Winning Plays- Virginia Tech | Syracusefan.com

Winning Plays- Virginia Tech

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: SU 25, SU 25, SU 24, SU 25, SU 25, SU 25, SU 25, SU 41, SU 10, SU 20, SU 25, SU 25 = 295/12 = SU25 with 905 yards to go

KO: VT25, VT25, VT25
Total: Syracuse 3 Virginia Tech 0
P: 37 to VT 49, 42 to VT 31, -2 to SU 31, 54 to SU 25, 49 to VT 9, 66 to VT 15(p), 34 to VT 46, 40 to VT 35, 48 to VT 27
Total: Syracuse 6 Virginia Tech 3
FG: Good from 43
Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia Tech 0
XP: Good
Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia Tech 0
Kicking plays total: Syracuse 11 Virginia Tech 3

1r: -1, 4, -1, 3, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 14, 9, -1
Total: Syracuse 4 Virginia Tech 8
1p: -11(s), 22, -5(s), 18, 15, I, -5(s), -12(s)
Total: Syracuse 3 Virginia Tech 5
First Down Total: Syracuse 7 Virginia Tech 13
2r: 3(7), 4(8), 6(1), 2(22)
Total: Syracuse 2 Virginia Tech 2
2p: I, 8(16), I, I, 19(p), 15, I, 13(11), 6TD, -5(s)
Total: Syracuse 5 Virginia Tech 5
Second Down Total: Syracuse 7 Virginia Tech 7
3r: 7(28)
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 1
3p: I, 3(6), -3(s), -9(s), 7(14), -4(s), 10(20), 10(20)
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 8
Third Down Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 9
4r: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 0
4p: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 0
Fourth Down Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 0

Total on running plays: Syracuse 6 Virginia Tech 11
Total on passing plays: Syracuse 8 Virginia Tech 18
Total on plays from scrimmage: Syracuse 14 Virginia Tech 29

Penalties not tacked on to plays: -7, -5, -5, -5 Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 4

Game total when Syracuse had the ball: Syracuse 25 Virginia Tech 36

Big Plays: 22 yard pass, 21 yd punt return (2)


When Virginia Tech had the ball:

Drive Starts: VT49, VT32, SU29, VT25, VT7, VT 25, VT15, VT25, VT46, VT25, VT35, VT27 = 382/12 = SU32 with 818 yards to go, (87 less than SU)

KO: SU 25, SU 25, SU 24, SU 25, SU 25, SU 25, SU 25, SU 25
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 8
P: 37 to SU 41, 42 to SU 10, 35 to SU 20
Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia Tech 2
FG: Good from 43, Good from 32, Good from 39, Good from 24, Good from 31
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 5
XP: Good, Good, Good
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 3
Kicking plays total: Syracuse 1 Virginia Tech 18

1r: 11, 5, 9, 10, 1, 38, 0, 6, 1, 4, 7, 10, 15, 8, 8, 7, 12, 30, 5, -1, 3, 1, 1
Total: Syracuse 7 Virginia Tech 16
1p: I, I, I, I, 16TD, 1, I, 62TD, -7(p), I, I, 26, 0
Total: Syracuse 10 Virginia Tech 3
First Down Total: Syracuse 17 Virginia Tech 19
2r: 5, 10, 8, 0, 5(1), 0, 14(4), 4(9), 3TD, 2(17), 4, 5, 4(2), 2(2), 1(3), 3, 6(5)
Total: Syracuse 8 Virginia Tech 13
2p: 2, I, 7(20), I, 41(6)
Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia Tech 4
Second Down Total: Syracuse 9 Virginia Tech 17
3r: 15(5), 3(8), 6(5), 2(15), 8(2), 4, 4(1), 11(9)
Total: Syracuse 2 Virginia Tech 6
3p: 12(2), I, 5(9), -3(s), 11(10), 4(6), -6(s), 1(7)
Total: Syracuse 5 Virginia Tech 3
Third Down Total: Syracuse 7 Virginia Tech 9
4r: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 0
4p: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 0
Fourth Down Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia Tech 0

Total on running plays: Syracuse 17 Virginia Tech 35
Total on passing plays: Syracuse 16 Virginia Tech 10
Total on plays from scrimmage: Syracuse 33 Virginia Tech 45

Penalties not tacked on to plays: +5, -10, +15, -5 Syracuse 2 Virginia Tech 2

Game total when Virginia Tech had the ball: Syracuse 36 Virginia Tech 65

Big Plays: 55yd punt return, 38yd run, 62 yd TD pass, 26 yd pass, 41yd pass, 30 yd run (6)

Overall game total: Syracuse 61 Virginia Tech 101


Comments: First down runs: We had 40 yards on 12 carries. They had 191 yards on 23 carries. Ball game.

Also ball game: We attempted 8 third down passes with a total of 95 yards to go and gained 14 yards, thanks to three sacks and an incompletion. We didn’t gain one first down.

