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Graphing the Tide vs. Mercer: the young guys rose up

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This cupcake game was a fine opportunity for the bench

NCAA Football: Mercer at Alabama
Brian Robinson Jr. was our lead rusher on Saturday
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Just the charts and a few notes this week, as it was a cupcake game. I did add the Run vs. Pass totals chart this week, so enjoy and let me know what you think! Roll Tide.

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 and Explosiveness Rates

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

* NCAA average SR = 40%

Not seeing a chart here?

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Running and Passing, Alabama

Not seeing a chart here?

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Explosive plays / Total Successful plays / Total catches / Total attempts

Total Runs

3 / 26 / 0 / 41

Total Passes

5 / 13 / 14 / 18

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Success by Runner

Explosive runs / Total Successful runs / Total Attempts

Brian Robinson Jr.

1 / 7 / 7

Najee Harris

0 / 3 / 6

Josh Jacobs

0 / 4 / 6

Damien Harris

0 / 4 / 6

Bo Scarbrough

1 / 1 / 5

Ronnie Clark

0 / 3 / 4

Tua Tagovailoa

0 / 1 / 3

Jalen Hurts

1 / 2 / 2

Austin Johnson

0 / 1 / 2

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Success by Passer

Explosive passes / Total Successful passes / Total completions / Total attempts

Tua Tagovailoa

1 / 6 / 7 / 11

Jalen Hurts

4 / 7 / 7 / 7

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Success by Receiver

Explosive catches / Total Successful catches / Total catches / Total targets

Cam Sims

0 / 2 / 2 / 3

Calvin Ridley

2 / 3 / 3 / 3

Robert Foster

1 / 1 / 1 / 2

Jerry Jeudy

0 / 0 / 0 / 1

Irv Smith Jr.

0 / 1 / 1 / 1

Henry Ruggs III

0 / 0 / 1 / 1

Hale Hentges

0 / 1 / 1 / 1

DeVonta Smith

0 / 1 / 1 / 1

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Running and Passing, Mercer

Not seeing a chart here?

  • The overall stats are pretty familiar for a cupcake beatdown.
  • That strong finish in the 4th is brought to you by the running game, especially from Brian Robinson Jr. and Ronnie Clark. Speaking of, the runners chart this week is full of folks, and it’s really cool to see Robinson leading the way with a 100% success rate on the most attempts from the team. Yes, it was against Mercer, but one has to wonder if he’s got change-of-pace potential for bigger games (hint, hint).
  • Good to see that Tua Tagovailoa ended up with more attempts than Jalen Hurts: that passers chart is finally interesting. But, it’s also great that Jalen’s attempts in the first half were all successful: that passing SR was 100% when he left the game, and stayed that way until Henry Ruggs III fumbled after catching Tua’s third pass.
  • There weren’t very many passes overall, but the ball was spread out pretty well in those passes. Despite the odd sorting bug that I’ve got in the chart (it ranks by Attempts and ignores the rest), Calvin Ridley still led the day with huge explosiveness and a 100% success rate. Good to see that Cam Sims got as many attempts from the QBs, though. In general, passing was the more efficient (if sparing) portion of the offense.

Question for y’all: do you prefer to see ALL of the charts, then ALL of the notes, like you see above? Or is the normal format (charts sprinkled throughout the article) more understandable? Thanks, happy early Turkey Day, and Roll Tide.