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Inside the numbers on Boise State versus Wyoming


Boise State was once again efficient on offense and dominant on defense, resulting in the type of blowout that Bronco Nation has become accustomed to watching. Despite only eight offensive possessions, the Broncos put up 38 points and added another touchdown on defense. The offense capitalized on red zone opportunities, scoring on each trip. More impressively, only 56 of Boise State's 437 net offensive yards were wasted on drives that did not result in a score. The defense was stingy once again, holding Wyoming to a loss or no gain on 30 percent of the Cowboys' offensive snaps.

Score 45
Offensive Possessions 8
Offensive Pts Per Possession 4.63
% of Total Possible Pts 66% 20%
Success Rate 53% 40%
Leverage Rate 71% 69%
Avg Starting Drive OWN37 OWN 25
Field Position Percentage 66% 36%
Turnovers 1
Turnover % 13% 10%
Wasted Yards 56
% Yards Wasted 13% 44%
RedZone Trips 5 2
RedZone Point % 89% 50%
Swing/Explosion Pts 7 0
% of Total Points 16% 0%

THE GOOD - Third Down

Boise State converted an amazing 12 of 14 third down attempts against the Cowboys, including a perfect 4 for 4 on rushing attempts. Southwick was 7 of 8 passing on third down, including four conversions of seven yards or greater. Prior to the game against Wyoming, Southwick completed less than 50% (26 of 53) of his third down passes.

THE BAD - Red Zone Passing

Saturday's game was viewed as a complete performance by Boise State in all phases of the game. The Broncos had seemingly cured their woes in the red zone, scoring on all five trips inside the 20-yard line. However, all four touchdowns were scored on the ground while the passing game sputtered on the shorter field. Joe Southwick went 0 for 3 in the red zone and that doesn't include the interception he threw on the snap from the 21-yard line. On the season, Southwick is 14 of 34 (42%) in the red zone with six touchdowns and two interceptions. 11 of those 14 completions were statistically successful. Southwick is completing an impressive 70 percent of his passes from all other areas of the field. On snaps beyond the 20-yard line he is 135 for 194 with 55 percent success rate

THE OBSCURE - By the Numbers

  • 3 - Sacks allowed by the Broncos this year. The three sacks allowed by Boise State is enough to tie for second fewest allowed by any team this year. Only run-heavy Air Force, which hasn't allowed a sack, has fewer through the first eight games.
  • 23 - Brett Smith's 23 yard scamper is the longest touchdown surrendered by the Bronco defense this year, more than tripling the distance of the previous long. Until Saturday, the longest score was a seven yard triple-option run from New Mexico. The Broncos have still only allowed two touchdowns through the air, with the long being a three yard jump ball thrown by Derek Carr.
  • 48 - In a stat that made the media rounds this week, Boise State has not lost a game in the month of October since a loss to Rice in 2001. The win at Wyoming ran the October streak to 48 straight games.


Due to real-life commitments there will not be commentary for each statistical area this week. Those that are interested in more statistical details may view the week-to-week statistical worksheet available on Google Drive.

Success and Leverage Rate

Successful plays are defined as plays that gain 50 percent of needed yards on first down, 70 percent of needed yards on second down, and 100 percent of needed yards on third and fourth downs.

Leverage Rate measures the percentage of plays a team runs on standard downs. Standard downs are those plays where a team statistically has both a run and pass option. 1st and 10, 2nd and 7 or less, and finally 3rd/4th down with less the four yards to go are considered standard downs. Leverage Rate can be a more meaningful measurement of offensive efficiency than the traditional third down conversion statistic.

Leverage rate (team)

Boise State 71%, Wyoming 69%

Success rate by quarter (team)

Q1 // Boise State 64%, Wyoming 55%
Q2 // Boise State 57%, Wyoming 14%
Q3 // Boise State 55%, Wyoming 38%
Q4 // Boise State 36%, Wyoming 47%

Quarterback success rate

Boise State

Joe Southwick 18 for 28 (64%) - 20 completions (71%), 199 yards
Grant Hedrick 2 for 4 (50%) - 3 completions (75%) 25 yards


Brett Smith - 17 for 34 (50%) - 24 completions (71%), 213 yards

Running back success rate

Boise State

D.J. Harper - 9 for 19 (47%) - 105 yards, 5.5 YPC 
Jay Ajayi - 3 for 8 (38%) - 49 yards, 6.1 YPC
Shane Williams-Rhodes - 3 for 3 (100%) - 46 yards, 15.3 YPC


Brett Smith - 6 for 9 (67%) - 55 yards, 6.1 YPC (Not including sacks)
Tedder Easton - 2 for 6 (33%) - 19 yards, 3.2 YPC 
Rest of Team - 2 for 13 (%) - 26 yards, 2.0 YPC

Wide receiver completion and success rate

Boise State

Matt Miller - 7 for 8 (88%) - 7 catches, 78 yards 
Chris Potter- 3 for 3 (100%) - 3 catches, 42 yards
Kirby Moore - 4 for 6 (67%) - 5 catches, 39 yards  
Geraldo Boldewijn - 3 for 5 (67%) - 4 catches, 26 yards


Chris McNeill - 5 for 12 (42%) - 6 catches, 48 yards 
Brandon Miller - 5 for 6 (83%) - 5 catches, 66 yards 
Dominic Rufran - 4 for 8 (50%) - 5 catches,  34 yards 

Stops, Stuffs, and Defeats

Boise State - 51 stops (51 of 73 for 70%), 17 defeats, 10 stuffs (10 of 42 for 24%)
Wyoming - 35 stops (35 of 62 for 56%), 17 defeats, 10 stuffs (10 of 36 for 26%)

Stops are defined as plays that prevent a successful play by the offense. Stuffs are running plays resulting is a loss of yards. Defeats are any stop on 3rd/4th downs or any other play resulting in no gain or a turnover.

Line Yards

Boise State - 129 line yards, 36 attempts, 3.5 average - 60% of total rushing yards
Wyoming - 15 yards, 32 attempts, 0.46 average - 26% of total rushing yards  

Line yards measure the effectiveness of offensive line play by assigning value to rushing yards gained near the line of scrimmage. View the complete formula.

Swing Points and Wasted Yards

Swing/Explosion points

Boise State - 7
Wyoming - 0

Wasted yards

Boise State - 56 of 437 (13% of total net yards)
Wyoming - 56 of 270 (44% of total net yards)

Swing points account for points scored on defense, special teams, or drives of 25 yards or less. I have also added field goals for 50 yards or greater to the swing points metric. Any points scored from a field position that most teams would be punting should be considered a bonus. Explosion points are accrued when a team has a play of over 60 yards that scores or leads to points being scored.

Wasted yards are the yards gained on non-scoring drives.

Field Position Rate

Boise State - 66%
Wyoming - 36%

Field Position Percentage shows the percentage of a team's plays that took place on their opponent's side of the field versus the number of plays the opponent snapped in their side of the field. The higher the number, the better. Good teams have over 40 percent. Great teams get over 50 percent. There are a few different interpretations of Field Position Rate on the various sites. For this column, FPR accounts for the percentage of all plays in BSU territory versus plays in the opponents territory.

A brief thesis on advanced stats

Good statistics should reinforce what you see on the field. And they should have cool-sounding names.

Inside the Numbers seeks to settle both accounts with some advanced stats analysis of the Boise State football team. Make no mistake: Some of these stats are confusing. But most of them are the type of information that will give a well-rounded look into the why and how of Boise State domination. Swing by the OBNUG glossary for a primer on some of the more advanced stats.