BleedTechBlue - Stat Attack | SMU
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Stat Attack | SMU

This upcoming Saturday afternoon, we won’t be surprised to see the offense that SMU head coach Sonny Dykes puts on the field. After all, it’s the same philosophy that Dykes has utilized throughout his career, including his stint in Ruston from 2010-2012. It’s an up-tempo, pass-heavy attack that can often score a lot of points.

SMU won’t abandon the run completely like Mike Leach’s Mississippi State does, but the key to the Mustang offense is the passing game. And the best way to compare passing offenses is a stat called Pass Efficiency.

The formula for this stat is pretty simple, and ends up working a lot like passer rating for a quarterback:

8.4 x (Yards per Pass Attempt) + 3.3 x (Touchdowns per Pass Attempt) + (Completions per Attempt) - 2 x (Interceptions per Attempt)

And based on this formula, SMU has the 8th best passing offense in college football and the best that Tech will see all season:

Yards per attempt are the heaviest weighted part of the formula, and looking at last week’s SMU game against North Texas shows why the Mustangs are so highly ranked in pass efficiency.

Against the Mean Green, SMU completed seven passes of 18 yards or more, including two touchdowns of over 50 yards! If Southeastern’s offense was all about the short passing game and taking what the defense gives them, SMU is the complete opposite. The Mustangs want to move the ball downfield as quickly as possible and get the ball into the endzone.

But it’s not just SMU’s offense that’s pass efficient, it’s also their defense:

But while the offense ranks highly in pass efficiency due to their 9.3 yards per pass attempt, giving up yards through the air is actually something the SMU defense struggles with. For comparison, Charlotte ranks #24 in defensive pass efficiency and has given up 278 pass yards in their two games. Meanwhile, SMU has given up 597 passing yards total across Abilene Christian and North Texas.

But it’s the other categories of the pass efficiency formula that SMU has excelled in, especially the interceptions taken away and the touchdowns allowed. SMU has only allowed one passing touchdown in each of their first two games while intercepting five:

The Sonny Dykes / SMU offense is a known quantity at this point. But the pass defense that the Mustangs have shown so far this year may mean we need the kind of rushing attack from Tech that the Bulldogs put on display against Southeastern.


Nathan is also a contributor to, a lighthearted Louisiana Tech blog. Be sure to check out @gotechplsdntdie on Twitter.