Data Calculation and Interpretation - HornsCorner

Data Calculation and Interpretation

Thanks to our friends at, we are able to gather a numeric definition of what “successful” means in college football.  Essentially, to be successful, an offense needs to gain:

50% of its necessary yardage on 1st down
70% on 2nd down
100 percent on 3rd and 4th downs.

In addition to the Offense and Defense success rates, explosive plays, which are any plays that gain 15 yards or more, will calculated to showcase the lethality and instant-strike ability an offense has.

One thing that we will do differently on our site is incorporate defense success rates, as well as explosive plays ALLOWED by the defense.  For starters, tends to be slightly more aggressive in the defensive success rate calculations since the key to a successful defense is putting the offense in a situation that does not allow the offense to stay on track for a first down within a maximum of 4 plays.  For a defense to be successful, it needs to allow:

30% or less of the necessary yardage on 1st down
30% or less on 2nd down
99.9% or less on 3rd and 4th downs.

For reference in calculations, the NCAAF average Offense Success Rate is 40%.  For defense calculations, the average Success Rate is 45%.  These numbers are important due to the trend that the team that wins the “Success Rate” battle come out victorious 83% of the time.

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