Winning Plays - Virginia | Syracusefan.com

Winning Plays - Virginia

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 turnovers on fumbles, interceptions and downs.

When SYRACUSE had the ball:

Drive Starts: V41, S33, S31, V28, S33, S25, S13, S25, S13, S25, S20, S15, S20, S25, V47 = 424/13 = S33 with 876 yards to go.

KO: V25, V16(p), V10(p), V25, V25, V29
Total: Syracuse 5 Virginia 1
P: 40 to V25, 44 to V23, 42 to V25
Total: Syracuse 3 Virginia 0
FG: Good from 26, Good from 32, Good from 28, Good from 40, Good from 31
Total: Syracuse 5 Virginia 0
XP: Good
Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia 0
Kicking plays total: Syracuse 14 Virginia 1

1r: 4, FUMBLE, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 4, 2(3), 1, 1, 15(p), 4, -1, 6, 3, 3, 3, 2, 5, -1v
Total: Syracuse 6 Virginia 15
1p: 11, 18, I, I, 14, 1, -1(5), 12, I, I, 9, I, 15
Total: Syracuse 6 Virginia 7
First Down Total: Syracuse 12 Virginia 22
2r: 1(6), 5(8), 1, 1(9), 3(9), 2(6), 3, 4(4), 9(8)
Total: Syracuse 3 Virginia 6
2p: 12, 6(15), 15(13), I, 21(9), 29(11), 7(6), -5(s), I, -7(s), 7, (10)7
Total: Syracuse 7 Virginia 5
Second Down Total: Syracuse 10 Virginia 11
3r: 17TD, 7(4), 1(8), -12(s), 12(17,
Total: Syracuse 2 Virginia 3
3p: 29(9), I, -2(s), INTERCEPTION, -1(s), I, 4(6), 16(9), 18, I, FUMBLE
Total: Syracuse 4 Virginia 7
Third Down Total: Syracuse 6 Virginia 10
4r: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia 0
4p: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia 0
Fourth Down Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia 0

Total on running plays: Syracuse 11 Virginia 24
Total on passing plays: Syracuse 17 Virginia 19
Total on plays from scrimmage: Syracuse 28 Virginia 43

Penalties not tacked on to plays: -10, -5, -5, +14, -5, +7, -10, -15, -5, +5 Syracuse 3 Virginia 10

Game total when SYRACUSE had the ball: Syracuse 45 Virginia 54

Big Plays: Syracuse FUMBLE, 29 yard pass, Virginia FUMBLE, INTERCEPTION by Virginia, 21 yard pass, 29 yard pass, FUMBLE by Syracuse, Blocked extra point by Syracuse, Syracuse FUMBLE, INTERCEPTION by Syracuse


When VIRGINIA had the ball:

Drive Starts: V25, S37, V29, V16, S32, V25, V10, V25, S13, V23, V25, S36, V25, V29 = 556/14 = V40 with 844 yards to go

KO: V41, FUMBLE by Syracuse, S25, S25
Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia 3
P: 46 to S33, 45 to S13, 57 to S20(p), 42 to S15
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia 4
FG: No Good from 59, No Good from 48
Total: Syracuse 2 Virginia 0
XP: Good, Blocked, Good
Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia 2
Kicking plays total: Syracuse 4 Virginia 9

1r: 9, 7, FUMBLE, 0, 7, 4, 1TD, 4TD, 0, 9, 4, 2(6), 12
Total: Syracuse 4 Virginia 9
1p: 5, I, I, 9, I, -7(s), 7, -5(s), 2, 4, 9(p), I, INTERCEPTION, 7, I
Total: Syracuse 10 Virginia 6
First Down Total: Syracuse 14 Virginia 15
2r: 3, -1, 1(3), 11(1), 19(17), 7(6), 6(6), 9(1), 28(3), 6
Total: Syracuse 3 Virginia 7
2p: -2, 5, I, I, 6(3), 13(25), 5(8), 1393), I, 10, 8, 12(6), I, I
Total: Syracuse 7 Virginia 7
Second Down Total: Syracuse 10 Virginia 14
3r: 7(7)
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia 1
3p: 11(7), I, -2(s), I, 12(15), -3(s), 10(3), I, I, I, I,
Total: Syracuse 9 Virginia 2
Third Down Total: Syracuse 9 Virginia 3
4r: none
Total: Syracuse 0 Virginia 0
4p: I, 4(4)
Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia 1
Fourth Down Total: Syracuse 1 Virginia 1

