Winning Plays 2023 - Army | Syracusefan.com

Winning Plays 2023 - Army

SWC75

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This season I will once again be charting Syracuse’s games in terms of “winning plays”. I look at the results of each play and decide which team got the minimum they wanted out of the play. Rather than making instinctive judgments, I use a formula:

- On first down, the offensive team wants to get at least a third of the way to a new first down: they will have two more plays before they might have to surrender the ball and if they gain that same amount of yards on each of those two plays, they’ll get the first down. If they don’t make it a third of the way to a new first down, the defense won the play.
- On second down, the offense wants to get at least halfway to a new first down by the same logic.
- On third and fourth down, they want to get the first down.
- Penalties, if added onto a play by the referees, are added on to the results above. If the offense gains 5 yards on first down but there was holding and they lost yardage instead, the defense won the play. If a running back made a 25 yard run on first and ten and the holding was 20 yards downfield, turning it into a 5 yard gain, that’s still a win for the offense. If the defense is penalized and it’s tacked on, again the net result is what is evaluated. The penalties I’ve listed negated the play entirely and are a “loss” for the penalized team and thus a win for their opponent.
- If a penalty was not tacked onto a play, it’s a lost play for the team being penalized. I'll count them separate from the other plays from scrimmage because I don't know if the intended play before the penalty would have been a run or a pass - so I wouldn't know where to put it in the chart below.
- A turnover is, obviously, a win for the team that wound up with the ball.
- On a kick-off a touchback brings the ball out to the 25 yard line. Teams still seem to be trying to kick the ball into the end zone and avoid a runback if they can, so any kick-off that results in the receiving team starting between their goal line and their 25 is a win for the kicking team. Beyond that, the receiving team wins.
- On a punt, a touchback takes the ball out of the 20. So any punt that results in the other team taking over from their goal line to their 20 is a win for the punting team. If the next change in field position is at least 40 yards, the punting team has also won the play.
- A successful place kick is, obviously, a win for the kicking team.
- Any play that results in a touchdown is, obviously, a win for that team that scores it.
- A “victory play” where a team accepts a loss just to let the clock run out, is a win for the offensive team.

I will indicate in parenthesis how many yards there were to go to get a new first down, (if other than 10), unless it was for no gain or negative yardage. If it was a touchdown, (“TD)” a scramble/sack (“S”) a victory play (“V”) or involved a penalty (P). I’ll treat a scramble or a sack as a passing play as the Cuse.com play by play now tells you when it’s either of those two. 1R means first down running plays. 1P means first down passing plays, etc.

I have decided to list the “Big Plays” at the bottom of each team’s summary. A big play is a play from scrimmage of over 20 yards, (or 20+ yards lost), kickoff returns of +25 yards, punt returns of +20, blocked kicks, missed kicks, and takeovers on fumbles, interceptions and downs.

When Syracuse had the ball:

Drive Starts: S25, S30, S35, S25, S25, S34, S9, 41, A27, A26, S17, A45 = 443/12 = S37 with 757 to go

KO: A25, A25, A25, A32, A25, A25, A25
Total: Syracuse 6 Army 1
P: 51 to A17, 45 to A15, 55 to A20
Total: Syracuse 3 Army 0
FG: Good from 40, Good from 30, Good from 31
Total: Syracuse 3 Army 0
XP: Good, No Good, Good
Total: Syracuse 2 Army 1
Kicking plays total: Syracuse 14 Army 2

