Stat Simulation Game 5: Texas Aggies vs Arkansas Razorbacks

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Analyzing how the Arkansas Razorbacks stack up against Texas A&M’s Fightin’ Texas Aggies in this week's Stat Simulation...

I didn't believe it when I saw it, but this game might be closer than a lot of Aggies and other outsiders think.  Arkansas has a potent running offense, two effective tailbacks, some big dudes up front on the offensive line, and a huge freshman tight end (remember when our linebackers couldn't tackle the Alabama tight end? This guy scares me).

Arkansas dominates the stat-lines in their offense versus our defense, but my gut is trying to convince my head that it's time for another pulled pork sandwich not that big a deal.  The Arkansas defense has played a couple of inept sisters-of-the-poor type of teams which probably pads their offensive and defensive stats (neither of which are glamorous).

However, the Aggie defense is just awful so far this year.  They looked better against SMU, but still gave up 434 yards.  If you are looking for a silver lining from that game, the Aggies rolled out a few new defensive starters ("youngsters") and only gave up 93 yards on the ground, 20 below SMU's average on the season - on the flip side, they allowed 5.5 per rush.

Hey, have you guys ever seen the work they've done over at StatMilk? You can compare any two teams in the nations and pretty match up like-for-like statistics, but you can't take them offense vs defense head-to-head like I do here... It's very interesting stuff though with automated INFOGRAPHICS!

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Before you skip to the analysis, please let me first explain the scope, drawbacks, and purpose of this chart. Once you're familiar with this information, you can happily skip ahead in the future. But I insist that you READ THIS NOW before you proceed.

Key to the chart below:
Blue Metric = Top 25 in the Nation
Red Metric = Bottom 25 in the nation
Advantage = One team is more than 20 spots ahead of the other team's inverse metric in the national ranking; i.e. Texas A&M was ranked 68th in Rush Defense versus SMU's 98th ranked Rushing Offense; therefore, due to A&M being 30 spots ahead of SMU in that metric's national ranking, they get the "advantage".

Download: Full ImagePDF

2013_tamu_arky2_0928

Download: Full ImagePDF

Disclaimer 1: The prediction formula is an algorithm that I created which takes into account yardage offense and defense, how a team has performed relative to its direct competition, injuries, red zone scoring, home/away/neutral, turnover margin, average points scored and allowed, and a multitude of other factors that are all represented on the above "Foundation of Facts". I have been tweaking the formula for 4 years, but nonetheless I have not found a way to accurately predict the outcome of each game because (as my quote above implies) there are simply TOO many variables to account for and too much uncertainty in each game. However, it is fun to include the objective, stat-based, and numbers-only prediction for a conversation piece. (Besides, if my formula was really that accurate I would horde it to myself and be a multi-millionaire like alternate-Biff in the movie Back to the Future 2)

Disclaimer 2: I take no responsibility if you attempt to use this prediction for betting; unless you win - in which case I demand a 10% gratuity. But seriously, if you have a gambling problem and use this to bet, and lose... do not hold me responsible and seek help to beat your addiction.

NOTABLES

Some notable statistics and questions from the "Stat Simulation" above and each team's website:

1. The A&M offense has had 26 "explosive" rushing plays from scrimmage of 10+ yards (30th) and 57 "explosive" passing plays of 10+ yards (3rd) equaling 83 long-plays from scrimmage (2nd) placing them just behind... MARSHALL (WE ARE!) for the 2nd straight week.

2. In a similar, but not so great vein: Of the 26 long rushing plays, only 5 have gone over 20+ yards, and NONE have surpassed the 30 yard mark.

3. Johnny Manziel dropped to 12th in passing yards per game with 307 (omen?), though he's only played in roughly 12 quarters due to large leads and his suspension.  Johnny is now 8th in Total Yards of offense at 370.8 per game; he was 1st in 2012 at 393.5.

4. Texas A&M scores a touchdown every 12.4 plays while Arkansas takes 22.8 plays between touchdowns on average.

5. Mike Evans is only 31 yards away from passing the entire Arkansas offense in receiving yardage combined (575 to 606).

6. Jonathan Williams has more rushing yardage than Ben Malena, Tra Carson, and Trey Williams combined

7. Texas A&M averages 391 yards per game ... passing.  And another 217 on the ground per game.

8. Arkansas has only allowed 3 sacks in 4 games, while Texas A&M has only obtained 4 in 4.  Conversely, Texas A&M has only allowed 4 sacks in 4 games, Arkansas has accumulated 14 in 4.

RANDOM IRRELEVANT STAT OF THE WEEK

Mike Evans leads the nation in long All-Purpose plays, with 9 plays of 30 yards or more.  Also, the Aggies are 9th in Fumbles Lost % at 16.67% (1 in 6 FF) whereas Arkansas is 46th at 50% (3 in 6 FF).

GUT FEELING

Aggies beat the Razorbacks 38-27 in a game that is too close for comfort, but shows an improving Aggie defense.  Josh Lambo misses a FG and they decide to just let Johnny kick them all from now on.

LOOK AHEAD

Tune in to #23 Ole Miss at #1 Alabama to get a forward glimpse of our next opponent.

Bye weeks are sad weeks.  So on October 5th, check out the Missouri vs Vanderbilt game to see our two SEC-East opponents for 2013 go at it.

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