Florida vs. FSU advanced stats review

The Gators broke their losing streak against the Seminoles in dominant fashion. It’s seemingly never a guarantee for UF to win in Tallahassee, so getting the victory on Ron Zook Field only makes it that much better.

Here is what the advanced stats have to say about Florida’s big win. This review is based on Bill Connelly’s Five Factors of winning, and sacks are counted as pass plays. It does not include the drives at the end of each half when teams were just running clock.


Everyone has a different definition for what counts as an “explosive play”, but I go with runs of at least ten yards and passes of at least 20 yards.

Team Runs 10+ Pct. Passes 20+ Pct. Explosive Pct.
Florida 5 10.0% 5 17.9% 12.8%
FSU 4 14.3% 3 9.1% 11.5%


This is one of the higher explosive passing rates that the Gators have had. Feleipe Franks was more accurate than normal on intermediate and deep balls, which is why that percentage is up. The big news here is how low FSU’s passing percentage is. The Seminoles had a terribly inefficient offense, so big plays are the only way they can move the ball. They did hit on some on their scoring drives, but it was pretty well contained to those drives.

The Florida passing rate and FSU running rate are similar in that they’re higher percentages despite the absolute number not being high. That should tell you something about play selection, especially since two of FSU’s four were Deondre Francois scrambles on called passes.


The main measure here is success rate. Watch this short video if you need to brush up on it.

Team Run SR Pass SR Overall SR Red Zone SR
Florida 42.0% 46.4% 43.6% 21.7%
FSU 46.4% 24.2% 34.4% 100.0%


A lot of FSU’s run success was Francois scrambling against a defensive front that too often ran past him in the pocket. The Florida ends and bucks were so intent on getting to him that they didn’t make sure to keep him in front of them. Jacques Patrick had a nice day too with a 5.1 yards per carry average and 50% success rate. Cam Akers, amazing catch aside, was the one who had a pedestrian day. He went for only 2.8 YPC with a 23.1% success rate.

This was one of UF’s poorer red zone outings. You remember a lot of that early on, when they got stopped on downs and then had to do a chip shot field goal on the following drive.

Team 1Q SR 2Q SR 3Q SR 4Q SR
Florida 30.0% 41.2% 56.5% 44.4%
FSU 28.6% 33.3% 38.5% 38.5%


Those red zone issues spoiled the efficiency metric for the entire first quarter. The offense moved at an average or above clip the rest of the way.

The Gator defense did its job to hold FSU to its customary below-average success rate throughout the game. In fact the Seminoles had a high 56.3% success rate on their two scoring drives and a dismal 26.1% success rate in the rest of the game combined.

Efficiency by Player

The quarterback battle was no battle at all.

Player Comp. Pct. Pass Eff. Yards/Att Sacks Pass SR
Feleipe Franks 61.5% 181.7 9.8 1 48.1%
Deondre Francois 48.1% 92.8 5.6 5 25.0%


This wasn’t Franks’s most efficient performance of the year; he had a 52.2% success rate on pass plays (including sacks, not including scrambles) against South Carolina. I believe he was forced into more throwaways in this game, though, which would explain the difference if true.

The brutal FSU offensive line shows up here with the five sacks that Francois took. He also had to throw it away a bit as he was pressured all day.

Player Targets Catches Yards Yards/Target SR
Trevon Grimes 8 5 118 14.8 50.0%
Van Jefferson 4 4 92 23.0 75.0%
Kadarius Toney 3 2 21 7.0 66.7%
Josh Hammond 3 2 12 4.0 66.7%
C’yontai Lewis 2 1 3 1.5 0.0%
Freddie Swain 2 1 2 1.0 50.0%
Lamical Perine 1 1 6 6.0 100.0%
Dameon Pierce 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%
Tyrie Cleveland 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%
Rick Wells 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%


Cleveland’s unfortunate injury opened the door for his backup Grimes, who had easily his best day as a Gator. If Jefferson decides to go pro, Grimes appears ready to step up alongside Cleveland to become one of the two top targets next season.

It was a muted day for about everyone other than Jefferson and Grimes, but these mostly modest figures would be incomplete without the success rates. Hammond, Toney, and Swain made up a steady second wave of receivers who kept the ball moving.

Player Carries YPC Rushing SR
Jordan Scarlett 20 4.4 35.0%
Lamical Perine 13 9.9 53.8%
Feleipe Franks 11 4.5 45.5%
Dameon Pierce 5 3.0 20.0%
Kadarius Toney 1 5.0 100.0%


FSU seemed pretty keyed in on Scarlett, who did not have one of his better days as a Gator. He found his extra gear in the second half, but it was only apparent because he was not using it in the first half.

Perine’s YPC was 4.6 without his 74-yarder, which puts him about in line with Scarlett and Franks in that regard. He and the quarterback were more on the efficient side, though, which says a little about their usage.

Field Position

Team Avg. Starting Position Plays in Opp. Territory Pct. Of Total
Florida Own 36 42 53.8%
FSU Own 18 11 18.0%


Early on it wasn’t clear if FSU would cross its own 35 much less the 50, so the low percentage of plays in Gator territory is entirely expected. UF’s expected advantage in field position was one of my keys to the game, so you Gator Country subscribers would’ve been expecting the average starting position disparity too.

Finishing Drives

A trip inside the 40 is a drive where the team has a first down at the opponent’s 40 or closer or where it scores from further out than that. A red zone trip is a drive with a first down at the opponent’s 20 or closer.

Team Drives Trips Inside 40 Points Red Zone Trips Points
Florida 14 9 41 6 20
FSU 14 3 14 2 14


The points per trip inside the 40 was nearly the same, with only 0.11 points separating them. The Gators just generated three times as many scoring opportunities as the Seminoles did. In past UF losses this year, this was common: a similar points per scoring opportunity rate with a big disparity in number of scoring opportunities. This time, it worked in reverse in Florida’s favor.


The Gators got back to being on top here. The FSU offense melted down a bit in the second half, committing three turnovers after the break. Florida took care of the ball, not even fumbling much less turning it over.


I enjoy running the advanced stats as much (or more) than most folks, and they confirm a lot of what you saw in the game. The Gators were more efficient and slightly more explosive. They dominated field position and turnovers and got way more scoring opportunities than the Seminoles did.

The eye test is just as important in this game, though. Florida had its issues here and there, but for the most part, they looked like they knew exactly what they were doing. The team played cohesively and executed the plan to win well.

FSU meanwhile looked incredibly out of sorts. The offensive line was as bad as advertised, but the secondary had a number of breakdowns too. Franks and his receivers played well, don’t get me wrong, but there were some blown coverages. The Seminoles also committed a ton of bad penalties: not the flags of aggression that good teams can rack up but the procedural and poor execution kind. Then, late in the game, they couldn’t reliably get a full set of 11 players on the field.

Bad starts have been common for Willie Taggart teams. His first Western Kentucky team went 2-10 before making a bowl in his third year. His first USF team also went 2-10 before getting to a bowl in his third and winning ten games in his fourth.

But goodness gracious, FSU looked bad on Saturday. This wasn’t a September face plant. In the last game of the year against a hated in-state rival, the team looked like it hadn’t practiced in a month.

Dan Mullen’s first year had its setbacks, but the Gator team was unquestionably better in this game than it was two months ago. That’s far more than can be said at the school out west.

David Wunderlich
David Wunderlich is a born-and-raised Gator and a proud Florida alum. He has been writing about Florida and SEC football since 2006. He currently lives in Naples Italy, at least until the Navy stations his wife elsewhere. You can follow him on Twitter @Year2