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Charting the Tide, Offensive Review | Georgia Bulldogs

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The Tide offense finds a triggerman and a #1 receiver in an ugly performance against the 'Dawgs

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Bill Connelly invented all of this; check out his college football analytics blog, Football Study Hall.

But first, it’s so good I’m using it again!

Confused?

  • Air Yards — The down-the-field or vertical yardage gained on a pass play as a result of the quarterback’s throw (i.e., prior to the receiver’s involvement), as measured from the line of scrimmage. So for forward passes thrown behind the line of scrimmage, the Air Yardage would be negative. This metric is also tracked on incomplete passes — underthrown balls are measured from where the ball lands, and overthrown balls from where the intended receiver is. Balls tipped at the line or thrown away are not measured. The companion statistic on completed passes is yards after catch — the sum of Air Yards and yards after catch on a completed pass equals the yardage gained on the play.
  • Catch Rate — The number of balls caught over the number of targets for an individual, or how often a receiver makes the catch when targeted.
  • Disruptive Plays — A sum of sacks, stuffs (tackles for loss on a ballcarrier, as opposed to a QB on a pass play), blocked kicks/punts, passes defensed/broken up, interceptions, and forced fumbles. Think of these as things that got you multiple helmet stickers when you were playing peewee.
  • Distance Splits — Aside from the quarterback performance chart (which is in terms of Air Yards), all distances refer to the yardage to go for that particular down, not how much yardage would be required for a successful play (see Success Rate).
  • Percent of Total for Rushing and Passing Splits by Down — These numbers refer to the percentage of first down plays that were a rush, second down plays that were a pass, and so on, NOT the percentage of rushes that were on first down. For example, the sum of first down pass frequency and first down rush frequency will be 100%, but the sum of first, second, third, and fourth down rush frequencies will be well in excess of 100%.
  • Garbage Time — Defined as when a game is not within 28 points in the first quarter, 24 points in the second quarter, 21 points in the third quarter, or 16 points in the fourth.
  • Pass Direction — One the quarterback performance chart, the pass directions (left, middle, right) refer to the third of the field the ball was thrown to, as defined by the hash marks, relative to the direction the offense is moving (i.e., from the quarterback's perspective). 'Left' throws are to the leftmost third, 'middle' throws are to the area between the hashes, and so on.
  • Run Directions — See the figure below. Defensive letter gap terminology is on the top in blue, and offensive hole terminology is on the bottom in green. Rushes are coded as 'Left Tackle' if they head through the left B and C gaps / the 3 and 5 holes, and so on.
  • RunDirection

  • Success Rate — A 'successful' play is defined as gaining 50% of required yardage on first down, 70% of required yardage on second down, and all of the required yardage on third and fourth downs — required yardage is another term for the distance required for a first down on a given play. Success rate is simply how often a team is successful.
  • Target — The intended receiver on a pass play. All pass plays have intended receivers, with the exception of passes that were tipped at the line, thrown away, or otherwise thrown in such a manner as to render identification of an intended receiver impossible.
  • YAC — Passing Yards After Catch, the amount of yardage gained by the receiver after catching a pass. YAC + Air Yards = Passing Yards.
  • iPPPIsolated Points Per Play, the amount of Net Equivalent Points gained per successful play. This is the best explosiveness metric the advanced stats community currently has; read more about it here.
  • Line Yards — The number of rushing yards on every run attributable to the offensive line’s efforts. Read more about it here.
  • Highlight Yards — The number of rushing yards on every run attributable to the running back’s efforts. Line Yards + Highlight Yards = Rushing Yards. Read more about it here.
  • Opportunity Rate — The percentage of carries where the back has an opportunity to accrue Highlight Yards; read more about it here.
  • Running Back Rating (RBR) — An overall quality metric for running backs, this is the product of Opportunity Rate and Highlight Yards per Opportunity.
Overall Offensive Performance

