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AccuScore Simulation: Insight Bowl

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AccuScore has run more than 10,000 simulations for every bowl game for Yahoo! Sports, calculating how each team's performance changes in response to game conditions, opponent's abilities, roster moves, weather and more. Each game is simulated one play at a time and the game is replayed a minimum of 10,000 times to generate forecasted winning percentages, player statistics and a variety of game-changing scenarios. Here's AccuScore.com's analysis of the Insight Bowl.

Baseline: Oklahoma State 64%, Indiana 36%; Score: Oklahoma State 38, Indiana 31

The Insight Bowl has had a history of high-scoring affairs, and this match-up should continue that trend. The two teams are projected to combine for nearly 70 points, with Oklahoma State winning 64% of simulations by a touchdown on average.

Quarterback Zac Robinson has flourished since being named the starter in the third game of the year, and is projected for 230 yards, two touchdown passes and 65 yards on the ground. He will be helped out by running backs Dantrell Savage and Kendall Hunter who should have great success rushing the ball and are projected to combine for over 170 yards on nearly six yards per carry. Additionally, the return of receiver Adarius Bowman from injury will provide a big boost to the Oklahoma State offense.

Indiana will rely heavily on quarterback Kellen Lewis to produce big numbers. A threat in the air and on the ground, Lewis is forecasted to throw for 220 yards with two touchdowns passes, while leading the team in rushing with 60 yards. When Lewis drops back, his primary target will be James Hardy, who is projected to have over five catches and a touchdown.

CAN JAMES HARDY DOMINATE OKLAHOMA STATE?

Indiana wide receiver James Hardy is projected to be a first round NFL draft pick and it is easy to see why. Only a junior, the 6’7’’ Hardy has 36 career touchdowns and is averaging better than 14 yards per catch.

Against Oklahoma State, he is projected to have 82 yards receiving and has an 85% chance of catching at least one touchdown. As impressive as these stats are, Hardy is capable of much more. He has averaged eight receptions and nearly 100 yards per game with eight touchdowns over his last six contests. This includes a terrible four reception 17-yard game against Wisconsin (it was also the only time Hardy was held out of the end zone). Without that clunker his numbers jump to nine catches for 115 yards per game over that period.

Our baseline simulations show Indiana is passing the ball roughly 47% of the time. AccuScore "reprogrammed" the Hoosier offense to pass the football 60% of the time, with the additional pass attempts being directed to Hardy.

James Hardy Ind. Rec. Yd. TD
Baseline 36% 5.6 82 0.9
Pass attack with Hardy 42% 8.1 113 1.3
Copyright AccuScore.com

The data showed this would reduce quarterback Kellen Lewis’s completion percentage and resulted in fewer yards per catch for Hardy. However, the data also showed this would have a significant impact on Indiana improving their chances of winning.

While Oklahoma State would still be favored, Indiana’s win probability increased six percentage points to 42%. Hardy’s numbers would increase markedly to eight catches for 113 yards and 1.3 scores.

ADARIUS BOWMAN IMPACT

Wide receiver Adarius Bowman missed the final two games of the regular season and was thought to be done for the year. His recovery time has been sped up and he has been practicing at full speed.

In our baseline simulations, Bowman is averaging 5.6 receptions for 78 yards and 0.6 receiving touchdowns. It’s a good thing for Oklahoma State that Bowman is ready to go.

Adarius Bowman Impact Ok.St.
With Bowman 64%
Without Bowman 53%
Copyright AccuScore.com

Without him the Cowboys win just 53% of simulations -- a full 11 percentage point drop. His presence increases the effectiveness of Robinson at quarterback, and diverts attention away from the running game giving Savage, Hunter, and Robinson more room to run.

For more information, visit www.accuscore.com.

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