1r: 4, 8, 3, 1, 3, 13TD, 26, 7, 1, 7, 0, 6, 8, 0, 4, 2, -2v
Total: Syracuse 10 Army 7
1p: 12, 3, 23, I, 6, 6, 31, 7, 11, 11, 7
Total: Syracuse 9 Army 2
First Down Total: Syracuse 19 Army 9
2r: 3(6), 2(7), 4(9), 0, 0, 5(2), 10(3), 15(3), 1(2), 1, 21TD, 3(2), 7, (5(6), 2(7), -2v
Total: Syracuse 10 Army 6
2p: 6(2), 13(7), INTERCEPTION, 19(7), I
Total: Syracuse 2 Army 2
Second Down Total: Syracuse 13 Army 8
3r: 3(4), 4(9), -1, 1(5)
Total: Syracuse 0 Army 4
3p: I, -5(s), I, 14(4), 13(9), 14(4), -5(s)
Total: Syracuse 3 Army 4
Third Down Total: Syracuse 3 Army 8
4r: 0
Total: Syracuse 0 Army 1
4p: 29(4)
Total: Syracuse 1 Army 0
Fourth Down Total: Syracuse 1 Army 1

Total on running plays: Syracuse 20 Army 18
Total on passing plays: Syracuse 16 Army 8
Total on plays from scrimmage: Syracuse 36 Army 26

Penalties not tacked on to plays: -15, -5 Syracuse 0 Army 2

Game total when Syracuse had the ball: Syracuse 50 Army 30

Big Plays (8): 23yd pass, 31 yd pass, 26yd run, 4th down hold, 21yd TD run, Interception, Interception, 29yd pass.


When Army had the ball:

Drive Starts: A25, A17, A25, A15, A32, A25, A32, A25, A25, A25, A20 = 266/11 = A24 with 834 to go.

KO: S25, S25, S25, 50
Total: Syracuse 1 Army 3
P: 45 to S30, 43 to S35, 31 to S34, 45 to S9, 32 to S41
Total: Syracuse 2 Army 3
FG: Good from 38
Total: Syracuse 0 Army 1
XP: Good, Try-No Good
Total: Syracuse 1 Army 1
Kicking plays total: Syracuse 4 Army 8

1r: 0, 6, 5, 4(5), 1, 4, 2, 15, 1, 1, 2, 17(p), 7, 4
Total: Syracuse 7 Army 7
1p: 7, 1, 2, I, I, I, -10(s), 5, -4(s), I, 80TD
Total: Syracuse 8 Army 3
First Down Total: Syracuse 15 Army 10
2r: 5, 2(3), 7, 1, 4(8), 3(6), 2(8), 8, 4(9), -1, -5, 6
Total: Syracuse 4 Army 8
2p: 3(4), 8(5), -6(s), I, 3(11), INTERCEPTION, 3(5), 21, I
Total: Syracuse 5 Army 4
Second Down Total: Syracuse 9 Army 12
3r: 4(5), 6(1), 4(3), 2(4), 12(25),2(2), 5(6), 3(2), 8(5), 2(9), 2(8), -4
Total: Syracuse 4 Army 8
3p: 8(5), I, I, 16(2), INTERCEPTION
Total: Syracuse 2 Army 3
Third Down Total: Syracuse Army
4r: 4(1), 2(1), 4(1)
Total: Syracuse 0 Army 3
4p: I
Total: Syracuse 1 Army 0
Fourth Down Total: Syracuse 1 Army 3

Total on running plays: Syracuse 15 Army 26
Total on passing plays: Syracuse 16 Army 10
Total on plays from scrimmage: Syracuse 28 Army 32

Penalties not tacked on to plays: -10, +15 Syracuse 1 Army 1

Game total when Army had the ball: Syracuse 37 Army 44

Big Plays (4): INTERCEPTION, 4th down hold, 21 yd pass, 80 yd TD pass.

Overall Game Total: Syracuse 87 Army 74

Comments: The first thing that went in our favor in this game was field position. Jack Stonehouse kicked the ball deep into Army territory from where they were loathe to go for it on fourth down, which is what sustained their two drives. Our average drive start was our own 37 vs. the 24 for Army. That mattered.

The first half winning plays totals were 32-39. The second half was 50-31 for the 82-70 final.

We had a hard time taking over control of the contest due to inadequate play on 3rd down. We were 0-4 on runs and 0-3 in the first half on passes. When we went 3-1 on passes in the second half, things opened up. Army was 4-4 on their two long drives but made it on 4th down three times so they were really 7-1. The rest of the time they were 2-7 on third down and had an incomplete pass on one fourth down.

