The conference title is on the line: Boise State hosting Fresno State (insert Boise and Fresno not being states joke here). A lot of things can influence the outcome of a game injuries, weather, altitude etc, but here at Stats Corner, we are interested in the stats of the game. Therefore, this week we are going to compare the advanced stats of the Broncos and Bulldogs to see which team is more likely to win on Saturday.
Backed Up (bcftoys.com)
Boise State starts their drives on average 68.4 yards from the end zone. Fresno State begins 71.8 yards, giving the edge to Boise State. Four yards may not seem like much but as is shown time and again four yards can make a difference. During the 2021 season, there were 257 drives that started on the 32-yard line, those drive averaged 2.62 points per drive, where are the 292 drives which started on the 28-yard line averaged 2.21 points per drive. Also, the fumble rate is higher (1.2% to 2.1%) and field goal rate lower (9.7% to 7.2%) for drives starting just 4 yards back. Fresno State does start less drives backed up or inside their 20 yard line, meaning they do while they do not get backed up as much as Boise State, when they do get backed up, they are really backed up.
NFP Boise State
OFP Fresno State
OLF Fresno State
DFP Boise State
DLF Boise State
Backed-up Advanced Stats Fresno State 2-Boise State 3
Third Downs (teamrankings.com)
Fresno State is 36th is the country with 5.9 3rd downs converted per game compared to 5.3 and 78th ranking for Boise State. The Bulldogs convert 3rd downs 46.4% of the time, 16th in the country, while the Broncos are 48th at 40.0%. This allows the Bulldogs to put together longer drives, leading to more scoring opportunities. On the defense side, Boise is 17th in the country only allowing 4.4 3rd conversions per game while Fresno is 60th at 5.5. Boise is 13th in the country with a defensive conversion rate of 30.7%, while Fresno is 59th at 38.5%. The Bronco defense is much better at stopping teams and drives when needed.
Offensive 3rd down converted Fresno State
Offensive 3rd conversion rate Fresno State
Defensive 3rd down converted Boise State
Defensive 3rd conversion rate Boise State
3rd Down Advanced Stats Fresno State 2-Boise State 2
Red Zone (teamrankings.com)
The Bulldogs get into the redzone 4.6 times a game (20th) and score at a 80.4% rate (90th). The Broncos are close behind at 4.1 redzone attempts (34th) and 84.4% scoring rate (54th). The Bulldogs may have more opportunity to score, but the Broncos are more effective. Defensively, Boise State is the 5th best in the country at 2.1 attempts per game while Fresno State is 61st at 3.6 attempts per game. The percentage is close as Fresno State is 82.5% and Boise is 82.6%, 52nd and 53rd respectively.
Redzone Offensive attempts Fresno State
Redzone Offense Percentage Scoring Boise State
Redzone Defensive attempts Boise State
Redzone Defense Percentage Scoring Tie
Red Zone Advanced Stats Fresno State 1-Boise State 2
Total Advance Stats Fresno State 5-Boise State 7, One tie
By a slim margin Boise State beats Fresno State in the advanced stats margin, indication that the Broncos have a slight advantage on Saturday. Statistics are not the answer, but help people understand what is going on. The biggest advantage for the Broncos will be starting position and redzone defense. If the offense can start their drives a little closer and the defense prevents the opportunities the Broncos will win, if Fresno can keep converting 3rd downs and extending drives into the redzone, they can take the title. It seems so simple on paper, let us see what actually happens next week on Stats Corner.