Winston thrives against top opponents

Below are some storylines from Week 10 of the college football season using ESPN’s new set of analytical storytelling metrics for college football.

For more background on these metrics, read Dean Oliver’s primer on all of them and his explanation of college Total QBR. For complete college Total QBR information, go here.

Winston plays his best against top competition

Jameis Winston posted a 90.7 Total QBR in Florida State’s 41-14 win against No. 7 Miami. Winston was 6-of-8 on third down and had seven completions of 20 yards or longer.

In his two games against top-10 opponents, Winston has converted 86 percent of his third-down plays and has 14 completions that have gained at least 20 yards.

Wolverines’ offense slowed

Michigan ran for -48 yards on 29 attempts in its 29-6 loss to Michigan State on Saturday. The Wolverines’ offense contributed -22.8 expected points toward its scoring margin, its lowest offensive EPA in the past six seasons. Entering the game, Michigan State’s defense ranked in the top three in the FBS in points per game, yards per game and defensive expected points added.

Michigan Offense, This Season

Michigan QB Devin Gardner had a career-low 8.5 Total QBR. He entered the game with a 79.2 Total QBR in his career as a starter, including a 84.8 Total QBR in conference games.

Gardner was sacked seven times for -49 yards, and he converted just two first downs in 13 third-down chances.

Gardner’s 8.5 Total QBR is the lowest by a qualified Michigan starter since Chad Henne posted a 7.3 Total QBR against Ohio State on November 17, 2007.

Notable quarterbacks

Jordan Lynch had a career-high 98.5 Total QBR in Northern Illinois’ 63-19 win at Massachusetts. Lynch had 279 yards of total offense and was responsible for five touchdowns in the win.

In five conference games, Lynch is averaging 342.6 yards per game and has been responsible for 18 touchdowns. During that time he has added 39.4 expected points, the most of any quarterback in the FBS.

Braxton Miller (95.0) and Kenny Guiton (97.8) each posted a Total QBR of at least 95 in Ohio State’s 56-0 win against Purdue.

They are the second set of teammates to each post a Total QBR of 95 or more in a game this season (min 20 action plays). It also occurred when Oklahoma State’s J.W. Walsh (98.1) and Clint Chelf (96.4) did so against UTSA on September 7.