, 125 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.

Your turn

What do you think of these stats? Did you make it through that table alive? Even more impressed at the domination of Boise State's defense? Share your thoughts in the comments.