What is this “EPA” you speak of?

Allow Josh to explain.

EPA is one of the stats which we will reference a lot on this site as we break down not only the X and O’s of the game, but add to the context with some advanced stats.  It stands for “Expected Points Added” and all you need to realize is that is give a number to each and every play’s result based on:

  • Down
  • Distance
  • Field Position

An offense wants a high number for a play and opposite is true for the defense. A play has an “expected value” based on the conditions of the play.  A 3rd and 11 from your own 19 isn’t expected to add as much “value”  as 2nd and 3 inside the opponent’s red zone.  An offense that can convert a 3rd and 11 on a consistent basis will have a higher average EPA and will likely be one of the more explosive offenses.   Ohio State ranked #2 in Offensive EPA in 2021 and 1st in Points Per Game (46.3).  That is the picture of efficiency.  Georgia had a EPA average of .302 which was good for 17th in all of FBS (10th in Power 5) and 11th (38.7) in Points per game.  That points to efficiency, high valued plays tend to put points on the board.   Teams which you wouldn’t expect to see, but had both high average EPA and PPG.

  • UCLA 6th in EPA/33.4 PPG
  • Oregon State 8th EPA/ 34 PPG
  • Virginia 9th EPA/35.3 PPG

These teams were statistically efficient and put up a lot of points, but not elite in actual points.  Alabama was 19th in EPA but 3rd in PPG… that tells us that they depended on bigger plays, and made a lot of them.  A Heisman Trophy winner and two NFL 1st Rounders will do that.  But, it isn’t ideal.  The 2021 Alabama (.299 EPA)  offense wasn’t near as efficient in terms of EPA  as the 2020 (.450 EPA) truly elite offense.

And here’s an illustration of Georgia’s eight biggest non-scoring EPA plays last season:

They’re all good plays, no doubt, but they’re also a reminder that we’re gonna miss James Cook a little this season.  But I digress…

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

10 responses to “What is this “EPA” you speak of?

  1. Spell Dawg

    I love Cook these last two seasons; he could spark a stale offense or plunge the dagger to seal a game. That said, McIntosh is as good, might end up better, at sparking with his skill set. He may not have the top-end of Cook, but he’s a sure play-maker all over the field.

    Liked by 4 people

    • gastr1

      It was so nice to see Cook have the season he deserved last year. What a difference an OC makes.

      Liked by 6 people

    • D.N. Nation

      Kenny Mac’s gonna be a beast. It was almost unfair to unleash that guy at tired Ds in second halves after Cook and Zeus had gotten theirs.

      Like

  2. Not ANOTHER damned statistic! This one named after a federal gubmint agency, no less.

    Like

  3. gastr1

    I’m still amazed by how many times in the last two seasons they ran Cook out to the sideline for single coverage and a huge gain or TD. Just out of curiosity, was there any time that said play didn’t work? I’m partly amazed because after the 2021 Alabama game, DCs had to have known it was coming. Wouldn’t you call a timeout at least? Or did they think THEIR guy was good enough to stay with Cook mano-á-mano?

    Sorry if this is a threadjack, but my curiosity about opposing teams’ mindset on this has lingered.

    Liked by 2 people

    • D.N. Nation

      I chuckle at the Michigan Man read of their Orange Bowl debacle that their gameplan was superb, they just didn’t execute. Dude, if you’re letting Cook have one-on-one to the side, your gameplan sucks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 69Dawg

    All these stats just make my old head hurt. What’s football got to do with the Environmental Protection Agency anyway.

    Liked by 2 people