Inside the Numbers: Final Scores Can Be Deceiving


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Inside the Numbers: Final Scores Can Be Deceiving

Jevan Snead and Ole Miss beat Memphis by 17 but they could be in for a long day this week against Wake Forest.

When Matty and I went to the handicapping seminar a couple of weeks ago, one thing I found interesting is LVSC President Ken White said that a line isn't based solely on the final score from the prior week. What he does is go into all the box scores and see how that final score came to be and then he makes a line. So, I figured if the guy who makes the number is going to do that, it's probably not a bad idea to do it myself. And as I was going through all the box scores, I found a great example of how a final score can be deceiving if it's taken at face value.

On the surface, Ole Miss ripped Memphis apart by the score of 41-24. So when Ole Miss opened as an 8-point dog against Wake Forest, I initially liked the Rebels. But after breaking down the Ole Miss/Memphis game further, I now feel that the Rebels may actually be OVERVALUED in this spot.

First off, Memphis didn't play well on defense in this game. That's a fact. But offensively the Tigers managed to rack up 453 yards of total offense, 15 more yards than Ole Miss. Memphis ran 84 total plays to the Rebels 59, averaged 4.7 yards per carry and threw for 265 yards with a first-time starter at quarterback. Memphis recorded 28 first downs, compared to just 19 for the Rebels.

If you watched ESPN talk about this game you would think Jevan Snead split the atom. In reality, he went just 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) for 185 yards. Let me ask you a question: which team has the better defense? Memphis or Wake Forest? It's clearly the Demon Deacons, who will make life miserable for Snead on Saturday. Plus, this will be Snead's first career road start against a nasty Wake Forest defense.

So the obvious question is: How in the heck did Ole Miss win the game by 17 points? It was a combination of three things: good field position, turnovers and a terrible rush defense. The Rebels started two of their scoring drives in Memphis territory, and set up one touchdown off an interception. Plus, Ole Miss was able to run the ball for 216 yards on the Tigers defense. Now let's take a look at Wake Forest. They don't turn the ball over, they rarely lose the field position battle thanks to a strong special team unit and the Deacons have a formidable rush defense. So, as you can see, Snead is going to have to do a lot more in this game for the Rebels to compete. Is he ready? That's the question.

This is just one example that if you look further into how a final score came to be, the better prepared you will be going into the next week. I've already seen a bunch of people on the Internet say they love Ole Miss. Great. Bet that sucker down to -7 so I can jump all over Wake Forest, who I think will win for fun on Saturday.

  • did you watch the game film?

    box scores can tell you some things but not the whole story & Snead will do was obvious first game jitters  he went 0-3 on opening drive & had he not been a couple inches off target  he would've racked up more than 350+  

    his timing will come... hopefully sooner than later

    notes*  Memphis is not that great of a team

    but they receivers are far more talented than Wake's...

    Riley Skinner is a good accurate quarterback but in numerous games its obvious he looks down his primary target which if you know football it is a qb term called "tunnel vision"

    Peria Jerry will play a few snaps..

    Weather may be wet..  run game advantage ole miss

    Ole Miss dominated in the run game and had huge plays thus less plays

    we left 21 points hanging out on that field

    Memphis scored a meaningless TD against our 2nd string with 3:00 to go

  • no where in you statement do you offer up the fact that MEMPHIS SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!! cause they do. I am not a Houston fans, nor am I a OLE MISS homer. BUT.....NUTT has LOADS of taletn in Oxford and he really knows how to FIRE UP his kids. The team BELIEVES in him, unlike coach O.

    As far as the difference in number of plays OLE MISS HAD BIG is hard to have 10-14 play drives when you score in 3!!!

    And it is easy to outgain your opponent when you HAVE to throw the ball the ENTIRE 2nd the MORAL of the story is NOT to DISCOUNT the REBS this year.and FADE the tigers all year..........GL

  • Steeltown, I'm not sure if I'm playing the game yet but I'm leaning toward SC. Too much defense for Vandy to move the ball on consistently. The Gamecocks defense is going to be nasty this year. Amazingly, it's Spurrier's offense  that's holding him back. lol

  • Appreciate the input Chad.  Smelley has been given the start and the line rose from 9.5 to 10.5.... It wasn't so much Smelley that was way better than Beecher, but the O-line improved in front of Smelley

  • Steeltown, I'm waiting on that game until i see which SC quarterback is starting.  If it's Beecher, I'm jumping all over Vandy and the under (anything under 46).  If it's Chris Smelley, I'll likely pass unless this SC line keeps climbing.  it's currently at -11.  Just my two cents.

  • It was typical Houston Nutt football.  60% running plays to 40% passing play.  IMO, you can grab -8.5 now because Wake wins this game by at least 2 tds.

  • Tommy what are your thoughts on this Thursday's SC/Vandy game? I initially thought that SC should not be double-digit favs... but looking into the game more makes me think they will be able to contain Nickson and their running game will be able to exploit Vandy's defense.

  • One other thing I forgot to mention is Ole Miss will still be without their two best defensive linemen in this game, Peria Jerry and Greg Hardy