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Tennessee Vols-Bowling Green Falcons statsy game preview

Without any 2015 stats, we looked at the Vols' and the Falcons' respective 2014 resumes to see how they measured up against each other.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In this space at this time each week, we take a look at Tennessee and its opponent for the week and the stats that each of them have compiled so far in the season to see how they stack up against each other. College football is a game of such scarcity, though, that the data is really too sparse to draw any hard and fast conclusions, so we simply use it to inform our guesses. The first few games of the season, the process is borderline ludicrous, and before the first game it's actually impossible.

What we can do, however, is ask the question of what the post would have looked like had these two teams played at the end of last season. What do you see when you put the Vols' 2014 resume up against that of Bowling Green's? So that's what we've done in this post.

One caveat, though, and I'll just copy this from the Iowa statsy preview last year:

Assuming bowl matchups are designed to pit teams of equal strength against each other, it would appear that the 2014 Taxslayer bowl has accomplished its purpose. . . . The relative strength of schedules, though, is where we'll point if and when things go screwy. According to the NCAA's official compilation, the Vols have played the nation's 6th-toughest schedule, and Iowa the 106th. . . . We don't have much to show for playing [a] tougher schedule, but we should be able to conclude that the stats we compiled this season are more battle-tested than the stats Iowa's compiled against its schedule.

The same is true for Bowling Green, who had the 80th-toughest schedule.

So what do we see when we compare the 2014 Vols and the 2014 Falcons? Basically, Kentucky against the run, Oklahoma against the pass, Iowa/Missouri/Arkansas State on offense, and Vandy/Kentucky/Florida on the scoreboard. Adjust for whether and how much you think each team has improved with a new recruiting class and another spring/summer/fall of conditioning and practice.

The complete chart is below, but my best guesses for this game are 190 rushing yards and 260 passing yards for the Vols, 170 rushing yards and 180 passing yards for the Falcons, and a score of 45-13, Vols.

Go Vols.

Tennessee Logo Bowling Green Logo Comps Result against Comps Guess
Closest Lower Closest Higher Closest Lower Closest Higher
Team Team Team Team
Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value Rank Value
Tennessee rushing offense vs. BG rushing defense 89 146.4 99 202.1 Ark. St. Kentucky Ark. St. Kentucky 190
103 205.2 89 191.2 168 214
Tennessee passing offense vs. BG passing defense 70 224.2 122 291.4 NONE Oklahoma NONE Oklahoma 260
117 291.4 201
Tennessee rushing defense vs. BG rushing offense 65 168.4 54 173 Iowa Missouri Iowa Missouri 170
61 163.1 53 177.9 244 180
Tennessee passing defense vs. BG passing offense 22 196.2 40 259.9 Iowa Ark. St. Iowa Ark. St. 180
55 237 39 260.1 177 190
Tennessee scoring offense vs. BG scoring defense 62 28.9 106 33.5 NONE Vanderbilt/KY NONE Vanderbilt/KY 45
104/93 33.3/31.3 24/50
Tennessee scoring defense vs. BG scoring offense 35 24.2 56 30 Kentucky Florida Kentucky Florida 13
60 29.2 53 30.3 16 10