RTHO....A&M offense vs. SMU

After an abnormally difficult opening season opponent in Florida, JFF & Co. traveled up to Dallas to take on an SMU defense that was surprisingly good last year (#26 nationally in total defense, #19 in YPP, #21 in YPC and #24 in YPA). The cliche says that the biggest improvement a team makes is between week 1 and week 2, and coming off an up-and-down opener, opportunities for improvement were plentiful. So let's Review the Hell Outta the A&M offensive performance against SMU.

(as always, tip of the hat to Brian at mgoblog for developing most of this structure)

previously: Florida


Note that charting was stopped after Shower's first TD drive, pushing the score to 48-3. The next time A&M got the ball was with a little over 7 minutes left in the 4th Quarter, and with both teams deep into their 2nd and 3rd teamers, th

  • 1Q - 5 run; 10 pass (33/67)
  • 2Q - 6 run; 20 pass (23/77)
  • 3Q - 7 run; 13 pass (35/65)
  • 4Q - 5 run; 7 pass (42/58)
  • Overall - 23 run; 50 pass (32/68)

Now, 8 times that a pass play was called, Manziel ended up scrambling (sometimes for huge yards), but the playcalling itself has been heavily slanted towards the pass, as many expected. A&M posted a run:pass ratio of 32/68, after a 43/57 split against Florida.

Offensive Line

Going up against a much less talented SMU defensive front, the A&M line was expected to improve on an average showing against Florida, and the unit did not disappoint.



click for OL chart explanation

  • Negatives: Cedric Obguehi (1); Jake Matthews (1); Patrick Lewis (2); Ben Malena (1); Trey Williams (1);
  • SMU was able to get pressure multiple times blitzing both OLBs against zone-read play action passes
  • Lewis was victimized by a double-A gap blitz, doubling on the first ILB, leaving the 2nd with a clear patch to the QB
  • Trey missed a cut block, and Malena was late getting to a blitzing DT. Malena was probably not as fault, as CedO let the DT over him come in free to go after the LB. Typically these blocking assignments are reversed, and it appears Malena was initially looking at the LB.
  • Jake committed the lone holding penalty on the day.


In a game that got out of hand, both QBs got to see some action, and both played pretty well, avoiding the bad play and making big-time plays downfield.


click for QB chart explanation

Johnny racked up 5 "dead-ons":

  • the 25 yard go-route perfectly thrown to Evans
  • scrambling to his left, shoulders parallel to the LOS, he hit a moving Eavns in stride over a LB
  • scrambling right, threw across his body to hit EZ for a TD
  • maybe most encouraging, a 17 yard crossing route to Swope rifled in between 2 linebackers.
  • the fade to EZ for a TD

Showers looked really good in limited action and appears to be a capable backup.


QB Targets

Johnny's downfield success rate was down , but much of this can be explained by how far down field Johnny was attacking the defense. Take a look at the location of targets for his game against Florida (on left) vs. against SMU (on right).


  • Against Florida, just 5/28 downfield attempts (18%) were beyond 10 yards. Against SMU, it was 17/32 (53%).
  • Also notice that targets over the middle jumped from 2 to 5 and targets beyond 20 yards ballooned from 1 to 9.

Showers' perfect day was all short and intermediate stuff, but he did show a willingness to throw the ball over the middle.




  • 3 - routine....should never drop these
  • 2 - difficult....low, behind, high. you hope to see 40-50% catch rate
  • 1 - circus catch....anything here is gravy
  • 0 - impossible....charted for targets, not held against WR


click for WR chart explanation

Average day for the receivers.

  • Evans once again was Johnny's main target (11 total).
  • Swope's "3" should read 3/4, not 3/7. For the 2nd week in a row, Swope dropped a routine pass. But he made up for it digging up a low pass over the middle.
  • EZ showed up this week after being shut out against Florida, with both catches going for scores. A nice leap on an endzone fade was the highlight of the day.
  • Once again, TEs played a very small role, with Hicks' screen pass being the lone target at the position. Lamothe has yet to see a pass thrown his way.

Running Backs

I didn't have time to complete the running back chart, but it took 12 rush attempts before A&M had what could be considered a successful rush (40% of yards to go on 1st down, 70% on 2nd down, 100% on 3rd/4th down). Christine Michael was held out for disciplinary reasons, and his absence really showed.

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