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BIFFF on Boise State versus Virginia Tech

We know Tyrod Taylor had 73 yards rushing on Monday night. Or do we? We know D.J. Harper and Doug Martin are ridiculously talented running backs. But how ridiculously talented?

These are questions that game charting and advanced stats can help answer, and it just so happens that BIFFF specializes in each. After the jump, get the bonus statistics on Boise State - Virginia Tech that you can't find anywhere else, including irrefutable evidence of Harper and Martin's ridiculous talent.

The Bronco Institute of Football Facts and Figures (BIFFF) is Boise State statistics on steroids - the legal ones that make things better and have no negative side effects like impotence.

Your new box score

Bsulogosmall_medium Vtlogosmall_medium

Boise State Virginia Tech
Total Yards 383 314
First Downs 18 21
Plays 62 66
Possessions 12 12
Average Start 36 32
Turnovers 2 1
Swing Points 10 0
Passing Yards 215 186
Completions 23 15
Attempts 38 22
Rushing Yards 168 128
Carries 24 44
Penalties 11 7
Yards 105 55
Third Down Percentage 40 33
Attempts 15 12
Conversions 6 4
Yards Per Play 6.2 4.8
Yards Per Drive 31.9 26.2
Wasted Yards 134 77
Yards on Scoring Drives 260 278
Final Score 33 30

Swing points = Points on defense, special teams, or drives < 25 yards

Yards for points = Yards on scoring drives

Wasted yards = Yards on non-scoring drives


  • Virginia Tech's advantage in wasted yards shows that the Hokies made the most of their drives when their drives were, you know, actually going somewhere. If Virginia Tech had made the field goal it missed, the Hokie Wasted Yards total would have been 36 yards less. The worst wasted drives after that were the penultimate clock-grinding one and the very first drive of the game where they had 15 yards from a pass interference penalty.
  • As lopsided as the field position battle began (see below), it ended evenly enough. That is due in large part to Boise State's two fumbles, which gave Virginia Tech the ball in Bronco territory.
  • Boise State averaged 7 yards per rush and only 5.7 yards per pass attempt.
  • The Broncos' 10 swing points (following the fumble recovery and blocked punt) made the difference in the final score.

The five most interesting stats from Boise State versus Virginia Tech


Only one quarter of Tyrod Taylor's rushing attempts came on designed running plays

The final box score claims that Taylor had 73 yards rushing on 16 attempts, but you can't fool me that easily, box score. Truth is, Taylor had one yard on four rushing attempts (three of which went for negative yardage and the fourth for nine yards). The rest of his carries consisted of three sacks for -12 yards and nine scrambles for 84 yards.

Think about how different Monday night would have gone without a mobile quarterback in Virginia Tech's backfield. Stick a statue back there and the Broncos may have had nine coverage sacks rather than nine coverage scrambles.

Feel any better about Boise State's secondary now?


Virginia Tech threw at Brandyn Thompson more than they threw at Jamar Taylor

Safe to say, the Hokies were not afraid to go after Boise State's No. 1 cornerback. In fact, one series in the second half, the Hokies went at Thompson on three out of their four pass attempts - an interference penalty, an overthrown deep ball, and a TD toss where Thompson missed the tackle.

The numbers above are as accurate as I can get them; it's possible that some listed targets were actually zone coverage where Thompson just happened to get there first. But regardless, teams used to spend long stretches not even looking Kyle Wilson's way. It looks like that won't be the case with Thompson this year.


Kellen Moore threw passes to 11 different receivers

He completed passes nine different receivers and missed on passes to Geraldo Hiwat and Jeremy Avery.


Doug Martin and D.J. Harper were more successful carrying tacklers than breaking tackles

The duo of Harper and Martin broke six tackles Monday night (Martin broke four, Harper broke two), which is impressive enough. But how about those yards after contact? Seventy-five percent of their rushing yards came after contact. Eight of Martin's 12 carries had YAC, and three of Harper's four carries did.


Field position percentage

Not sure what you're seeing here? Let me explain. Field position percentage basically figures how many plays your team spent on the other team's side of the field. The figures above - in all their gray confusion - show the breakdown of quarter by quarter for both teams.

Virginia Tech put up the lowest FP% in the first quarter but also finished with the two highest FP% quarters in the second and third, which is not coincidentally when they started taking charge. Interesting, if you can understand any of it.

Your turn

What do you make of these numbers? Feel any better knowing Boise State's coverage was solid nine more times than you thought? Have a new appreciation for Doug Martin and D.J. Harper? Share your thoughts in the comments.