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Graphing the Tide (briefly) vs. New Mexico State: A mostly-refreshing blowout

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Just a few looks into a routine cupcake game.

Trey Sanders, earlier this season
Trey Sanders, earlier this season
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

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This was such a blowout game, that a lot of the “cumulative averages” aren’t really relative: Bama got pretty deep into the bench after the 1st half, so that 2nd-ish string “team” puts up different stats than the 1st half starters.

Success and Explosiveness by Quarter

So I thought we’d skip to the quarters chart to avoid those irrelevant game averages: my expectation was that we’d see severe dropoff in offensive efficiency after the 1st half; especially given that we scored, what, zero points in the 3rd quarter.

But I was surprised that that “0” covered up a pretty efficient quarter, and that we really didn’t trail off too much in offensive efficiency until the 4th quarter clock burn. Interesting.

On the defensive end, often in blowouts you’ll see the reverse: lower efficiencies for the overmatched cupcake opponent in the 1st half, followed but higher efficiencies as the bench players let the opponent make gains. And again, my guess was wrong! The defense actually gave up more in the 1st half (hence that early FG and some first downs), and then absolutely smothered the New Mexico State Aggies in the 2nd half, with gawd-awful ~10% SRs through the 3rd and 4th quarters. Maybe it’s something to do with our defensive rotations (aka “starters” or “near starters”) being a deeper rotation.

Play Map: Yards and Result by Play

Getting a bit more detailed view, a few things stand out on the Play Map:

  • Alabama’s offense was mighty explosive for a brief period there, with 6 explosive plays happening right in the span of a few drives. Brian Robinson’s long TD, then a few more explosives later, were the cherry on top (though we did not average out as very explosive overall)
  • That second half rushing spree was a “modest” thing of beauty: late in the 3rd quarter, the Bama offense just rushed and rushed it’s way to 5 sequential, rapid successful rushes. None of them broke for a big play, but that’s just ol’ fashioned chain-moving and clock-draining
  • On the New Mexico State side ... um, it was bad! This is an incredibly sparse chart, with only eleven successful plays from that offense all day.
  • To double down on the point above ... the Aggies only got 2 successful plays (1 rush, 1 pass) during the entire second half. Ugh. I guess that’s how you get to 1-9 and conference-less.

Success and Explosiveness by Down

Alabama did well on 3rd down. Again. At least that bounced back from the LSU game (the first time where we’ve failed on 3rd down this season).

I’d be grumpier about it all — my usual move this season in regards to 3rd downs — except that we still did quite well on 1st and 2nd too. The early downs, per otherwise “normal” tendencies that the Tide haven’t followed this season, were more explosive than 3rd down. So, I’m moderately happy to see each down getting some love.

Top Rushers, Alabama

Alright, let’s get into the players: these are usually fun even in a cupcake game.

The rushers made hay: I love seeing all this red and relatively little “empty” space. Our top rusher in this game was actually Trey Sanders, who came in under injurious circumstances and thankfully (mostly) reminded us of his promise. With this comeback, he gets the title image on GTT. Congrats, Trey, and welcome back.

The only backs that didn’t have >50% SRs were Bryce Young and our millionth-string RB (aka a converted linebacker we had to put in because our tailbacks are falling like flies). Listen, Demouy, I actually think 2/7 (28.5% SR) is a pretty good efficiency for an athelete who likely doesn’t spend very much time, you know, being a running back. Kudos for stepping in; hopefully we don’t have to see much more of you on offense, though.

Also in “non running backs nonetheless running the ball” is WR Christian Leary. Honestly I don’t recall any of these rushes but he was for 2 for 3 for a 66% SR, so well done, sir!

Jalen Milroe came in and was much more fun to watch than the other parts of the 2nd half offense. His 3 for 4 (with an explosive play) was a good reminder that we’ve got this athlete in our back pocket.

Roydell Williams had one successful rush, and then was injured; early soundbites make it seem like he’s out for the season. Ugh.

Top Passers, Alabama

Bryce Young — per the breathless announcing during the game — had a very good line, with only 2 incompletions (one of them a drop) on the day.

Paul Tyson’s line actually looks better than I expected it would. And the aforementioned Jalen Milroe was much more intriguing as a rusher than as a passer in this game.

Braxton Barker is, apparently, a QB on our team. Hi Braxton! Thanks for that pass.

Top Receivers, Alabama

Speaking of new names, this is one long receivers chart today! Love to see that.

Jameson Williams gets the title image in the all graphs article; he’s been having an awesome few games and, really, a pretty great year. Welcome back to the top of the chart, Jameson.

Starters John Metchie III and Brian Robinson got their catches per usual, with Slade Bolden and the TE’s rounding out the usual suspects. Otherwise, we got all kinds of fun one-offs here in the chart for you, including names printed onto crimson that I have never actually noticed before. I love all of you, welcome to our silly but cranky football family.


Roll Tide! Check out the all graphs article for more from this game. Next time, we’ll dig on deeper as we try to get our groove back against an actual SECW opponent.