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
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Per the routine, this is the same running and passing overview you’d see in yesterday’s Graphing the Tide vs. Arkansas State. Let’s see those players.
Success by Runner
Najee Harris has made noise in this chart before—notably in the title game vs. Georgia with a breakout 2nd-half drive (or two), but this is his first time really standing out as the lead rusher: he had the most attempts, the most success, and the most explosive plays on the day. It was a beautiful thing to watch.
Otherwise, it’s good to see the QBs not headlining this one too much. If I were a greedy man, I’d have wished for more action from Brian Robinson Jr. and Josh Jacobs in a game like this... I suppose I’m a greedy man, then.
Success by Passer
Now this one is interesting: with what will surely be the new norm this season, Tua Tagovailoa headlines the chart. However, Jalen Hurts actually had a much more efficient day (albeit off of fewer attempts). In fact, between Jalen’s running and passing plays, he only had 4 unsuccessful plays on the day (to his 10 successful ones). On a more qualitative note, I though he looked darned good, too. He gets the article photo, then!
However, the anti-silver-lining there is that we still didn’t get to see much from Mac Jones! His one attempt on the day wasn’t caught, so he gets the same lowly spot this week on this chart. Hopefully we’ll see you out there this weekend, Mac: how does your calendar look around, say, the 3rd quarter on Saturday?
Success by Receiver
Honestly, watching both games so far, I wouldn’t have pegged Jerry Jeudy as the leading receiver—perhaps because of the exciting highlights we’ve gotten from Devonta Smith in his past several games—but Jerry’s been up here twice in a row now. In fact, Jeudy’s narrow lead during the Louisville game actually widened this week: against Arkansas State, he saw twice as much success as the next guy, and delivered a perfect success rate as a receiver.
The other receivers topping the list should sound familiar, and for the second week running we get Irv Smith Jr. (a tight end!) showing out. Unfortunately, Jaylen Waddle was in some tough spots today and his several attempts didn’t product much.
Josh Jacobs was a bit muted in terms of the rushing success, but he was very much present as a receiver—that’s a nice addition considering the limited role that RBs had in the passing game last week vs. Louisville.
And your final fun highlight of the week: besides Jeudy, the only skill player we saw with a perfect success rate against Arkansas State was obviously Mr. Derek Kief! Great to see a senior stand out like that: per the highlight reel, that one successful play also put 6 points on the board.
Success by Tackler
Whoa, that’s a lot of tacklers! Fantastic that Alabama is allowed to spread the reps out in games like this.
Deionte Thompson—the man, the machine—managed to grab the top spot this week, though his mix of play type shows more ‘success’ for Arkansas State against him then in the week prior. Again, only time will tell what this chart really means, but I’m not surprised that he and our other DBs had to make tackles off of successful plays, given that Arkansas State did find some success through the air—especially early on—against the Tide.
Speaking of DBs: Saivion Smith had many fewer tackles in this game than the week prior, and Trevon Diggs showed up here for the first time this season: seems like Saivion did a better job of not being the easy target this week... and the pick six was a nice touch. Josh Jobe and Daniel Wright were a surprising (and surprisingly effective) addition this week: it seems like they made the most of their time against a relative cupcake: welcome to the party, guys!
For the front seven: it’s a shame to see Mack Wilson take a back seat here, coming out towards the middle of this chart. Raekwon Davis and Quinnen Williams similarly recorded fewer tackles week over week (though probably with less time spent in the game). On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised to see some big contributions from Isaiah Buggs and Labryan Ray—lots of unsuccessful plays as a result of those two—plus a bunch of other names filling in the gaps.
Here’s to hoping that we see another high player count in these charts next week. Roll Tide!