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How FEI and S+P see the game: Oregon vs. Georgia State

With incomplete information we can't do a huge rundown of the stats - but let's review the previous game a bit as well as show off some of the fun to be had. Expect a game a lot like EWU or other WSU games in recent memory - lots of passing, points, and frustratingly few glimpses of defense.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

FEI is the Fremeau Efficiency Index, created by Brian Fremeau. Brian Fremeau is an author at Football Outsiders,ESPN and BCFToys. FEI is an advanced statistical measure for college football that tracks drive efficiency instead of per-play success.

S+P is created by Bill Connelly. Bill Connelly is an author at SBNation, RockMNationFootball Study Hall and Football Outsiders. S+P is an advanced statistical measure which combines success rate, explosiveness per play and opponent adjustments.

New! If you're curious what these numbers mean, here's a glossary, stolen happily from our friends at Roll Bama Roll.

  • FEI: The Fremeau Efficiency Index, an overall team quality metric that is drive-based and opponent-adjusted. For a more detailed discussion of FEI, check out the PTN primer.
  • OFEI: The offensive component of FEI.
  • DFEI: The defensive component of FEI.
  • FPA: FEI Field Position Advantage, a measure of how much field position value a team earned against its opponents.
  • STE: FEI Special Teams Efficiency, a composite measure of a team's efficiency in all facets of special teams (kicking, punting, and returning), based on points per game.
  • S&P+:S&P+ is primarily play-based and consists the Five Factors: efficiency, explosiveness, finishing drives, field position, and turnovers (measured largely by sack rate). This is then adjusted for opponent strength.
  • Second Order Wins: Defined here, this is how many wins a team would have expected to have won if you just take how well they actually did in a game.
  • S&P+: The overall S+P rating, given as both a percentage and as a margin above the average points scored. IE, a team with a +10.0 S+P would likely score 10 points more than a team with a 0 S+P.
  • OS&P+: The offensive component of S&P+.
  • DS&P+: The defensive component of S&P+.
  • Weighted S+P: This weights more recent games more heavily, giving a bit more value to teams that do better as the season goes on (or teams that get devastated by early injuries after looking great).
  • F/+: The F/+ combined ratings combine FEI and S&P+ into one metric that serves as Football Outsiders' official rankings for college football. For a more detailed discussion of F/+, check out the PTN primer.
  • Off. F/+: The offensive component of F/+.
  • Def. F/+: The defensive component of F/+.
  • ST F/+: The special teams component of F/+.
  • line yards are in general how many yards the line is responsible for compared to how many yards the running backs get by themselves.
  • Opportunity rate is how often a team gains at least 5 yards.
  • Power rate is how often a run play converts 2 or fewer yards on 3rd and 4thd own.
  • Stuff rate is how often a running play gets zero or less yards.
  • Sack rate is adjusted to opponent and is how often the team is sacked

What about last week?

I don't want to dwell on last week too much - we've done that a lot in other articles. Plus, honestly, it's not the end of the world to go on the road against a top 10 team and lose by 3. Oregon will be better, Oregon is absolutely still in the title race, and the world marches on.

There are a couple of interesting factoids, however. The first is that aside from Bralon Addison's return, Oregon had zero plays over 20 yards. This is backed up by Bill Connelly's advanced stats breakdown of the game as well (and you should totally stop reading this and read that, right now, because it's great). Oregon was actually below the national average for explosive plays. Michigan State's defense might not be as good as it was in previous years overall - but it's significantly more geared towards stopping those big plays and forcing methodical drives. And boy, they were good this game.

Another is the anemic running game - only a 2.9 yard average. Ouch. While Oregon had a fair amount of success running, there weren't nearly as many plays that put us well ahead of the count on 2nd and 3rd down.

Another - and this should be worrisome for people who remember last year - is the sack rate. Oregon gave up a lot of sacks this game and had a 15% sack rate on passing downs. Some of that is MSU's great front 7, some of that is Vernon Adams getting not a whole lot of time, and some of it is Adams not being able to escape as well as he could. It all piles up to a lot of drives killed by sacks.

And yet - statistically, Oregon 'won' this game. Despite turning it over more, despite MSU having more explosive plays, Oregon would have won...if it could convert a 4th down.

The good news is that Oregon's defense was dramatically improved. While MSU was very good at big plays, they were not good at success rate and fairly poor at running the ball aside from a couple of huge runs. That's a very different kind of defense compared to what we're used to, but it's much better than the horrible game against EWU.

So: Offensive line issues, taking too many sacks, not converting 4th downs and giving up too many big plays. Ladies and gentlemen, Oregon 2015 is your Seattle Seahawks.