On first down passes we were 9-2 and 7-0 in the second half. We gained 117 yards on those 11 plays. Army was 2-8 on their first down passes for a net 0 yards due to sacks until they hit that 80 yarder on their last play from scrimmage against the reserves.

Similar games in the Babers Era:
This was 87-74, a +13 game. SU won 29-16.
2018 SU 109 Western Michigan 96 = +13 SU won 55-42
2018 SU 113 North Carolina State 96 = +17 SU won 51-41
2018 SU 117 Wake Forest 107 = +10 SU won 41-24
2018 SU 110 Boston College 96 = +14 SU won 42-21
2019 SU 113 Western Michigan 99 = +14 SU won 52-33
We are looking more and more like the 2018 team.
 
TOTALS FOR THE YEAR

When SYRACUSE had the ball:

Drive Starts:
564/14 = SU 40 with 836 yards to go
301/12 = SU 25 with 899 yards to go
326/12 = SU 27 with 874 yards to go
443/12 = SU 37 with 757 yards to go
1,634/50 = SU 33 with 3,366 yards to go

KO: 11-0 + 6-1 + 6-0 + 6-1 = 29-2
P: 1-0 + 4-0 + 1-2 + 3-0 = 9-2
FG: 1-0 + 2-0 + 0-1 + 3-0 = 6-1
XP: 8-1 + 6-0 + 5-0 + 2-1 = 21-2
Kicking plays total: 21-1 + 18-1 + 12-3 + 14-2 = 65-7

1r: 14-14 + 7-11 + 12-9 + 10-7 = 43-41
1p: 11-3 + 7-9 + 4-9 + 9-2 = 31-23
First Down Total: 25-17 + 14-20 + 16-18 + 19-9 = 74-64
2r: 12-5 + 8-3 + 5-4 + 10-6 = 35-18
2p: 7-5 + 5-9 + 7-6 + 3-2 = 22-22
Second Down Total: 19-10 + 13-12 + 12-10 + 13-8 = 57-40
3r: 4-2 + 2-1 + 5-0 + 0-4 = 11-7
3p: 7-4 + 5-5 + 2-5 + 3-4 = 17-18
Third Down Total: 11-6 + 7-6 + 7-5 + 3-8 = 28-25
4r: 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 = 0-2
4p: 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 1-0 = 1-1
Fourth Down Total: 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 1-1 = 1-3

Total on running plays: 30-22 + 17-15 + 22-13 + 20-18 = 89-68
Total on passing plays: 25-12 + 17-23 + 13-21 + 16-8 = 71-64
Total on plays from scrimmage: 55-34 + 34-38 + 35-34 + 36-26 = 160-132

Penalties not tacked on to plays: 0-2 + 4-4 + 6-1 + 0-2 = 10-9

Game total when SYRACUSE had the ball: 76-37 + 56-43 + 53-38 + 50-30 = 235-148

Big Plays: 12 + 8 + 13 + 8 = 41

When OPPONENT had the ball:

Drive Starts:
399/16 = C25 with 1,201 yards to go
316/12 = WM26 with 884 yards to go
325/11 = Pur30 with 775 yards to go
266/11 = Army24 with 834 yards to go
1,306/50 = Opp26 with 3,694 yards to go

KO: 0-1 + 2-0 + 0-4 + 1-3 = 3-8
P: 3-6 + 1-5 + 0-2 + 2-3 = 6-16
FG: 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 = 0-1
XP: 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-3 + 1-1 = 1-5
Kicking plays total: 3-7 + 3-6 + 0-9 + 4-8 = 10-30

