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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Statistical Review: Duke #75

Duke won six of their first eight games. They lost their last five games, and in losing those games they allowed 246 points. If one of those five opponents had managed a touchdown instead of a field goal on one possession, Duke would have allowed 50 points per game over a five game stretch. That's the kind of thing you right epic poems about.

Did Duke collapse? The short answer is no. Their performance might have dropped a little, but the real reason for the collapse is that they replaced Wake Forest for Clemson. And I don't just mean the schedule got harder. If 246 is remarkable, so is 15.5; Duke allowed 15.5 yards per completion. They allowed plays of 25 or more yards on 7% of plays.

What did the 2012 variants of Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Georgia Tech and Cincinnati all have in common? They were all among Duke's final five opponents and they are all exceptionally explosive teams. The adjusted metrics that account for schedule have Duke as the country's worst team at preventing explosive plays, and they played a stretch of explosive offenses that was second to none. Matching Duke and Cincinnati in a bowl game must have been someone's sick joke.

The Statistical Review breaks down teams along a number of performance categories, everything from red zone scoring to field goal percentage, and compares that performance against the rest of the FBS. All 124 teams will be reviewed from 124 to 1 by the hybrid rankings. You can find short descriptions of the stats used in the table below.

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