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6 numbers that explain how Maryland got bulldozed by Temple

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do any math. Promise.

NCAA Football: Temple at Maryland Art Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to a new weekly thing we’re doing here at Testudo Times: the advanced stats review! Each week, we’ll sift through the numbers from Bill Connelly’s Five Factors Box Scores to gain a little more insight into what happened over the weekend.

Maryland’s defeat at the hands of Temple was ugly, and I understand anyone who wants to opt out of going through the minutia of it. But let’s consider this a practice run for something new we’re trying. Hope you’ll follow along!

Here’s the full advanced stats box score, which measures how each team performed in each of the five factors that make up S&P+, Bill Connelly’s advanced stats algorithm over at SB Nation.

Maryland-Temple Advanced Stats Box Score

game_date offense points postgame_win_prob drives plays yards yards_per_play success_rate scoring_opps points_per_opp average_fp yds_per_play_margin yardage_margin success_rate_margin pts_per_opp_margin fp_margin turnover_margin exp_turnover_margin turnovers_luck
game_date offense points postgame_win_prob drives plays yards yards_per_play success_rate scoring_opps points_per_opp average_fp yds_per_play_margin yardage_margin success_rate_margin pts_per_opp_margin fp_margin turnover_margin exp_turnover_margin turnovers_luck
9/15/18 Temple 35 99.90% 13 80 429 5.36 45.10% 6 4.7 28.5 1.61 234 27.90% 4.67 3.8 1 0.76 0.24
9/15/18 Maryland 14 0.10% 13 52 195 3.75 17.10% 3 0 24.6 -1.61 -234 -27.90% -4.67 -3.8 -1 -0.76 -0.24
via SB Nation’s Bill Connelly

1. Advanced stats confirm the obvious. This was a shellacking.

The postgame win expectancy number looks at the key stats from the game and projects the likelihood that a team with those stats would have won the game. It’s a good measure for explaining how a team can play well and still lose.

You knew this if you watched the game, but Maryland did not play well. A 0.1 percent win expectancy seems accurate. I won’t belabor that point.

2. Maryland couldn’t get on schedule on offense.

The measure of efficiency we’ll use here is success rate:

The goal of success rate is to create an on-base percentage-style efficiency measure. Depending on a given down and distance, each play is deemed successful or non-successful:

First downs: gaining at least 50 percent of necessary yardage (usually 5 yards) is successful.

Second downs: gaining at least 70 percent of necessary yardage is successful.

Third or fourth downs: gaining at least 100 percent of necessary yardage is successful.

This is intentionally simple, but it can do powerful things over time, especially when adjusted for opponent.

Maryland’s was 17.1 percent, while Temple’s was 45.1. That Temple number is middle-of-the-road for Week 3, while Maryland’s was third-worst in all of FBS games this weekend. Alabama A&M (an FCS team playing Cincinnati) and Florida State (which has a completely inept offense right now) were the only teams to sport worse numbers.

This, again, confirms something we knew from watching. Maryland couldn’t stay on pace on offense, getting backed up easily on first down and putting itself in untenable situations. It was a disaster that tanked the whole game:

Here was the yardage Maryland would have had to gain to complete all of its third downs on Saturday:












That’s heinous.

Maryland’s lack of success on offense put a huge strain on the defense, which had to spend way too much time on the field. The Terps’ offense was only on the field for 52 plays, while Temple’s ran 80. That’s on the offense, not the defense.

3. Big plays were basically absent, too.

Yards per play is one measure of explosiveness. Maryland only averaged 3.8, easily worse than the 5.1 and 8.4 it had in Weeks 1 and 2. Temple’s 5.4 was the same as Texas had against the Terps in Week 1, and also a hair more than it had against Villanova and Buffalo.

The list of Maryland plays that exceeded 19 yards against Temple is a short one:

A 27-yard pass from Kasim Hill to DJ Turner

A 34-yard Anthony McFarland run

Other than that, it was slim pickings for Maryland’s offense. The Terps have usually be able to provide some level of explosiveness even when they generally weren’t able to be efficient. Failing in both areas is what produces the kind of stinker we saw on Saturday.

4. Maryland only had a couple scoring opportunities to convert, and couldn’t. The D couldn’t stop Temple when the Owls did get in range.

Points per scoring opportunity seem down throughout the nation in Week 3, but Temple’s measure of 4.7 in that area was second in the country for the weekend. Maryland’s offense had three scoring opportunities and didn’t get points out of any, which is...


Very bad, on both counts.

This is secondary to not producing efficient or explosive plays, because without those plays, you aren’t getting into position to create scoring opportunities. It’s something to watch, though.

5. Temple held a slight field position advantage, though that likely didn’t matter too much.

The average Temple drive started at the 28.5-yard line, while the average Maryland drive began about four yards further back, at the 24.6. This is an area we’d be able to expand upon more in later editions of the advanced stats review, but it’s not worth diving into more here.

6. Turnovers favored Temple, as did the rest of the stats, but this wasn’t a huge difference either.

The actual turnover margin favored Temple by one. The Terps turned the ball over twice on interceptions by Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome, and the Owls’ lone giveaway was when QB Anthony Russo threw a pick-six to Darnell Savage.

Expected turnover margin is an attempt to measure:

What a team’s turnover margin would have been if they had recovered exactly 50 percent of all the fumbles that occurred in their games, and if the INTs-to-PDs for both teams was equal to the national average, which is generally around 21-22 percent

Turnover luck is an attempt to measure how much each team strayed from those marks of 50 percent of fumbles and 21-22 INTs-to-passes defensed. The expected turnover margin (method and definition explained in more depth here) was only 0.76, which means turnovers luck favored Temple by 0.24. Not a huge difference.

Hope this was useful! If something doesn’t make sense, let us know below.