Let's move on to this week's opponent: the Georgia State Panthers. I dare you not to add 'sex' to the front of the panthers every time you write it.

How S+P sees the game with 2015 stats:

OVERALL When Oregon has the ball When Georgia State has the ball
Category Oregon

Georgia State

F/+ Rk 3 (55.2%) 117(-39.8%)

S&P Percentile 96.2 11.0

2nd Order Wins 1.2 (0.2) 1.0(0.0)

S&P+ 5 (22.3) 111 (-13.4) 2 (49.0) 108 (37.3) 59 (26.7) 96 (24.0)

After this week, we'll have full breakdowns of offense and defense S+P - but until then we have what we have, which isn't a lot.

After a frankly good showing Oregon's defense shot up almost 40 spots and went from horrible to simply mediocre. I'll take it. It's a good trend, at least. Oregon's offense went down quite a bit too - while the ranking just dropped from one spot (Baylor takes over at top), Oregon lost about 12 points of value. That's to be expected; basically it's the average of the two games at this point.

Even though Georgia State is technically in 1st place, chances are good that they aren't a particularly good team. Especially on defense. Georgia State likely has the worst defense Oregon will face this year - and that includes EWU. Their offense isn't particularly good either, but it's quite a ways better than that defense.

The percentile part is interesting. Georgia State appears to be in the worst 11% of teams out there. Oregon is at least projected at the top 95%, still. The most interesting factor is not whether or not Oregon will win or cover - but whether Adams is playing, or will sit for Jeff Lockie.

How S+P sees the game with 2014 stats:

OVERALL When Oregon has the ball When Georgia State has the ball
Category Oregon

Georga State

F/+ Rk 3( 55.2%) 117(-39.8%)

S&P+ 3 (23.7) 108(-11.5) 2 (46.1) 116 (37.3) 28 (22.4) 84 (25.8)
S&P+ Percentile 97.9% 16.2%

Weighted S&P+ 3(23.3) 128(-21.9)

2nd Order Wins 12.9(-0.1) 1.7(0.7)

Rushing S&P+

5 133.5) 125 (75.9) 52 (105.6) 112 (85.4)
Passing S&P+

4 (142.6) 117(82.1) 36 (109.9) 81 (93.6)
Std. Downs S&P+

5 (129.5) 125(79.6) 27 (111.8) 106 (97.3)
Pass. Downs S&P+

3 (154.2) 118 (78.4) 62 (101.4) 75 (98.2)
Success Rate+

8 (124.7) 126 (79.6) 49 (104.4) 88 (94.5)

2 (152.8) 120 (76.9) 27 (116.7) 101 (85.6)

Well, they have a decent offense?

Similarity scores for Georgia State


Georgia State's offense is closest to Washington (83rd) - .2 points separate them. Georiga State was better passing than running compared to UW, but other than that they're pretty close.

Georgia State was actually close to at least one team we played last year - Wyoming (111th). And even fairly close to Colorado (101st) and Cal (108th). The big difference is that Georgia State is far, far, FAR worse against the run. Like, crazy far.

Similarity scores for Oregon

Georgia State is in for a world of pain. The best offense that they played last year was Georgia Southern (34th). That game they lost 69-31. Georgia Southern is to Oregon as Ball State (100th) is to Georgia Southern. There's...a big gap. Very large. While Oregon's offense is likely not quite as good as they were last year, they're still probably better than Georgia Southern.

Oregon wasn't close to the best defense they played last year - that would be Clemson (2nd) - but that's about the best comparison to anything they have on their schedule. The next closest would probably be Washington (56th), which isn't very close either. Washington is pretty close to what we are right now, so that might give a slightly better comparison.

Oregon's offense vs Georgia State's defense


Really, that's basically all there is.

Oregon's defense vs Georgia State's offense

Oregon will likely give up some passing yards to the Panthers, but there's very little to fear otherwise. In particular, the Panthers do not project to be particularly explosive. Chances are good that Oregon will continue a good approach of bend but don't break, with the occasional slipup.

How FEI sees the game:

Since this is early, only the numbers that are boldly italicized are from this year's projections. Everything else is from last year.