Total on running plays: Syracuse 7 Virginia 17
Total on passing plays: Syracuse 27 Virginia 16
Total on plays from scrimmage: Syracuse 34 Virginia 33

Penalties not tacked on to plays: +15, -5, -5, -10, -5, +5, +1, -5 Syracuse 5 Virginia 3

Game total when VIRGINIA had the ball: Syracuse 43 Virginia 45

Big Plays: FG No Good, Syracuse FUMBLE, FG No Good, Virginia FUMBLE, INTERCEPTION by Virginia, FUMBLE by Syracuse, Blocked extra point by Syracuse, Syracuse FUMBLE, INTERCEPTION by Syracuse, 28 yard pass

Overall Game Total: Syracuse 88 Virginia 99

Comments: Going 6-15 on first down runs and 11-24 on runs overall is, frankly, terrible, especially against the nation’s 81st ranked rushing defense. We came into this game 39-22 on first down runs and 76-44 on all runs – and considered that disappointing. Virginia, the team that couldn’t run the ball, was 9-4 on first down runs and 17-7 on all runs. It’s hard to win a game in the face of that. You can’t really be a good team if you can’t turn that around.

Syracuse had just 3 ‘explosive’, (20+ yards) plays from scrimmage but fortunately, Virginia had just one. Who would ever have imagined after the passing numbers the Cavs have put up in the last few years that we would ‘win’ 27 of their 43 pass plays? Our defense went 10-4 on third and foruth down plays and that probably won the game for us.

This was the first game this season where we lost ‘winning plays’. We were -11. Here are the closest games to that margin in the Babers Era:
2016 Syracuse 98 Notre Dame 111 = -13 We lost 33-50
2016 Syracuse 107 Pittsburgh 118 = -11 We lost 61-76
2017 Syracuse 77 Boston College 87 = -10 We lost 14-42
2018 Syracuse 86 Notre Dame 99 = -13 We lost 3-36
2020 Syracuse 78 Pittsburgh 89 = -11 We lost 10-21
2021 Syracuse 79 Florida State 90 = -11 We lost 30-33
So this was the first time in the Babers Era that we’ve won a game were the other team won winning plays by a comparable margin.
 

SWC75

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SEASON TOTALS

When SYRACUSE had the ball:

Drive Starts: 341/10 = S34, 482/12 = S40, 302/11 = S27, 424/13 = S33 TOTAL: 1549/46 = S34 with 3,051 yards to go

KO: 4-2 + 9-0 + 6-0 + 5-1 = 24-3
P: 3-0 + 1-1 + 3-3 + 3-0 = 10-4
FG: 1-0 + 2-0 + 1-1 + 5-0 = 9-1
XP: 4-0 + 6-0 + 4-0 + 1-0 = 15-0
Kicking plays total: 12-2, 18-1, 14-4 + 14-1 = 58-8

1r: 15-5 + 15-10 + 9-7 + 6-15 = 45-37
1p: 7-5 + 7-4 + 7-7 + 6-7 = 27-23
First Down Total: 22-10 + 22-14 + 16-14 + 12-22 = 72-60
2r: 8-3 + 10-7 + 7-7 + 3-6 = 28-23
2p: 7-5 + 9-3 + 3-5 + 7-5 = 26-18
Second Down Total: 15-8 + 19-10 + 10-12 + 10-11 = 54-41
3r: 7-2 + 4-0 + 1-2 + 2-3 = 14-7
3p: 0-3 + 3-4 + 3-6 + 4-7 = 10-20
Third Down Total: 7-5 + 7-4 + 4-8 + 6-10 = 24-27
4r: 0-0 + 0-1 + 0-0 + 0-0 = 0-1
4p: 0-0 + 0-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 = 1-0
Fourth Down Total: 0-0 + 0-1 + 1-0 + 0-0 = 1-1