Quarter Breakdown
Metric 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
Plays 12 94 15 92 3 55 0 22
S. Rate 41.7% 36.2% 46.7% 47.8% 0.0% 49.1% --- 40.9%
iPPP 1.6 1.1 1.7 1.2 --- 1.4 --- 1.1
Pass % 25.0% 46.7% 33.3% 55.4% 33.3% 49.1% --- 66.7%
P. S. Rate 100.0% 34.9% 60.0% 43.1% 0.0% 37.0% --- 28.6%
P. iPPP 2.4 1.5 2.6 1.8 --- 1.4 --- 1.1
Rush % 75.0% 53.3% 66.7% 44.6% 66.7% 50.9% --- 33.3%
R. S. Rate 22.2% 38.8% 40.0% 53.7% 0.0% 60.7% --- 71.4%
R. iPPP 0.3 0.7 1.1 0.7 --- 1.3 --- 1.1

Observations

The Tide got in one drive in the third quarter before Eddie Jackson’s interception return commenced garbage time, so very little from the second half this week. What you’ll notice is that Jake Coker and the receivers absolutely lit up Georgia in the first quarter, with all three pass attempts successful and going for good yardage. That explosiveness continued into the second quarter, matched with better performance on the ground than in the first, where Derrick Henry ran into some brick walls to start the game. Overall the Tide outstripped their first half iPPPs, at the same or better success rate compared to seasonal averages.

Formation / Playcall Breakdown
Call Plays Percent of Total Success Rate iPPP
VS.
UGA
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
Shotgun 10 33.3% 54.8% 50.0% 42.4% 1.8 1.3
Pistol 8 26.7% 27.0% 12.5% 45.1% 4.9 1.1
Under Center 12 40.0% 18.3% 50.0% 43.8% 1.0 1.0
No Huddle 17 56.7% 62.4% 41.2% 44.5% 1.0 1.1
Huddled 13 43.3% 37.6% 38.5% 41.4% 2.5 1.4
Play Action 5 16.7% 12.9% 100.0% 47.1% 2.7 2.0

Observations

Matching the approach of their opponent, and perhaps with a nod to the weather, the Tide went a little throwback with the offense,[1] eschewing the no-huddle shotgun looks for more plays with Coker under center. It, uh, went ok, with a success rate equal to the shotgun looks, but an iPPP that lagged quite a bit behind.[2] Pistol was an absolute dog in this one, except for one time it worked — a 45 yard bomb to one Calvin Ridley.

1 | Much to the delight of LITERALLY EVERYONE IN THE FANBASE. LANE.

2 | NEVERMIND LANE — YOU DO YOU!

So, remember that idea I had yesterday about the no huddle and its effect on success rates and iPPPs? Apparently that doesn’t apply to the Tide, who have a lower success rate on huddled plays through five games, but a higher iPPP.[3] These results are frustrating on a personal level. Not at all a fan of basketball on turf, but in some ways it works, and often exceedingly well.

3 | Even after you remove the aforementioned Ridley TD.

Oh, right, play action. That really works for Coker! The Tide should do more of that, please and thank you.

Personnel Breakdown
Group Plays Percent of Total Success Rate iPPP
VS.
UGA
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
10 11 36.7% 24.1% 36.4% 39.7% 2.2 1.5
11 9 30.0% 39.1% 55.6% 43.1% 1.4 1.4
12 8 26.7% 14.2% 37.5% 45.9% 1.3 1.0
21 2 6.7% 10.0% 0.0% 53.8% --- 1.0

Observations

Much like Georgia, the Tide kept it to three different groupings in this one, all of which were single-back looks: 10, 11, and 12 personnel. The Tide absolutely torched the Bulldogs with the four wides variant, with a middling success rate around 36% but a iPPP over 2. Surprisingly, 21 personnel didn’t work at all in the two times it was used before garbage time.