OVERALL When Oregon has the ball When Georgia State has the ball
Category Oregon

Georgia State

F/+ Rk 3 (55.2%) 117 (-39.8%)

FEI Rk .236 (3) -.180(120) 3 (.747) 127 (.716) 14(-.441) 74 (-.098)
Field Position 7 (.550) 10 (.545)

Raw Efficiency 3 (.262) 7 (.200) 1 (.872) 128 (.675) 59 (-.056) 84(-.133)
First Down rate

1 (.830) 128 (.839) 101 (.724) 97 (.617)
Available Yards rate

1 (.664) 128 (.635) 83 (.485) 92 (.414)
Explosive Drives

5 (.259) 106 (.188) 59 (.125) 88(.104)
Methodical Drives

31 (.163) 81 (.152) 114 (.184) 42 (.157)
Value Drives

1 (.643) 128 (.581) 74 (.396) 92 (.333)

I've never seen the offense of Oregon match up so symmetrically with the defense of another team. This is not a good thing for the sex panthers.

Similarity scores for Georgia State

Offensively Georgia State is closest to Wyoming (76th) and Utah (69th). And is really about smack in the middle. Chances are good they'll be able to score some points, but not enough.

By FEI standards nothing came close to what Georgia State's defense was like. Between playing badly and having a weak schedule (110th in the nation), Georgia State's defense was not liked by...uh...anyone. The closest thing is once again Wyoming, but it's a pretty big gulf - by FEI, it's 25 spots. The next closest is Washington State.

Similarity scores for Oregon

Oregon's offense: Lol. There's nothing. Once again Georgia Southern (45th) is the closest, but not really.

Oregon is actually very close to one of the Panther's opponents: Washington (16th). This is mostly due to opponent adjustments; the two teams were not particularly similar in character. Beyond that, the next closest is either Clemson (1st - not remotely close) and Air Force (29th). Air Force is probably the best comparison; Air Force also gave up 38 points. Yikes.

Oregon's offense vs Georgia State's defense

FEI is less particular about how Oregon will smash, but OREGON SMASH. Chances are good Oregon will get almost no methodical drives though. That's something.

Oregon's defense vs. Georgia State's offense

Oddly, it's likely Oregon will give up some long drives here. Georgia State is good at longer drives. Where they're not good is everywhere else. Expect a lot of drives to bog down in the red or orange zones for the Panthers.

Otherwise? Not much else to say.

Special Teams





Special Teams Efficiency
17 (1.435)
115 (-1.716)
Field Goal Efficiency
46 (.109)
Punt returns vs. punt efficiency
12 (.090)
113 (.125)
Kickoff returns vs. kickoff efficiency
88 (-.182)
115 (.019)
Punting vs. punt return efficiency
49 (-.129)
113 (-.235)
Kickoff vs. Kickoff return efficiency
24 (-.236)
79 (-.167)
Opponent Field Goal Efficiency
71 (.069)

Even here Oregon has crazy advantages. Expect Bralon Addison and Byron Marshall to have some career days. Another reason that Oregon won't have a whole lot of long drives is that they're likely to have excellent position for the whole time.

So what does this all mean?

This is what I said for last week:

What does that mean for this week? Not a lot of good. S+P being more right has a reeling, horrible looking Oregon defense going up against a very good offense that is good in precisely the way that Oregon is bad. Oregon's offense looks incredible and is going up against a suspect defense, but that difference isn't quite as much as the glaring badness of Oregon's defense. Oregon doesn't have major special teams advantages, Oregon is very far on the road, and MSU has been looking forward to this game since last year. Vernon Adams is going to be a good QB for Oregon and Oregon has more firepower than anyone in the NCAA save Ohio State, but it's still Adams' second FBS start, on the road 2000 miles away against a top ten school.

The game started as a push but had money flowing in to MSU, driving the line to MSU being favored by 4 points. I suspect that Oregon doesn't win this game...and sadly, doesn't even cover. MSU by like 10. But I'm not really super sold on that. I'd not be surprised by almost any result save a very low scoring one. There should be a lot of fireworks in this game, and it should be a lot of fun to watch - sort of like the USC-Oregon game in 2012, except with Oregon on the losing side.

If Oregon wins this, I'll say it now: Oregon is going to play in the playoffs barring injury.

It was a pretty fun game to watch. Oregon did end up covering, but the worries that were in the stats showed up in giving up big plays while MSU was able to limit explosive plays. The intangibles seemed to be more correct though - Adams looked uneven in his second start, being on the road was difficult, and the game was a back and forth thing. And boy, does MSU need to get their act together on special teams.

Stats didn't do so well otherwise. Oregon's defense looked much better and it wasn't nearly the basketball game that I predicted. Lost this one. Oh well.

And you don't need to use stats to have this game predicted. Oregon's going to win. It's a 45 point spread, and my suspicion is that Oregon does not cover - because it gets 42 points by the middle of the second quarter.