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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Statistical Review: North Carolina #41

North Carolina ran a good, clean offense. They gave up about 40 points, 3 1/3 per game, on turnovers and were top 20 nationally in turnovers per possession. They were balanced, 50% run, 50% pass, and they did both very well. They were top 20 in EPA per pass and rush and just outside of the top 25 when you adjust for schedule (in case you didn't know, the ACC is not an elite conference). UNC runners were caught behind the line on 16% of attempts, 20th best nationally. They allowed sacks on only 2.4% of intended passes (that doubled on passing downs), and were 15th in interceptions per pass. This all added up to a top 15 scoring offense by points per possession, and it could have been better: the offense was only average on 3rd downs and in the red zone.

The defense, like the offense, was fairly consistent across the board. Unlike the offense, the defense wasn't very good.

The similarities between Fedora and Sumlin are striking. Both left programs they had maxed out for greener pastures. Upon their departure, and in large part because of their departure, their former programs shriveled; the regression at Southern Miss is a thing of legend. And they both had a lot of offensive success at their new destinations. Sumlin just had more success, so much that some spilled over on the defense.

The offense was hit hard by NFL departures. If Bernard has another game-winning punt return it'll be the Bengals, not Tar Heels, winning the game. But with Renner back I'm fairly confident Fedora will keep the points coming. I'm not that optimistic about the defense. They gave up at least 30 points in 5 of their last 7 games, and 68 against Georgia Tech. Until they upgrade talent (legitimately this time), the best they can hope for is to tread water.
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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