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Is Passing or Running More Potent for FSU?

The Seminoles have been on one heck of a roll lately. They have been winning by wide margins all season. I’m sure a lot of people are wondering what is Jimbo Fisher’s secret? Is it the recruiting, the defense? What is he doing? Does he dance naked in Indian chief regalia every night chanting to the football gods?

So in this spirit of curiosity, we tried to look into Fisher’s impressive high output offense. We ran two simple correlations between passing yards and points scored and rushing yards and points scored. And we found something interesting.

We found a positive correlation of .58 between rushing yards and points scored, meaning the more rushing yards the Seminoles have in a game, the more points they score. However, we found a negative correlation of -.22 between passing yards and points scored. Technically this means the more passing yards, the fewer the points scored.

Rushing Correlation to Points = .58
Passing Correlation to Points = (-.22)

But common sense tells us this is not the case, though. There is no way a better passing offense hurts a team.

There are several explanations for this. Maybe the more the team passes the ball, the more turnovers they have? Maybe they have a harder time in the red zone when passing? Maybe rushing is Fisher’s secret? When looking at the data, the Seminoles’ passing yards numbers are still respectable even when they have a day of break out rushing. So, it would seem that the rushing offense is supplementary to the passing offense.

Either way, Jimbo Fisher needs to continue what he’s doing. He has turned a so-so team into a powerhouse and the reigning chieftains of the ACC. We will see if he can take his team all the way! Enjoy the chart below.

Post Contributed by @mrdanieldean

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