1r: 14-6 + 13-1 + 9-9 + 7-7 = 43-23
1p: 1-1 + 6-5 + 9-11 + 8-3 = 24-20
First Down Total: 15-7 + 19-6 + 18-20 + 15-10 = 67-43
2r: 3-3 + 2-4 + 3-4 + 4-8 = 12-19
2p: 9-3 + 9-10 + 8-9 + 5-4 = 31-26
Second Down Total: 12-6 + 11-14 + 11-13 + 9-12 = 43-45
3r: 4-2 + 2-1 + 3-1 + 4-8 = 13-12
3p: 9-1 + 11-5 + 4-3 + 2-3 = 26-12
Third Down Total: 13-3 + 13-6 + 7-4 + 6-11 = 39-24
4r: 0-0 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 0-3 = 1-3
4p: 1-0 + 4-1 + 2-1 + 1-0 = 8-2
Fourth Down Total: 1-0 + 4-1 + 3-1 + 1-3 = 9-5

Total on running plays: 21-11 + 17-6 + 16-14 + 15-26= 69-57
Total on passing plays: 20-5 + 30-21 + 23-24 + 16-10 = 89-60
Total on plays from scrimmage: 41-16 + 47-27 + 39-38 + 31-36 = 158-117

Penalties not tacked on to plays: 6-2 + 3-0 + 4-3 + 2-0 = 15-5

Game total when OPPONENT had the ball: 51-25 + 53-33 + 43-50 + 37-44 = 184-152

Big Plays: 4 + 3 + 7 + 4 = 18

Overall Game Total: 127-62 + 109-76 + 96-88 + 87-74 = 419-300

Comments: My perception and I think that of many others is that our defense, (184-152) is better than our offense, (235-148). I’m glad it’s an open question. I think the offense can get much better. I’m not sure the defense can. But they may not need to.

We’ve kicked the ball 72 times and got what we wanted out of it 65 times. Our opposition was just 13-6 when they kicked the ball until Purdue went 9-0.

We’ve 4-0 but are 43-41 in first down runs. That isn’t dominating. But 46-25 is. That was our rate of winning second and third down runs. I guess the greater threat of a pass after first down loosened up the defense. Where we are really dominating is on defense: 43-23 on first down runs. We’re also pretty good at third down passes, 26-12. Those are two very good downs to dominate.

If we keep up a ratio of 41 big plays to 18, nobody is beating us.
 
HISTORICAL WINNING PLAYS (Babers Era – game totals only)

2016
Syracuse 101 Colgate 74 = +27
Syracuse 99 Louisville 132 = -33
Syracuse 95 South Florida 116 = -21
Syracuse 91 Connecticut 99 = -8
Syracuse 98 Notre Dame 111 = -13
Syracuse 72 Wake Forest 101 = -29
Syracuse 103 Virginia Tech 104 = -1
Syracuse 93 Boston College 84 = +9
Syracuse 74 Clemson 120 = -46
Syracuse 71 North Carolina State 103 = -32
Syracuse 71 Florida State 120 = -49
Syracuse 107 Pittsburgh 118 = -11
TOTAL: Syracuse 1075 Opponent 1282 = -207 We 'won' 2 of 12 games.

2017
Syracuse 132 Central Connecticut 65 = +67
Syracuse 104 Middle Tennessee 98 = +6
Syracuse 107 Central Michigan 100 = +7
Syracuse 80 Louisiana State 103 = -23
Syracuse 93 North Carolina State 112 = -19
Syracuse 97 Pittsburgh 96 = +1
Syracuse 95 Clemson 97= -2
Syracuse 86 Miami 119 = -33
Syracuse 90 Florida State 108 = -18
Syracuse 120 Wake Forest 125 = -5
Syracuse 96 Louisville 100 = -4
Syracuse 77 Boston College 87 = -10
TOTAL: Syracuse 1177 Opponents 1210 = -33 We ‘won’ 4 of12 games

