College Football Handicapping: Week 14 Misleading Scores

Last Updated: 2017-12-05

misleading scores week 14It’s time for Army vs. Navy and then bowl season is upon us. The regular season flew by, but bowl season is one of the best times of the year for sports fans and bettors alike.

At BangtheBook, we are looking to help you become a better informed sports bettor. The weekly misleading scores piece I do here is a good place to go for extra information on teams, and data that helps you dive much deeper than knowing the final score. A final score can be very misleading. It’s hard to keep track of all the games, especially if you have a day job and are doing this on the side, so I’ll try to highlight several of the most misleading.

There are obviously fewer examples of misleading scores than normal since the slate was so short, but I still found four of note.

Ohio State 27 Wisconsin 21 – Ohio State dominated this game, but let Wisconsin stick around with terrible turnovers and missed opportunities on offense. J.T. Barrett deserves a ton of credit for his toughness and leadership, but he wasn’t very good Saturday (he even admitted this himself right after the game). Ohio State outgained Wisconsin 449-298. The Buckeyes averaged 6.6 yards per play to only 4.08 for the Badgers.

Wisconsin’s average starting field position was their 30.5 yard line. Ohio State averaged starting on the 23.6 yard line. Ohio State had three turnovers, and one of them was a brutal pick-six.

The Buckeyes made Wisconsin do what they didn’t want to have to do and that was throw it around. Wisconsin threw the ball 41 times compared to only 32 rushing attempts. Wisconsin gained only 1.9 yards per carry. Ohio State averaged 5.7 yards per rush. This should have been a much more comfortable win for the Buckeyes.

Troy 32 Arkansas State 25 – I’ve highlighted several games I’ve lost that were unfortunate this year, but I was on the right end of a very lucky one here. Troy won this one despite being outgained 606-293. The Trojans averaged 4.44 yards per play. Arkansas State averaged 6.45 yards per play.

Arkansas State’s Justice Hansen threw for 437 yards in this one, but he threw three key interceptions. He threw an interception in the end zone in the first quarter. He then threw a pick-six that was returned 100 yards in the fourth quarter. The very next play he threw another interception.

This is one of the most odd box scores you’ll ever see. Arkansas State averaged a measly 2.45 points per trip into the red zone. Troy averaged 4.45 points per trip into the red zone. Arkansas State finished negative two in the turnover margin, but still had better field position on average during this one.

USC 31 Stanford 28 – USC won here, but they should have won bigger and covered the number. The Trojans outgained Stanford 501-343. USC averaged an impressive 7.48 yards per play. Stanford averaged only 5.72 yards per play. USC was penalized nine times and they lost the turnover battle by one.

Sam Darnold threw for 324 yards on only 17 pass completions and 24 pass attempts. USC did a good job slowing down the Stanford running game. Stanford averaged only 4.0 yards per carry.

Clemson 38 Miami 3 – Clemson clearly dominated here, but the box score suggests it shouldn’t have been this extreme of a blowout. Clemson only outgained Miami 331-214. The Tigers averaged 4.41 yards per play. Miami averaged 3.63 yards per play. Clemson averaged a whopping 6.33 points per trip into the red zone. Miami averaged 1.5 points per trip into the red zone.
Clemson had three touchdown drives of 43 yards or less due to Miami’s miscues. Miami was just 3/16 on third down conversion attempts. Clemson’s defensive line dominated this game, and Malik Rosier was only 10/22 passing.

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