Down and Distance Matrix
Distance Metric Down
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
Short
(0-3 Yds)
Plays 0 4 1 11 3 13 0 3
S. Rate --- 50.0% 100.0% 81.8% 33.3% 46.2% --- 66.7%
iPPP --- 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.1 0.4 --- 2.3
Medium
(4-6 Yds)
Plays 0 4 2 18 1 12 0 3
S. Rate --- 25.0% 50.0% 66.7% 0.0% 41.7% --- 33.3%
iPPP --- 0.3 0.2 0.6 --- 0.9 --- 0.9
Long
(7-10 Yds)
Plays 11 109 5 46 1 11 0 2
S. Rate 45.5% 44.0% 60.0% 41.3% 0.0% 27.3% --- 0.0%
iPPP 2.2 1.4 1.9 1.6 --- 1.2 --- ---
Very Long
(11+ Yds)
Plays 2 6 2 11 2 10 0 0
S. Rate 0.0% 16.7% 50.0% 45.5% 0.0% 0.0% --- ---
iPPP --- 1.8 2.6 2.0 --- --- --- ---

Observations

So, here’s where things start to get dicey. Outstanding work on standard downs, with explosive plays on first and ruthless efficiency on second. Third downs, though? Third downs were awful, continuing a disturbing trend that stretches back to the final few games of 2014. The Tide faced seven third downs of varying distances before garbage time, and only picked up one: a Coker sneak on third-and-1 that got more than a little push from Kenyan Drake (I thought that wasn’t legal now?). Things didn’t get better in garbage time, when the Tide failed to convert in five more attempts. Depending on your outlook it’s not all bad, though. I’ll direct you to a comment in this week’s Initial Impressions, reprinted for convenience:

Looking at the play-by-play, it really wasn’t as bad as it looked.

We faced six third downs in the first half.

  1. 3rd & 1 from the AL 40: Henry gets the first down but fumbles (this is not included in the 1-5 total)
  2. 3rd & 1 from the AL 23: Henry runs for no gain (really should have gotten this one)
  3. 3rd & Goal from the UGA 15: After two presnap penalties they run a draw and settle for the field goal
  4. 3rd & 1 from the AL 33: Coker gets it on a QB sneak
  5. 3rd & 4 from the AL 48: Stewart drops a first down pass
  6. 3rd & 14 from the AL 16: Bama got the ball back with about 2 minutes left and was happy to go into the half up 21. They ran it up the middle three times.

So there were four third down plays where we were actively trying to get the third down and we got one of them and dropped the ball on two others. Penalties and slick hands cost us more than anything else.

After that we had one 3rd & 7 that was an incomplete pass and, by the time we got another 3rd down, it was 38-3 and we were in clock-grinding mode.

The outlook shouldn’t be quite that rosy — third and 1 should be an 80% proposition for this team, at least — but there’s some context there worth discussing. With Coker and Kiffin seemingly finding a way forward[4] and the emergence of Ridley, along with continued excellence from Derrick Henry, the issues on third down are the big outstanding question for this offense going forward.[5]

4 | Yes I’m aware it’s one game. I’m feeling optimistic tonight.

5 | That and Dominick Jackson. That situation ain’t good, yall.

Offensive Line Performance

Rush Splits by Down, Distance, and Direction
Metric Attempts Rush % S. Rate iPPP LY/Att.
VS.
UGA
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
All Carries 20 70.0% 48.1% 30.0% 56.8% 0.2 0.5 2.7 3.2
1st Down 9 69.2% 52.5% 22.2% 36.2% 0.5 0.8 2.7 2.8
2nd Down 7 70.0% 51.8% 42.9% 65.8% 1.3 1.0 2.9 4.2
3rd Down 4 71.4% 33.3% 0.0% 35.7% --- 0.5 2.6 2.1
Short
(0-3 Yds.)
3 100.0% 80.6% 33.3% 61.9% 0.1 0.7 0.7 2.1
Medium
(4-6 Yds.)
2 66.7% 56.8% 50.0% 70.0% 0.2 0.6 0.9 3.6
Long
(7-10 Yds.)
10 58.8% 43.0% 30.0% 39.7% 1.5 1.2 3.2 3.6
Very Long
(11+ Yds.)
5 83.3% 29.6% 0.0% 0.0% --- --- 3.8 2.3
Left
End
1 5.0% 15.3% 0.0% 52.9% --- 1.2 4.0 4.0
Left
Tackle
2 10.0% 11.7% 0.0% 46.2% --- 1.3 -1.8 2.8
Middle 11 55.0% 49.5% 18.2% 45.5% 1.8 0.9 3.0 3.1
Right
Tackle
3 15.0% 8.1% 66.7% 33.3% 0.4 0.4 3.8 2.1
Right
End
3 15.0% 15.3% 33.3% 52.9% 0.4 0.6 3.3 3.7