2018
Syracuse 109 Western Michigan 96 = +13
Syracuse 139 Wagner 65 = +74
Syracuse 113 Florida State 77 = +36
Syracuse 109 Connecticut 83 = +26
Syracuse 86 Clemson 102= -16
Syracuse 99 Pittsburgh 97 = +2
Syracuse 113 North Carolina 115 = -2
Syracuse 113 North Carolina State 96 = +17
Syracuse 117 Wake Forest 107 = +10
Syracuse 124 Louisville 83 = +41
Syracuse 86 Notre Dame 99 = -13
Syracuse 110 Boston College 96 = +14
Syracuse 116 West Virginia 79 +37
TOTAL: Syracuse 1434 Opponents 1195 = +239 We ‘won’ 10 of 13 games

2019
Syracuse 104 Liberty 84 = +20
Syracuse 82 Maryland 112 = -30
Syracuse 77 Clemson 113 = -36
Syracuse 113 Western Michigan 99 =+14
Syracuse 110 Holy Cross 67 = +43
Syracuse 78 North Carolina State 100 = -22
Syracuse 92 Pittsburgh 114 = -22
Syracuse 96 Florida State 115 = -19
Syracuse 76 Boston College 119 = -43
Syracuse 107 Duke 78 = +29
Syracuse 85 Louisville 104 = -19
Syracuse 118 Wake Forest 111 = +7
TOTAL: Syracuse 1138 Opponents 1216 = -78 We ‘won’ 5 of 12 games

2020
Syracuse 70 North Carolina 114 = -44
Syracuse 78 Pittsburgh 89 = -11
Syracuse 108 Georgia Tech 102 = +6
Syracuse 79 Duke 114 = -35
Syracuse 77 Liberty 93 = -16
Syracuse 72 Clemson 112 = -40
Syracuse 76 Wake Forest 99 = -23
Syracuse 68 Boston College 96 = -28
Syracuse 76 Louisville 81 = -5
Syracuse 76 North Carolina State 108 = -32
Syracuse 82 Notre Dame 100 = -18
TOTAL: Syracuse 862 Opponents 1108 = -248 We ‘won’ 1 of 11 games

2021
Syracuse 86 Ohio U. 63 = +23
Syracuse 64 Rutgers 101 = -37
Syracuse 103 Albany 69 = +34
Syracuse 79 Liberty 83 = -4
Syracuse 79 Florida State 90 = -11
Syracuse 102 Wake Forest 92 = +10
Syracuse 79 Clemson 99 = -20
Syracuse 90 Virginia Tech 94 = -4
Syracuse 86 Boston College 79 = +7
Syracuse 56 Louisville 91 = -35
Syracuse 65 North Carolina State 88 = -23
Syracuse 67 Pittsburgh 95 = -28
TOTAL: Syracuse 956 opponents 1044 = -88 We ‘won’ 4 of 12 games

2022
Syracuse 92 Louisville 73 = +19
Syracuse 96 Connecticut 59 = +37
Syracuse 99 Purdue 92 = +7
Syracuse 88 Virginia 99 = -11
Syracuse 103 Wagner 28 = +75
Syracuse 89 North Carolina State 65 = +24
Syracuse 77 Clemson 102 = -25
Syracuse 66 Notre Dame 113 = -47
Syracuse 66 Pittsburgh 95 = -29
Syracuse 59 Florida State 100 = -41
Syracuse 82 Wake Forest 114 = -32
Syracuse 107 Boston College 79 = +28
Syracuse 85 Minnesota 84 = +1 We ‘won’ 7 of 13 games
TOTAL: Syracuse 1,109 opponents 1,103 = +6

2023
Syracuse 127 Colgate 62 = +65
Syracuse 109 Western Michigan 76 = +33
Syracuse 96 Purdue 88 = +8
Syracuse 87 Army 74 = +13 We’ve won 4 of 4 games.
TOTAL: Syracuse 419 Opponents 300 = +1198
Totals since 2016: Syracuse has won 8,170 plays, (49.1%) and 36 games, (40.0%). The opposition has won 8,458 plays and 54 games. They’ve obtained their goals on 288 more plays than we have in 90 games, an average of 3.2 plays a game.
 

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