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Graphing the Tide vs. Tennessee: You get the feeling that the Vols are as bad as Vandy? They are.

That other team was bad.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll keep it short this week while we wait for some real opponents to come around.

Metric definitions

A "successful" play, as defined by Football Outsiders, is basically when a play gains enough yardage to keep the offense on track, i.e., 50% of needed yardage on 1st down, 70% on 2nd, or 100% on 3rd/4th. A "big play" (aka an "explosive play") is any play that gains ≥15 yards (run OR pass).

Success rates, big play rates

Big play rate (XR) and Success rate (SR)

* NCAA average SR = 40%

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Running and Passing, Alabama

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Running and Passing, Tennessee

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  • Tennessee’s 25% success rate is on par with Arkansas and Ole Miss (also in blowout losses to Alabama), but the 4% is the lowest explosiveness rate that we’ve seen against the Tide this season... aside from the 0% Vandy turned in.
  • For you Tua Tagovailoa fans: yes, there was an uptick in Alabama’s passing success rate after he came into the game. Though, Jalen Hurts had 11 successful passes (albeit in more game time) than Tua’s 8. And especially interesting: Hurts’s 5 explosive plays were all completed passes, with no explosive runs, while Tua’s were 2 passes and 2 long-ish runs.
  • Surely everyone remembers that slow 2nd quarter for the offense: it shows here, being the only quarter that the Vol’s defense held Alabama to under league-average success rates (which, at this point in the season, is ~40.5% SR).
  • The Tide offense’s efficiencies were balanced and healthy for both run and pass, but the run rate was relatively low at 57% (vs the usual 61-65% this season). Interesting that the coaching staff chose to allow Tua to sling the ball in the second half, with only a slight increase in the run rate at the very end of the 4th quarter.
  • After the bye week, the next three SEC opponents should give us more interesting charts to look at. In the meantime, enjoy the obvious domination that these metrics (and, um, all metrics?) claim for Alabama in SEC play. Roll Tide.