Stats From Alabama's First Scrimmage

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama's first scrimmage is now in the rear-view mirror, and our beloved Nicktator is not happy. Let's look at some stats, and what they might mean. Scrimmage stats from http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2013/04/check_out_some_statistics_from.html

"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."

- Vincent Thomas Lombardi

AJ McCarron

15 completions on 28 attempts (53.57%), 291 yards (10.39 yards per attempt), 4 TDs, 1 INT, passer rating 180.87.

Compared with his 2012 averages (from www.cfbstats.com), today AJ:
- attempted 6 more passes.
- completed as many passes.
- completed 13.63% fewer passes.
- passed for 81.5 more yards.
- passed for 1.1 more yards per attempt.
- threw 2 more touchdowns.
- had a passer efficiency rating 5.59 points higher.

By passer rating, this would have been AJ's 7th best game last year, behind Western Carolina (341.2), Tennessee (245.11), Western Kentucky (239.97), the Auburnite (220.69), Notre Dame (197.77), and Arkansas (188.61).

Analysis: with 4 TD passes and 10.39 yards per attempt, this is an outstanding outing. In a perfect world, though, I'd like to see his completion percentage a good bit higher, and I'd always like to see a "0" in the INT column, to which we have greedily grown accustomed under this gun-slinging "game manager."

Blake Sims

13 completions on 19 attempts (68.42%), 129 yards (6.79 yards per attempt), 1 TD, 1 INT, passer rating 132.29.

Comparing these numbers with his own 2012 averages would be silly, since he attempted 10 passes all year. As such, I'm going to compare his performance in the scrimmage with AJ's 2012 season averages, as well. Compared with AJ's 2012 averages, today Blake Sims:
- attempted 3 fewer passes.
- completed 2 fewer passes.
- completed 1.22% more passes.
- passed for 80.5 fewer yards.
- passed for 2.51 fewer yards per attempt.
- threw 1 fewer touchdown.
- had a passer efficiency rating 42.99 points lower.

By passer rating, this would have been AJ's 2nd worst game, ahead of only LSU (115.4), and just behind Georgia (132.9).

Analysis: This looks like a serviceable scrimmage right here. His high completion percentage and low yardage per attempt lead me to believe that these numbers include generally short, safe passes, but it looks like he was hitting them. I don't like the 1:1 TD:INT ratio, but these numbers make me feel a good bit better about our situation at backup about a guy we haven't see do too much other than run the ball. And remember: this guy can run the ball.

T.J. Yeldon

16 carries for 63 yards (3.94 yards per carry), 1 TD

Compared with his 2012 averages, T.J. ran for:
- 3.5 more carries.
- 16.14 fewer yards.
- 2.39 fewer yards per carry.
- as many touchdowns.

Compared with Eddie Lacy's 2012 averages, T.J. ran for:
- 1.43 more carries.
- 31.43 fewer yards.
- 2.54 fewer yards per carry.
- as many touchdowns.

Analysis: Looks like some tough sledding for the running game today. Whether this is due to offensive line woes or outstanding defense remains to be seen, but these numbers are rather pedestrian by the standards of recent Alabama running backs.

Kenyan Drake

11 carries for 85 yards (7.72 yards per carry), 1 TD

It is worth noting that Drake's touchdown run was a 58 yard scamper. Without that one run, he averaged 2.7 yards per carry.

Kenyan only averaged 3.5 carries per game last year. So comparing him with the 2012 averages of his apparent chief returning competitor: T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake ran for:
- 1.5 fewer carries.
- 5.86 more yards.
- 1.39 more yards per carry.
- as many touchdowns.

Analysis: Again, these numbers get very skewed by that 58 yard TD run. The good news is that 58 yard runs count, too, but without having seen the stats, I imagine that his efficiency rating must have been rather low.

Derrick Henry

12 carries for 52 yards (4.33 yards per carry)

Since most would agree that he is realistically competing for the #2 running back spot, I'm going to compare him with T.J.'s 2012 averages, as well. So, Derrick Henry ran for:
- 0.5 fewer carries (which is hard to make up in one game... maybe a run called back on a holding penalty?)
- 27.14 fewer yards.
- 2.00 fewer yards per carry.
- 1 fewer touchdown.

Analysis: Even without having a touchdown, these numbers look respectable in comparison to T.J.'s and Kenyan's. We were obviously hoping for more out of all of our running backs, but sic semper scrimagus - if our running backs had put up impressive numbers, we'd all be concerned about the defense.

Amari Cooper

3 catches for 120 yards (40.00 yards per reception), 1 TD

There is virtually zero value in comparing those numbers to anything, since 40.00 yards per reception is simply ridiculous, and my only real surprise here is that he only had 3 receptions - I would love to know how often he was thrown to.

DeAndrew White

7 catches for 132 yards (18.86 yards per reception), 2 TDs.

Analysis: this right here is outstanding news for DeAndrew, and/or atrocious news for our pass defense. It looks like he's really rebounded from that knee injury incurred in the Ole Miss game, although he was still wearing black. This would have been a career day for DeAndrew by pretty much every measure, as he's never caught more than 4 passes in a game (and even that only against FAU in 2012 and Kent State in 2011), and has never had more than 58 receiving yards in a game (Vandy in 2011).

Defense

Analysis: Tana Patrick came on strong, leading all players with 6 tackles. He had 16 all of last year (6 solo). Deion Belue had a good game with 5 tackles, 1 TFL and 1 PBU. Trey DePriest had impressive numbers, posting 4 tackles, 1 sack and 2 INTs. HaHa also had 4 tackles and 1 INT. C.J. Mosley had 2 tackles and 1 INT, while still wearing black.

Conclusion

Everyone agrees that we can't read too much into spring scrimmage statistics, what with the zero-sum nature of the game and the very controlled artificial environment.

As a unit, T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Derrick Henry ran for 200 yards on 39 carries (5.13 ypc), which looks pretty good. When you take out Kenyan Drake's 58 yard breakthrough, that's a much more down-to-earth 142 yards on 38 carries (3.74 ypc).

The stats provided indicate at least 4 INTs from the defense. AJ had 1 and Sims had 1, meaning the other QBs combined for 1 TD (a 33 yarder from Parker McLeod) and 2 INTs.

The stats provided indicate at least 4 sacks from the defense. Divided two ways, I'm surprised we didn't hear about more.

Overall, given Coach Saban's praise for several skill position players (AJ McCarron, Blake Sims, DeAndrew White), and his consistency concerns on the defensive side of the ball, I'm a little surprised that the running backs weren't more consistently productive. On the other hand, the impressive output from AJ's and Blake's passing games, and the lack of sacks, lead me to be cautiously optimistic about the offensive line.

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