The Best Way to Score?

Balance: It’s important in life and football…or so we’re told.

But if we look at the top ten and bottom ten scoring offenses in college football today, does that argument hold up?

First, let’s give you an overview.

Of the ten teams who have scored the most this season, 8 have run the ball more than they’ve passed it, 1 team has more pass attempts, and 1 has an almost perfect 50/50 mix.

Of the bottom ten teams, 6 have more rushing attempts than passing attempts, while 4 pass the ball more.

So it would seem that a quality passing game is not always the surest way to reach the end zone, unless maybe your quarterback is Geno Smith. However, you must also consider that high-scoring teams are much more likely to want to run out the clock in the second half in order to protect a lead.

So let’s dive deeper into those numbers.

TOP TEN:
Oklahoma State-Runs on 52% of their downs, passes on 48%
Baylor-Runs on 50% of their downs, passes on 50%
Louisiana Tech-Runs on 55% of their downs, passes on 45%
Oregon-Runs on 62% of their downs, passes on 38%
West Virgina-Runs on 43% of their downs, passes on 57%
Texas-Runs on 59% of their downs, passes on 41%
Florida State-Runs on 63% of their downs, passes on 37%
Texas A&M-Runs on 52% of their downs, passes on 48%
North Carolina-Runs on 53% of their downs, passes on 47%
Nebraska-Runs on 65% of their downs, passes on 35%

BOTTOM TEN:
North Texas-Runs on 59% of their downs, passes on 41%
Navy-Runs on 76% of their downs, passes on 24%
UTEP-Runs on 49% of their downs, passes on 51%
Southern Miss-Runs on 65% of their downs, passes on 35%
Colorado State-Runs on 49% of their downs, passes on 51%
Idaho-Runs on 42% of their downs, passes on 58%
Auburn-Runs on 59% of their downs, passes on 41%
Eastern Michigan-Runs on 54% of their downs, passes on 46%
Florida Atlantic-Runs on 57% of their downs, passes on 43%
Tulane-Runs on 37% of their downs, passes on 63%

Interestingly, if you average it out, both the top and bottom ten run an average of 55% of the time and pass 45%.

The best conclusion we can reach? Balance is somewhat important, a capable running game is really important; but each team in college football is good or bad in their own unique way.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Ohio State Buckeyes have a run/pass balance of 65/35.

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