A ”successful” play, as defined by Football Outsiders, is 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 “explosive play”) is any play that gains ≥15 yards (run OR pass).
Total Running and Passing
Success by Runner
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It took a few weeks to see our favorite “cleanup crew” running back lead this chart again (it’s been since the ULL blowout), but Brian Robinson Jr. was back up there this week. Per the mention yesterday in the game review, we actually passed the ball the majority of the time for most of this game, but the last few series saw a heavy dose of Mr. Robinson and company to drain the clock and close things out. Is Brian Robinson Jr. the best 4th-string running back in the NCAA? I’d bet on it.
Brian wasn’t the most successful or efficient back out there, though: Josh Jacobs had a fun day, especially in the first half, and Najee Harris came out to play, too. Both were a solid 53-55% efficient on SR, but Jacobs was more explosive and had more attempts, too. Again, it’s excellent seeing this former-surprise-jackpot-recruit staying healthy enough to display his potential. He’s an entertaining back to watch... I’d actually argue more fun than Najee, though I’m sure to catch some flak on some enthusiasts here.
We didn’t see as much of our QBs running, or our senior RB Damien Harris. Jalen Hurts did turn in another explosive run, this one for a touchdown (though he seems to have hurt himself on that one). Roll Jalen, get well soon.
Success by Passer
Speaking of Jalen... he did not pass very much in this game. Surprisingly, the Tide coaches kept Tua Tagovailoa in for most of the game, despite being up 28-0 at the end of the 1st quarter and 42-14 at the half.
He was efficient, with a 52% success rate. That’s usually good, but these last two weeks have been the lowest efficiencies we’ve seen from Tua this season. My oh my, how our standards can change. We’re not about to play any easy defenses in November (aside from the cupcake special), so we should consider ourselves fortunate if we keep getting 50%+ SRs out of Tua and Jalen through the rest of the conference schedule... it’s still a luxury to know that the majority of your passes will be successful, after all.
Success by Receiver
We’ve got a familiar name up top, but Jerry Jeudy turned in a modest-for-him 50% SR on receptions. Remember, this is the guy that’s had 100% SRs in two games this season (and majority SRs in most of the games).
Irv Smith Jr. showed up a lot in this game, including an explosive catch late in the 2nd. But, he was also the recipient of some unsuccessful catches; we saw more of those short pass failures than what the usual big-play Tua offense gives us, in general, and it makes sense that the tight end would be the primary recipient on such short passes.
Our highest SR-and-XR receiver this week was true freshmen Jaylen Waddle, who’s been a fun watch and a true revelation... and just in time to step up even more during Devonta Smith’s injury. Hopefully we’ll get that Smith back after the bye, though, and keep all of these skill weapons fresh.
Derek Kief (technically the highest efficiency receiver this week, with a 100% SR) got in on the fun with a successful catch late. It’s been nice seeing him getting real opportunities through his senior year; he didn’t catch a TD this week, but he seems to be especially active in the red zone (perhaps given his size).
Success by Tackler
Unfortunately, this is the second game we’ve seen this season with no tackler data recorded; the other was at Arkansas, so it might be that our more struggling SEC brethren can’t afford to pay interns to record a real play-by-play sheet for the game.* Sorry folks.
*This could also be an NCAA thing, I still can’t figure out who actually records these things, but I think it’s a per-stadium staff thing that follows apparently-loose standards.
ANYWAY — this was another fun game and may just close out the “wow we kicked the crap outta them” portion of our schedule. I’ll see you all on the other side of the LSU game, where we, for better or worse, may see more intrigue from these charts.
Until then, Roll Tide and enjoy the bye week.