Observations

70% of the Tide’s non-garbage time[6] plays were runs, in what was certainly a reaction to the unpleasant conditions on the field. Georgia’s front seven absolutely showed up to play in the first half, as most of those rushes were not terribly productive or successful. The line as a whole was having a difficult time getting the Tide backs to the second level, accruing about half a line yard less per attempt than usual. This was especially problematic on short yardage, which led to all of those missed third downs discussed above. In contrast to seasonal trends, the Tide primarily found success when running in the vicinity of Ryan Kelly, Alphonse Taylor, and Ross Pierschbacher. Hopefully that’s the start of a trend, as this team is most dangerous when it can run up the gut at will.

6 | Really need to find a better name for that. Suggestions?

Running Back Performance

Advanced RB Splits
Metric Attempts Opp. Rate Hlt. Yds. / Opp. RBR
VS.
UGA
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
All Carries 20 35.0% 45.7% 4.5 4.7 1.6 2.2
1st Down 9 33.3% 35.8% 1.2 3.6 0.4 1.3
2nd Down 7 42.9% 67.6% 8.5 4.8 3.6 3.2
3rd Down 4 25.0% 21.4% 2.5 2.5 0.6 0.5
Short
(0-3 Yds.)
3 0.0% 37.5% --- 6.1 --- 2.3
Medium
(4-6 Yds.)
2 0.0% 52.6% --- 2.1 --- 1.1
Long
(7-10 Yds.)
10 40.0% 46.0% 6.5 5.6 2.6 2.6
Very Long
(11+ Yds.)
5 60.0% 42.9% 1.8 1.8 1.1 0.8
Left
End
1 0.0% 58.8% --- 5.6 --- 3.3
Left
Tackle
2 0.0% 25.0% --- 19.2 --- 4.8
Middle 11 36.4% 44.0% 6.8 4.3 2.5 1.9
Right
Tackle
3 33.3% 22.2% 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.2
Right
End
3 66.7% 64.7% 1.5 1.5 1.0 1.0

Observations

Rough day overall for the backs, with an opportunity rate 10% lower than usual and an RBR that lagged accordingly. Henry’s long touchdown run was up the middle on a 2nd and 8, which bumped up the highlight yards and RBR on the corresponding rows considerably. The Tide got absolutely nothing on their three attempts to the left, which is odd given who’s manning the line over there.

Individual RB Stats
Player Atts. S. Rate Opp. Rate HLT Yds. /
Opp.
RBR LY/Att.
VS.
UGA
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
Henry, Derrick 15 13.3% 44.4% 40.0% 45.5% 5.0 6.1 2.0 2.8 3.2 3.3
Drake, Kenyan 5 60.0% 52.8% 20.0% 47.2% 1.5 2.2 0.3 1.0 1.4 3.1

Observations

Henry’s first half was all the aforementioned 30 yard TD run, as the rest of his day was pretty moribund before garbage time — only one additional successful run out of his 15 attempts, which is a credit to the Georgia defense. The Bulldogs also largely bottled up Drake, who was successful on three of his five carries but didn’t accrue much beyond the minimum required for that distinction. He also got no help from the line, which only put up 7 total line yards on his five attempts.

Quarterback Performance

Map of Quarterbacking Excellence
Air Yards Metric Left Middle Right Totals
3 3 2 8
Behind
L.O.S
Comp. % 1/1 (100.0%) 1/1 (100.0%) 0/0 (---) 2
S. Rate 100.0% 0.0% ---
iPPP 0.5 --- ---
0-5
Yards
Comp. % 0/0 (---) 0/0 (---) 0/0 (---) 0
S. Rate --- --- ---
iPPP --- --- ---
6-10
Yards
Comp. % 1/1 (100.0%) 0/0 (---) 0/0 (---) 1
S. Rate 100.0% --- ---
iPPP 1.7 --- ---
11-15
Yards
Comp. % 1/1 (100.0%) 0/0 (---) 0/0 (---) 1
S. Rate 100.0% --- ---
iPPP 1.1 --- ---
16+ Yards
Comp. % 0/0 (---) 2/2 (100.0%) 1/2 (50.0%) 4
S. Rate --- 100.0% 50.0%
iPPP --- 3.8 4.2

