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Wake vs. Maryland: Time to See 'Red'

Much has been made this week over the status of Wake Forest kicker Sam Swank, which Eric will look at in a story in tomorrow's paper. Part of the reason Swank's health has become such a big issue is that he's the NCAA's active career field goal leader with 70; the other part of the reason is that the Demon Deacons have struggled to score touchdowns after entering their opponents' "red zone," instead having to settle for field goal attempts.

This is the first year the NCAA has kept track of red-zone efficiency, and some of the numbers are interesting. The NCAA's entirely methodology in this department could be debated. The rankings are based on the percentage of times a team scores any kind of points after getting to the 20. I would argue that a more accurate barometer would be the number of points a team averages per red-zone opportunity. My position is based on the notion that a field goal is often a victory for the defense in those situations.

Here's the breakdown of ACC teams in red zone offense (the entire NCAA rankings can be found here).

Team..................Drives.....TDs......FGs......Pts.......% w/points
Miami..................23...........13........8...........116.......91
Boston College...22...........14........6...........116.......91
Florida State.......22...........15........5...........118.......91
Clemson.............21...........12........6............102......86
N.C. State...........17...........10........4............81........82
Maryland............20............11.......5............92........80
Virginia Tech......28............13.......9...........117.......79
North Carolina....24............13.......6...........108.......79
Georgia Tech.....20............9.........6...........82.........75
Duke..................19............10.......4............82.........74
Virginia...............17............8........4.............68........71
Wake Forest.......23...........9.........7............83.........70

Here's the breakdown of ACC teams in red-zone defense (the entire NCAA rankings can be found here).

Team..................Drives.....TDs......FGs......Pts.......% w/points
Boston College....11..........4..........2...........34........55
Florida State.......16...........4..........5...........43........56
Georgia Tech......19..........7..........5...........64.........63
Duke...................16..........7...........5...........64........75
Virginia Tech.......14..........8..........3............65........79
Virginia................22..........14........4...........110.......82
Maryland.............22..........12........6...........102.......82
Clemson..............18..........6..........9...........69.........83
North Carolina.....22..........13........6...........106.......86
N.C. State...........24...........14........7...........119.......88
Wake Forest.......11...........8..........2...........61.........91
Miami...................16..........14........2...........103.......100

Anyway, my point is that Clemson allows 3.83 points per opponents' red-zone trip, a better figure than Duke's 4.0 points allowed, yet Duke ranks higher under the NCAA's methodology.

When Maryland's opponents drive inside the 20, do you consider a victory for the defense to hold them to a field goal? Conversely, when the Terps get inside the 20, do you consider it "settling" for a field goal?

By Matthew Rennie  |  October 16, 2008; 1:57 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

Yes and Yes on the 2 questions.

This weekend, Terps need to put up about 31 points...if so, then they beat Wake.

I just hope this underachieving offensive line comes out and is pissed off about their play to date and the kind of legit criticism they have achieved. I am not at all comfortable with our "D" being able to stop Wake...but if this senior laden "O" line plays well, I believe we can outscore Wake (assuming we remember we have a guy named DHB who needs to touch the ball 6 to 8 times a game).

I am sure the TarHeel lover Gary will disagree, but screw him and let him spend the rest of his life in Chapel Hill.

Posted by: UMDFAN | October 16, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

EP do you know if Maryland is wearing red or black this weekend?

Thanks

Posted by: Dagger | October 16, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Fun with numbers my favorite!

I find it interesting that by your metric FSU scores the most points per red zone attemp and gives up the least points per red zoen attempt. MD is middle of the pack in both metrics and Wake is dead last in both metrics! Not sure how indicitave thse stats are of performance but the highest performing team hands down is the Seminoles when it comes to limiting the other team in the red zone and getting big points yourself.

Team Difference
Florida State … 2.18
Boston College … 1.02
Clemson … 0.32
Georgia Tech … 2.68
Duke … 0.73
Maryland … -0.04
NC State … -1.39
North Carolina … -0.19
Virginia Tech … -0.32
Virginia … -1.00
Miami … -0.46
Wake Forest … -1.94

Posted by: Lee | October 16, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Ignore those bad numbers. See above comment with these, hate excel 2007...

Team Difference
Florida State … 2.68
Boston College … 2.18
Clemson … 1.02
Georgia Tech … 0.73
Duke … 0.32
Maryland … -0.04
NC State … -0.19
North Carolina … -0.32
Virginia Tech … -0.46
Virginia … -1.00
Miami … -1.39
Wake Forest … -1.94

Posted by: Lee | October 16, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Prediction:

Wake Forest -- 34
Maryland -- 10

Maryland will finish with a 5-7 record.


Go Tar Heels !


Posted by: Gary | October 16, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

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