Monday, November 5, 2012
By the numbers: Closing out the season
By David M. Hale
Florida State had the weekend off, but that didn't stop Jimbo Fisher or his Seminoles from looking ahead.
With three games remaining before an anticipated ACC championship game appearance, FSU has tallied some impressive numbers -- leading the ACC in virtually every significant statistical category. But dig deeper, and there are a few other key stats worth noting as the Seminoles make their final push.
4.4: That's how many passing yards Florida State's defense is allowing per attempt this season, by far the best mark in the country. Only two teams (Clemson and Miami) have averaged less than than 5.0 yards per attempt against the Seminoles' secondary this season, and those numbers could certainly improve going forward. Virginia Tech and Maryland rank ninth and 10th, respectively, in passing in the ACC, and the Terps are down to their fifth quarterback of the season -- a converted linebacker. Florida State also ends its season with Florida, which is last in the SEC in passing.
179.8: That's the difference in yards per game at home for Florida State vs. what the Seminoles are averaging on the road -- the sixth-largest disparity in the country. FSU has outscored its five home opponents by an average score of 54-9 this season. On the road, however, it's a much closer 26-18 margin. Given that two of the next three are away from home, Fisher needs to find a way to ensure the dominance FSU enjoys at Doak Campbell can carry over to the road, too.
23.08: That's the percentage of third downs Florida State's opponents have converted this season, the best percentage in the country and the best rate by any team in at least eight years. Meanwhile, the Seminoles' offense has converted 45.5 percent of its third-down chances, which ranks second among ACC teams this season.
6.57: That's the average yards per rush for Florida State's ground game this season, factoring out yardage lost to sacks. Oregon is the only team in the nation has averaged more yards per rush, and it's been a group effort for FSU. Injured starting tailback Chris Thompson led the way with 7.5 yards per carry, but Devonta Freeman (7.4), Lonnie Pryor (6.5), EJ Manuel (6.4) and James Wilder Jr. (5.9) are all among the ACC leaders.
0: That's the number of times Florida State has held a three-game winning streak against both Miami and Florida concurrently. That could change with a win over the Gators this year, and it would push Fisher to a perfect 7-0 against in-state rivals (including a win over USF). A victory over Florida would also provide FSU a marquee win, helping earn some national respect in a down ACC.