We got clobbered on first down runs but were quite good on first down passes: 10-3. Unfortunately, the three failures went for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

Jack Stonehouse had an amazing day punting, overcoming what looked like it might be a season-ending injury to average 50.4 yards per kick on 7 punts. But we didn’t have an amazing day covering his punts as Trucker Holloway averaged 20.4 yards a return.

In our losing streak the opposition has kicked the ball 73 times and gotten what they wanted out of it 70 times. We are 36-10.

It’s amazing to think that Tech scored only three touchdowns on us. The rest was five field goals and a safety. Of course they were nice enough to keep it on the ground in the second half even if we couldn’t cover their wideouts. Of course, they rushed for 318 yards while being ‘nice’.

This was a 61-101 game (-40). Here are the most similar games in the Babers Era:
2019 Syracuse 77 Clemson 113 = -36 We lost 6-41
2019 Syracuse 76 Boston College 119 = -43 We lost 27-58
2020 Syracuse 70 North Carolina 114 = -44 We lost 6-31
2020 Syracuse 72 Clemson 112 = -40 We lost 21-47
2021 Syracuse 64 Rutgers 101 = -37 We lost 7-17
2022 Syracuse 59 Florida State 100 = -41 We lost 3-38
 
TOTALS FOR THE YEAR

When SYRACUSE had the ball:

Drive Starts:
564/14 = SU 40 with 836 yards to go (+365)
301/12 = SU 25 with 899 yards to go (-15)
326/12 = SU 27 with 874 yards to go (-99)
443/12 = SU 37 with 757 yards to go (+77)
347/14 = SU 24 with 1,054 yards to go (-213)
268/11 = SU 24 with 832 yards to go (-133)
300/14 = SU 21 with 1,100 yards to go (-189)
295/12 = SU 25 with 905 yards to go (-87)
2,844/101 = SU 28 with 7,257 yards to go (-294)

KO: 11-0 + 6-1 + 6-0 + 6-1 + 3-0 + 2-0 + 2-0 + 3-0 = 39-2
P: 1-0 + 4-0 + 1-2 + 3-0 + 4-1 + 5-1 + 5-3 + 6-3 = 29-10
FG: 1-0 + 2-0 + 0-1 + 3-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 1-1 + 1-0 = 8-3
XP: 8-1 + 6-0 + 5-0 + 2-1 + 2-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 + 1-0 = 25-2
Kicking plays total: 21-1 + 18-1 + 12-3 + 14-2 + 9-2 + 8-1 + 7-4 + 11-3 = 101-17

1r: 14-14 + 7-11 + 12-9 + 10-7 + 4-7 + 7-6 + 6-11 + 4-8 = 64-73
1p: 11-3 + 7-9 + 4-9 + 9-2 + 2-12 + 5-4 + 3-6 + 3-5 = 44-50
First Down Total: 25-17 + 14-20 + 16-18 + 19-9 + 6-19 + 12-10 + 9-17 + 7-13 = 108-123
2r: 12-5 + 8-3 + 5-4 + 10-6 + 8-4 + 5-2 + 6-6 + 2-2 = 56-32
2p: 7-5 + 5-9 + 7-6 + 3-2 + 7-3 + 6-6 + 1-8 + 5-5 = 41-44
Second Down Total: 19-10 + 13-12 + 12-10 + 13-8 + 15-7 + 11-8 + 7-14 + 7-7 = 97-76
3r: 4-2 + 2-1 + 5-0 + 0-4 + 6-2 + 2-3 + 2-2 + 0-1 = 21-15
3p: 7-4 + 5-5 + 2-5 + 3-4 + 3-6 + 2-3 + 4-13 + 0-8 = 26-51
Third Down Total: 11-6 + 7-6 + 7-5 + 3-8 + 9-8 + 4-6 + 6-15 + 0-9 = 47-66
4r: 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 = 1-2
4p: 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 1-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 = 1-3
Fourth Down Total: 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 1-1 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 = 1-5

Total on running plays: 30-22 + 17-15 + 22-13 + 20-18 + 18-13 + 14-11 + 15-19 + 6-11 = 142-122
Total on passing plays: 25-12 + 17-23 + 13-21 + 16-8 + 12-21 + 13-13 + 8-28 + 8-18 = 112-144
Total on plays from scrimmage: 55-34 + 34-38 + 35-34 + 36-26 + 30-34 + 27-24 + 23-47 + 14-29 = 254-266

Penalties not tacked on to plays: 0-2 + 4-4 + 6-1 + 0-2 + 3-2 + 0-4 + 0-2 + 0-4 = 13-21

Game total when SYRACUSE had the ball: 76-37 + 56-43 + 53-38 + 50-30 + 42-38 + 35-29 + 31-53 + 25-36 = 368-304

Big Plays: 12 + 8 + 13 + 8 + 5 + 3 + 7 + 2 = 58


When OPPONENT had the ball:

Drive Starts:
399/16 = Colgate 25 with 1,201 yards to go
316/12 = W Michigan 26 with 884 yards to go
325/11 = Purdue 30 with 775 yards to go
266/11 = Army 24 with 834 yards to go
560/14 = Clemson 40 with 840 yards to go
301/10 = North Carolina 30 with 699 yards to go
489/14 = Florida State 35 with 911 yards to go
382/12 = Virginia Tech 32 with 818 yards to go
3,038/100 = Opposition 30 with 6,962 yards to go

KO: 0-1 + 2-0 + 0-4 + 1-3 + 0-6 + 0-8 + 0-8 + 0-8 = 3-38
P: 3-6 + 1-5 + 0-2 + 2-3 + 1-5 + 0-1 + 0-4 + 1-2 = 8-28
FG: 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 0-1 + 1-1 + 0-4 + 0-2 + 0-5 = 1-13
XP: 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-3 + 1-1 + 0-4 + 0-4 + 0-5 + 0-3 = 1-21
Kicking plays total: 3-7 + 3-6 + 0-9 + 4-8 + 2-16 + 0-17 + 0-19 + 1-18 = 13-100

1r: 14-6 + 13-1 + 9-9 + 7-7 + 9-9 + 7-7 + 5-12 + 7-16 = 71-67
1p: 1-1 + 6-5 + 9-11 + 8-3 + 6-6 + 10-20 + 5-9 + 10-3 = 55-58
First Down Total: 15-7 + 19-6 + 18-20 + 15-10 + 15-15 + 17-27 + 10-21 + 17-19 = 126-125
2r: 3-3 + 2-4 + 3-4 + 4-8 + 3-7 + 4-14 + 2-6 + 8-13 = 29-59
2p: 9-3 + 9-10 + 8-9 + 5-4 + 9-5 + 8-6 + 9-5 + 1-4 = 58-46
Second Down Total: 12-6 + 11-14 + 11-13 + 9-12 + 12-12 + 12-20 + 11-11 + 9-17 = 87-105
3r: 4-2 + 2-1 + 3-1 + 4-8 + 1-4 + 4-6 + 1-5 + 2-6 = 21-33
3p: 9-1 + 11-5 + 4-3 + 2-3 + 5-6 + 4-5 + 4-7 + 5-3 = 44-33
Third Down Total: 13-3 + 13-6 + 7-4 + 6-11 + 6-10 + 8-11 + 5-12 + 7-9 = 65-66
4r: 0-0 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 0-3 + 0-0 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 = 2-3
4p: 1-0 + 4-1 + 2-1 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 = 11-2
Fourth Down Total: 1-0 + 4-1 + 3-1 + 1-3 + 1-0 + 1-0 + 2-0 + 0-0 = 13-5

Total on running plays: 21-11 + 17-6 + 16-14 + 15-26 + 13-20 + 15-27 + 9-23 + 17-35 = 123-162
Total on passing plays: 20-5 + 30-21 + 23-24 + 16-10 + 21-17 + 23-31 + 19-21 + 16-10 = 168-139
Total on plays from scrimmage: 41-16 + 47-27 + 39-38 + 31-36 + 34-37 + 38-58 + 28-44 = 291-301

Penalties not tacked on to plays: 6-2 + 3-0 + 4-3 + 2-0 + 3-4 + 3-2 + 2-0 + 2-2 = 25-13

Game total when OPPONENT had the ball: 50-25 + 53-33 + 43-50 + 37-44 + 39-57 + 41-77 + 30-63 + 36-65 = 329-414

Big Plays: 4 + 3 + 7 + 4 + 8 + 7 + 8 + 6 = 47
+ 61-101 = 697-718

Comments:

We’ve kicked the ball 118 times and got what we wanted out of it 101 times, (86%). Our opposition has kicked the ball just 113 times and got what they wanted 100 times, (88%). Our advantage is gone. Our advantage in field position has become a deficit, (7,257 yards to go vs. 6,962).

We’ve 4-4 but are 64-73 in first down runs. That isn’t dominating. But 56-32 is. That was our rate of winning second down runs. I guess the greater threat of a pass after first down loosened up the defense. Unfortunately, we haven’t had many second down runs in recent games. We’re also pretty good at stopping third and fourth down passes, 55-35. Those are two very good downs to dominate.

If we keep up a ratio of 58 big plays to 47 we should do pretty well. But in the losing streak it’s been 17-29.
 
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 126 Colgate 62 = +64
Syracuse 109 Western Michigan 76 = +33
Syracuse 96 Purdue 88 = +8
Syracuse 87 Army 74 = +13
Syracuse 81 Clemson 95 = -14
Syracuse 76 North Carolina 106 = -30
Syracuse 61 Florida State 116 = -55
Syracuse 61 Virginia Tech 101 = -40 We’ve won 4 of 8 games.
TOTAL: Syracuse 697 Opponents 718 = -21 We are now behind in winning plays this season.
Totals since 2016: Syracuse has won 9,084 plays, (48.8%) and 36 games, (38.3%). The opposition has won 9,513 plays and 58 games. They’ve obtained their goals on 429 more plays than we have in 94 games, an average of 4.6 plays a game.
 

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