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Graphing the Tide vs. The Citadel: this Cupcake didn’t taste that good!

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But Bama ate it anyway. Diet starts tomorrow.

Citadel v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Metric definitions

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).

Success by Quarters

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Per usual, content is going to be lighter for a cupcake game. That said, there are a few noteworthy things.

Despite a few regrettable drives, the offense did great work all day. That 26% explosiveness rate is staggeringly high... thanks Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle!

The Citadel offense wasn’t very explosive (which to be expected for a triple option team), but that 33% SR is the highest the Tide defense has allowed since the Arkansas State game in early October! The Citadel’s 44% 1st quarter SR is the only above-league-average quarter the Tide defense has allowed since the 2nd quarter vs. Tennessee. The last such quarter before that was, again, vs. Arkansas State.

Play Map

The relative yardage distributions between these two teams is pretty hilarious: Alabama was so explosive that we’ve got dots all over the chart, while The Citadel pretty much rode the 0-6 yard range the entire game. That said, they didn’t get too many negative plays, which is good for an outmatched Bama opponent.

Success by downs

Alabama didn’t attempt a 4th-down play, though Citadel attempted a few and did surprisingly well on them, including one of them breaking out into an explosive play.

Running and Passing

The Tide passed more than we probably thought we would, as The Citadel was still in the game for a surprisingly long time. Running didn’t work that well at first, either, until things loosened up late.

Running and Passing, The Citadel

Citadel’s run rate chart is totally bizarre-looking: this is the first time I’ve run this chart for a team that basically doesn’t pass the ball. Their passing success line is similarly hilarious: those “surprise, we’re going to pass this time!” moments did not work in this one.

We’ll talk about players later this week. Otherwise, we’ll be looking at charts for a real game real soon. Roll Tide.