True college football fans like to examine and dissect statistics, whether it's a quarterback's completion percentage or a team's winning record on the road. We, however, love stats. With that in mind, we examined the ACC Championship between Duke and Florida State to put together some of the strangest, most amazing, and just plain cool numbers about the conference title game.
Stats to Know for the 2013 ACC Championship
4: Duke and Florida State have four common opponents this season
On the road to the ACC championship, Duke and Florida State have faced four common opponents in 2013. Pittsburgh, NC State, Miami and Wake Forest were all on both teams’ schedules. The Seminoles went 4-0, outscoring the four 47.5-11.8 for a 35.7 PPG margin. The Blue Devils went 3-1, losing to Pitt for their last defeat (Sept. 21), outscoring the four 43-31.5 for an average margin of 11.5.
13.6 Duke’s average winning margin is just under two touchdowns per game at 13.6; FSU’s is above six
Duke and Florida State have reached double-digit wins and the ACC championship game in a much different way. The Blue Devils are outscoring opponents by 13.6 points per game, including the last two by 4.5 PPG. Florida State has only had one game decided by two scores or less (48-34 over Boston College) and is outscoring its opponents by 42.6 PPG.
20.5: The combined spread of the other six FBS conference title games is 20.5; the ACC’s in 29
Duke is clearly the biggest underdog in any of the seven FBS conference championship games this week, sitting as a 29-point underdog to Florida State as of Tuesday morning. Ohio State is a 5.5-point favorite over Michigan State in the Big Ten, Marshall is a 4.5-point favorite against Rice in C-USA, Northern Illinois is a 3-point favorite over Bowling Green in the MAC, Fresno State is a 3-point favorite against Utah State in the Mountain West, Arizona State is a 3-point favorite against Stanford in the Pac-12 and Auburn is a 1.5-point favorite over Missouri in the SEC.
162: Florida State can put this one to bed early if it continues to score like it has in the first quarter — 162 points this season
The Seminoles are 12-0 for a number of reasons, but outscoring opponents nearly 5:1 in the first 15 minutes sure is making it easier. FSU has racked up 162 points to just 35 allowed in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Duke has only been cumulatively outscored in one quarter all season and it’s the first — 82-70. If Duke can get it to the fourth quarter, its chances obviously increase. But limiting opponents to 37 points in the final 15 minutes this season is four points better than the 41 FSU has surrendered.
62: FSU’s 62 red zone scores are 10 more than Duke has red zone attempts
Both Duke and FSU are solid when they get inside the opponent’s 20, but FSU gets there more often and does more when they arrive. The Seminoles have scored on 62-of-64 attempts inside the red zone, including 50 touchdowns. Duke has reached the red zone 52 times, scoring 44, including 36 touchdowns.
3: FSU will be third ranked team Duke has played this season; Seminoles have wins over three ranked teams
No. 20 Duke has faced two ranked teams this season, defeating both in the last five games. The Blue Devils knocked off host and then-ranked No. 14 Virginia Tech 13-10 on Oct. 26 and followed three weeks later with a 48-30 win over then-ranked No. 23 Miami. Top-ranked FSU defeated all three ranked teams it played — 63-0 over then-No. 25 Maryland, 51-14 over then-No. 3 Clemson and 41-14 over then-No. 7 Miami.
6: Duke leads Florida State in six team offensive and defensive categories
The Blue Devils are not in front of the Seminoles in many categories within the ACC, but there is a handful. They lead Saturday’s opponent in total offense plays (861-806), rush attempts (476-431), pass attempts (385-375), first downs rushing (120-119), fourth-down conversion percentage (68.4-66.7) and sacks against (14-28). Duke is in front of Florida State in 19 team categories altogether, adding in special teams and penalties: net yards per punt, average yards per punt, number of punts, yards punted, punt return average, punt return yards, punt return touchdowns, kickoff returns average, kickoff returns, kickoff return yards, kickoff return touchdowns, penalties, opponent penalties average yards per game and kickoff coverage average.
4: The Atlantic and Coastal Divisions have each won four ACC championship games
The Atlantic Division has bookended the first two conference title games and last two with victories, while the Coastal Division won four straight from 2007-10. Three times has the lower or unranked team won the ACC title — Florida State in the inaugural 2005 game, Virginia Tech in 2008 and Clemson in 2011.
0: Duke is 0-18 all time against Florida State
This will be the 19th meeting between Duke and Florida State since 1992. The Blue Devils are 0-18 against the Seminoles, have not scored over 16 points in the last three meetings (2007, 11-12), and the average margin of defeat is 34.6 PPG (50.1-15.5).
10: Duke pits first 10-win season against an accomplishment FSU has reached 21 times since 1977
Duke arrives in Charlotte for the ACC title game off of its first 10-win season in program history, and an eight-game winning streak. FSU has posted 21 seasons of at least 10 wins, the first in 1977, and 14 straight from 1987-2000. The Blue Devils’ best record prior to this season was 9-1 four times — 1933, ’36, ’38 and ’41 — losing the last game three of those four seasons.