Total on running plays: 30-10 + 29-18 + 17-16 + 11-24 = 87-68
Total on passing plays: 14-13 + 19-11 + 14-18 + 17-19 = 64-61
Total on plays from scrimmage: 44-23 + 48-29 + 31-34 + 28-43 = 151-129

Penalties not tacked on to plays: 0-16 + 1-2 + 7-4 + 3-10 = 11-32

Game total when SYRACUSE had the ball: 56-41 + 67-32 + 52-42 + 45-54 = 220-169

Comments: We’ve kicked off 27 times and punted 14 times. That’s a good trend. We were 39-22 on first down runs and 76-44 on all runs going into the disastrous Virginia performance. We are 117-68 on first and second down and 14-7 on third down runs, (which means they weren’t third and long). But we are only 10 for 20 on third down passes.


When OPPONENT had the ball:

Drive Starts: 199/9 = L22, 269/11 = C24, 352/13 = P27, 556/14 = V40 TOTAL: 1,376/47= O29 with
3,136 yards to go

KO: 0-2 + 2-1 + 2-3 + 1-3 = 5-9
P: 1-2 + 3-3 + 1-2 + 0-4 = 5-11
FG: 0-0 + 0-0 + 1-1 + 2-0 = 3-1
XP: 0-1 + 0-2 + 2-2 + 1-2 = 3-7
Kicking plays total: 1-5 + 5-6 + 6-8 + 4-9 = 16-28

1r: 7-9 + 8-8 + 8-2 + 4-9 = 27-28
1p: 4-3 + 1-1 + 14-10 + 10-6 = 29-20
First Down Total: 11-12 + 9-9 + 22-12 + 14-15 = 56-48
2r: 3-5 + 5-4 + 3-4 + 3-7 = 14-20
2p: 7-3 + 2-3 + 6-13 + 7-7 = 22-26
Second Down Total: 10-8 + 7-7 + 9-17 + 10-14 = 36-46
3r: 3-2 + 0-3 + 1-2 + 0-1 = 4-8
3p: 3-3 + 6-2 + 5-8 + 9-2 = 23-15
Third Down Total: 6-5 + 6-5 + 6-10 + 9-3 = 27-23
4r: 2-0 + 0-0 + 1-1 + 0-0 = 3-1
4p: 0-0 + 1-0 + 0-0 + 1-1 = 2-1
Fourth Down Total: 2-0 + 1-0 + 1-1 + 1-1 = 5-2

Total on running plays: 15-16 + 13-15 + 13-9 + 7-17 = 48-57
Total on passing plays: 14-9 + 10-6 + 25-31 + 27-16 = 76-62
Total on plays from scrimmage: 29-25 + 23-21 + 38-40 + 34-33 = 124-119

Penalties not tacked on to plays: 6-2 + 1-0 + 3-2 + 5-3 = 15-7

Game total when OPPONENT had the ball: 36-32, 29-27, 47-50 + 43-45 = 155-154

Comments: Being 16-27 when they kick the ball vs. 58-8 when we kick the ball is a very big stat.
 

SWC75

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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’ve 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 We’ve won 3 of 4 games
TOTAL: Syracuse 375 opponents 324 = +51
Totals since 2016: Syracuse has won 7,017 plays, (48.7%) and 28 games, (36.8%). The opposition has won 7,378 plays and 48 games. They’ve obtained their goals on 361 more plays than we have in 76 games, an average of 4.75 plays a game.
 

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