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[+] Team Summaries

Thursday, December 5, 2013

ACC Championship Preview

10-2 Duke vs. 12-0 Florida State
Saturday, 8:00, ABC

What they do well

Duke does a good job of turning red zone trips into touchdowns, with 71% of RZ trips netting 6 or more points.  Defensively, Duke surrendered 1.47 points per possession and got good starting position (73.2).  They're decent at forcing turnovers and getting off the field before teams get into the red zone.

I usually talk about statistics in which teams rank in the top 25, but doing so for Florida State would take too long.  Let's limit it to top 10:  Offensively, FSU is top 10 in points per possession (3.99, #1), EP3+ (2.23, #1), yards per possession (43.2, #2), starting field position (66.1), drives ending in TD (52%), drives reaching the red zone (44%), points per red zone trip (5.90, #3), and just to top it off, they're one of a handful of teams that has not turned the ball over on downs inside the 20.  The FSU offense is really, really good.  Defensively, they're top 10 in points per possession (0.83), EP3+ (1.25), yards allowed per possession (21.1), starting field position (73.7), drives ending in TD (10.1%), forcing turnovers (20% of drives), keeping teams out of the red zone (only 16%), and RZ turnovers on downs forced (13%).  Boy, that was exhausting.

What they don't do well

Duke doesn't put together many long, time-consuming drives, so don't expect them to keep Jameis Winston off the field.  They turn the ball over a little too much as well.  Conversely, opponents put together long drives that do consume time.

Florida State just doesn't have any weaknesses that are glaring.   I suppose their rush defense is only above average rather than the elite status I'd bestow on all other facets.  However, that is probably due more to FSU always having a lead and willingly giving up some rushing yards just to prevent big passes.   

EPA+ Matchup

Duke rush O (.13) vs. FSU rush D (.13)
Duke pass O (.08) vs. FSU pass D (.39)
FSU rush O (.30) vs. Duke rush D (-.01)
FSU pass O (.48) vs. Duke pass D (.06)

If EPA+ were sentient, it would laugh heartily at the suggestion that Duke could win this game.

Pick

Florida State.  If FSU doesn't win, it will be the worst loss in program history.  That's how much better they are.


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