Five Factor Tracker Week 1 Review: Tennessee vs. Virginia
[There are five factors that highly correlate to winning in college football: finishing drives, efficiency, explosiveness, field position, and turnovers. The 5 Factor Tracker attempts to record Tennessee's relative success or failure in these categories each week.]
Tennessee Offense vs. 2023 Opponents' Defense
It's likely too early to gain any real significant insight regarding Tennessee's future opponents using the 5 Factor Tracker. Only one game in and many of them were against opponents that were completely overmatched, so there could be massive fluctuation ahead in any of these categories. Still, here's what we can see after week one of the season:
Probably dangerous to try and draw conclusions, but I'll give it a go anyway:
- We're all salivating after seeing Florida stink up the Wasatch Valley. But they did a good job of limiting Utah's scoring opportunities and holding them to a low success rate. We've seen good Tennessee teams go to the Swamp and lay an egg... proceed with caution.
- I don't think I've heard near enough talk about Texas A&M coming to Knoxville in October. Again, it's early, but the Aggies are the only team that finished week one without even a hint of red in any category on the tracker (this holds true when you scroll down and see their offense too). This will be a huge game and enormous test for the Vols and it seems to be flying almost completely under the radar.
- There's some data that's not correct. For example, S. Carolina did not let UNC start every drive at the 30 (it only felt that way). It all comes from collegefootballdata.com and their system parsing play-by-play sheets from different games. I've already seen some data cleaned up there over the weekend so I assume they iron it out over the course of the season.
Tennessee Offense vs. Virginia Defense
Because there's only one game's worth of data, the sides mirror each other. It won't look like this every week.
Everything looks fantastic--except explosiveness. What gives? Remember, explosiveness is a measure of predicted points added on successful plays. Getting 5 yards on 1st down checks the success box, but might not add a ton of PPA--getting 8-10 yards on 1st down will do both. Despite UT's explosiveness number being amongst the lowest in the country in week one, I'm not worrying about this number yet. Keep in mind though, winning the explosiveness battle is the factor most highly correlated with winning. We don't want to see this number stay in the bottom 1/3 of teams throughout the season.
Tennessee Defense vs. 2023 Opponents' Offense
- A&M 👀
- Ok yeah Florida looks bad. Still though...
- I think I've actually heard Vol fans talk more about UTSA this offseason than A&M. Do we feel a little better now? Yes, they are a good G5 team, but in the words of Hulk Hogan, don't work yourself into a shoot, brother.
- Vandy offense legit? We'll keep an eye on it. Remember, they've played two games now, so those 14 scoring opportunities are really 7 per game.
Tennessee Defense vs. Virginia Offense
Most of us thought Tennessee's defense would look improved in 2023, but I'm not sure any of us were ready for just how good they looked against UVa. And yes, the Cavs' offense is really bad. But UT played fast and looked athletic as heck on Saturday and I for one feel excited about this season's defense, as opposed to the existential dread I felt about last season's D. That havoc number, which would be great even at 25%, is actually low, too; it should be 31% (20 havoc plays on 64 total snaps). I'll keep tracking that manually while waiting to see if CFBD's numbers catch up.
The only really concerning number there to me is starting field position. Giving opponents the ball on their 34 every time will get you killed in this league. UT punter Jackson Ross averaged just 35.8 yards per kick Saturday, that number will have to improve.
Finally, I know this week's opponent, Austin Peay, isn't on the season tracker. CFBD.com doesn't include FCS data. I have complied the numbers manually for this week's preview, which will be up on Wednesday or Thursday.