Observations

Hello, Jake Coker! In a nice bit of symmetry to the Georgia quarterbacks, who had but one successful pass before garbage time, Coker only missed on one attempt, an 18 yarder that was dropped by ArDarius Stewart as he hit the ground.[7] Of his completions, only one was unsuccessful — yet another jet sweep that didn’t work. Coker was slightly less efficient in garbage time as the Tide offense seemed to shift into run-out-the-clock mode, but his overall performance was leaps and bounds better from his effort in the last SEC contest against Ole Miss. If there’s any lingering questions on who should be running this offense, they should be answered as of last Saturday.

7 | There was also a throwaway in the third quarter, but throwaways and batted down passes don’t show up in this chart. Broken-up passes do, however.

Incompletions Breakdown
Type Count Percent of Total
VS.
UGA
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
Misfires 0 0.0% 18.5%
Defensive Wins 1 11.1% 15.6%
Drops 1 11.1% 6.7%
Offensive Errors 0 0.0% 0.7%
Penalties 0 0.0% 0.7%

Observations

Two incompletions on nine throws in non-garbage time – one a drop by Stewart, one a forced throwaway by the Georgia defense. Can’t ask for much better than that. Including garbage time, Coker was 11/16 on the afternoon, with a batted ball, an overthrow, and a throw out of bounds accounting for the other three incompletions.

Pass Splits by Down and Distance
Metric Attempts Pass % S. Rate iPPP
VS.
UGA
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
All Passes 9 30.0% 51.9% 66.7% 37.8% 2.5 1.6
1st 4 30.8% 47.5% 75.0% 44.8% 3.4 1.8
2nd 3 30.0% 66.7% 100.0% 39.0% 1.6 1.5
3rd 2 28.6% 48.2% 0.0% 26.7% 0.0 1.0
Short
(0-3 Yds.)
0 0.0% 19.4% --- 33.3% --- 0.4
Medium
(4-6 Yds.)
1 33.3% 43.2% 0.0% 31.3% --- 0.9
Long
(7-10 Yds.)
7 41.2% 57.0% 71.4% 40.4% 2.5 1.7
Very Long
(11+ Yds.)
1 16.7% 70.4% 100.0% 31.6% 2.6 2.0

Observations

Third down was bad, as we’ve discussed at numerous points throughout this piece. Coker absolutely ripped the Bulldogs apart otherwise, posting an iPPP of 3.4 on first down throws and 100% success rate on his three second down attempts. If the Tide can get an efficient, mistake-free performance like this from Coker every week, that will go a long, long way toward a division title and beyond.

Receiver Performance

Individual WR Stats
Player Targets Catch Rate YAC/Catch Pts./Target
VS.
UGA
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
VS.
UGA
2015
Season
Ridley, Calvin 4 100.0% 70.0% 10.8 5.7 2.7 0.9
Stewart, ArDarius 2 50.0% 47.4% 5.0 3.7 0.0 0.3
Mullaney, Richard 2 100.0% 63.2% 4.5 3.3 2.2 0.7

Observations

Last week’s Processing the Numbers included a bit about how nice it would be if Ridley were to have his breakout game this week. Well, meet the next great Crimson Tide receiver folks,[8] because Ridley did work in this one. The guy put up 115 yards on his four targets in non-garbage time, which is, you know, ok.

8 | We have a tradition of great receivers now! Not just one every 40 years![9]

9 | Fun fact: Don Hutson was never drafted.

Stewart only picked up a yard on that jet sweep, and “dropped” his only other target before garbage time. I’m really not a fan of this rule where, when the player secures the ball in mid-air but loses it after hitting the ground, it’s deemed incomplete. The ground can’t cause a fumble on running plays, but can cause an incompletion on passes? Idiotic.

Finally, Richard Mullaney is a boss, and I’m already looking forward to a clutch reception (or three) from the Oregon State transfer completely ruining LSU’s season, in classic Norwoodian fashion.

ROLL TIDE