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Stat Watch: Syracuse

The advanced stats help us take a look at the Orange

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I said that LSU should beat Mississippi State based on the stats, but they would need to slow down the Bulldogs tremendous running game. Well, not only did they not slow it down, they got gashed by it over and over and over and over and you get the point. It highlighted some of the flaws in these stats and this exercise. We’re still sort of primarily relying on last year’s stats, and teams change. And ultimately, no matter the stats, they play the games on the field and that’s where coaching and injuries and in LSU’s case, ejection - two of them! - come into play. But it’s still usually a very accurate exercise, and so we’ll see how it holds up this week by looking at Syracuse.

Last Season: A note on these stats: The offensive and defensive S&P+ marks are calculated as adjusted scoring averages and for the situational ratings, above 100 is good and below 100 is bad. Links to an explanation on the various stats here:

S&P+ (Percentile): 39.8% (76th in FBS)

Offensive S&P+: 31.6 (54th in FBS)

Offensive Run S&P+: 82.6 (121st in FBS)

Offensive Pass S&P+: 105.4 (55th in FBS)

Defensive S&P+: 32.6 (90th in FBS)

Defensive Run S&P+: 87.8 (113th in FBS)

Defensive Pass S&P+: 87.2 (114th in FBS)

FEI: -0.87 (92nd in FBS)

F/+: -13.1% (80th in FBS)

Preseason S&P+ Ranking: 2.5 (60th in FBS)

This Season:

S&P+ (Percentile): 62.9% (50th in FBS)

Offensive S&P+: 31.0 (56th in FBS)

Defensive S&P+: 26.8 (51st in FBS)

F/+: -0.2% (67th in FBS)

The stats for this year are still incorporating stats from last year and so far do not present us a full picture or a lot of specifics. What we can gauge though, is that Syracuse was terrible last year. A complete dumpster fire. This year, it’s a little better. They were projected to be a much improved, if still middling team, and that’s how they’ve performed so far. The offense is still fine, but not great, and the defense has gone from terrible to....okay. Even better than the offense. But this is not a team that should pose many threats to LSU. After last week, this is a get-well game in some respects. But after last week, there will probably be a lot of nervous energy in the crowd and the Tigers won’t want to get off to a slow start. They should win, and win decisively.