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
We talked about this blowout in Monday’s GTT game review, so there shouldn’t be anything terribly surprising here.
Brian Robinson Jr., with his game-leading rushing attempts, fulfilled what’s become his usual role of “cupcake game cleanup guy.” He had a pretty good 50% success rate, too, though only the same number of successful rushes as Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs; Josh, especially, turned in an awesome 6-for-6 successful rushes before retiring (the game) early.
It’s disappointing to see Damien Harris getting only 5 rush attempts in this game (with only 2 successful ones, to boot). I’m hopeful that we’ll see the rushes concentrate around him against tougher opponents on the schedule, but he didn’t lead in rushing attempts against Texas A&M, nor has he for any game this season so far (though he’s been a close second to Najee Harris in a few games, and had great rushing and receiving success against Ole Miss).
In what’s probably a positive development, we didn’t have many QB rushing attempts in this game. That’s been a bit of a trend this season, too, with Jalen Hurts being especially notable in holding off on the run. Hooray!
Success by Passer
Tua Tagovailoa is so awesome. It was only 8 plays, but that solid red bar is fantastic. The Tide’s first 5 passes of the game were successful or explosive (all Tua), then when Tua came back in to close out the second quarter, he nailed 3 more, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle.
And, hey, Jalen Hurts nailed 3 explosive passes and a 57% passing SR, plus Mac Jones got in with an explosive play too. Nice work, gents.
Success by Receiver
This chart got weird this week: you’d think we would see a lot of receivers against a cupcake, but A) we didn’t pass much overall, and B) I suppose we rode the hot hand, especially the hot hands of Henry Ruggs III and a breakout performance from Jaylen Waddle. For Ruggs, this unseating of Jerry Jeudy for at least one game was bound to happen at some point (now it’s your turn, Devonta Smith). Though, Jerry got his, too on 2 explosive receptions.
And Jaylen Waddle — boy, was that fun! This receiving chart is that beautiful solid dark crimson, as Waddle was 100% explosive in this one. Hey, that used to be Ruggs’s trick! And we’re just showing offense here, not to mention Waddle’s wild special teams contributions.
Success by Tackler
Joshua McMillon showing up at the top is new: he’s usually somewhere at the middle of this chart. That’s... good, I think, though most of his tackles are on successful plays, so he may have just been chasing people around.
Trevon Diggs showing back up towards the top is interesting, too, after he managed to be invisible (in a good way) during the first few weeks of the season. Now in the role of “nearly invisible and a perhaps-excellent cornerback” is Patrick Surtain II, who turned in just one tackle on an unsuccessful play. This may be the same story for Saivion Smith, who doesn’t show up here at all, but film review would better indicate if that’s the real story here (and not just a feature of his limited playing time).
Otherwise, your top guys this week are the usual suspects (*cough cough* Deionte Thompson and Dylan Moses are awesome). Mack Wilson doesn’t always show up at the top of this list, but boy do his contributions tend to be the “stop them in their tracks” type; he turned in another such performance this week.
After a (somewhat) tighter game last week vs. A&M, we did see this chart open up a bit this week, with some notable names showing up like Josh Jobe, Eyabi Anoma, Stephon Wynn Jr., Kyriq McDonald, and Phidarian Mathis. Hopefully we’ll continue to get the young bucks some much needed reps against the Woo Pigs this weekend. Roll Tide!