Ok kids, now that we have five games in the books and a bye week to catch our breath, let's take a break from looking at individual games and let's look at some of the big picture trends we can see with the 2013 Aggies. I'll be back next week with some specifics about the Arkansas game, but first I wanted to spend this week providing as much info as I possibly can about the season as a whole.
For those that haven't read my previous posts, I am charting every play the Aggies run this season (except for garbage time plays). Certain websites like cfbstats.com and espn.com and others already do a fabulous job of giving us statistics and splits and situational numbers, and cfbtn.com and footballoutsiders.com do some awesome advanced statistics and efficiency ratings so what I'm trying to do is track some of the things those websites don't. What kind of runs are we running? What personnel are we using? What formations? What part of the field is each pass being thrown to? What is our success rate with different types of plays? On and on and on, there are almost endless possibilities with what kind of information can be pulled together.
First, because as you could guess, I love stats, here are some general notes and superlatives, mostly regarding our two best players:
- Johnny Manziel leads the nation (by a lot) in first-half passing yards per game among QB's who have played at least four games, with 248. Remember when 200 yards per game was a nice number for an Aggie QB? Yeah, 248 per game in the first half is the new reality
- Despite the fact that he is indeed running less this year (48 carries through five games, versus 72 in the first five games last year), Johnny is still #4 nationally in rushing yards for a quarterback this year.
- Last year, 28 of Manziel's 60 third down carries resulted in a first down. This year he's at 7/13.
- For those of you who are sad about the fact that we aren't seeing zany Johnny running around in circles as much as we were last year, take heart in the fact that overall, he's much more efficient and productive as a player this year. Last year through five games he was averaging 8.01 yards per play. This year he's at 9.59. While the running yardage has decreased, the passing yardage (and the efficiency) has increased. We're moving the ball better this year than last year and really, isn't that the point?
- Related to the previous statistic, so far this year all eight of Johnny's games have seen him average over 8 yards per play. 5 for 5, baby. Last year Johnny eclipsed that mark in 7 of 13 games.
- As the rushing attempts have decreased, the passer rating has skyrocketed. Last year through five games, Manziel's passer rating was 162 (and it finished the year at 155). This year he's at 188. The all-time NCAA record is 191.8, set two years ago by Russell Wilson.
- Last year through five games, Johnny 1,780 total yards. This year, despite sitting out the first half against Rice, he's at 1803.
- Johnny leads the nation in 4th quarter passer rating with a fake-sounding rating of 277 and also leads the nation in 4th quarter touchdown passes despite only playing in two full fourth quarters this year and completely sitting out two others.
- Johnny leads the nation in 3rd down passer rating by so much that it's not even funny. So far he is 17/22 for 324 yards, 0 INT's, 6 TD's and a rating of 291 on third down, which sounds even faker than the 277 above.
- Johnny leads the nation in passes of 30+ yards, which leads directly into the next couple of notes.
- Mike Evans leads the nation in catches of 15+, 25+, and 30+ yards.
- 23 of Evans' 28 catches have earned a first down.
- Among teams that have played at least four games, A&M leads the nation in first downs per game.
You get the picture. Let's get to the nitty gritty and do some actual scouting. First, personnel groups. Here are the breakdowns for the 338 plays I have charted. "0" personnel means we had zero running backs or tight ends on the field, which would mean we have five wide receivers in. All the other groups are designated by a two digit number in which the first number is the number of running backs and the second is the number of tight ends. So "10" personnel is one running back, no tight ends, and four wide receivers.
Here is how we call plays so far this year.
Now, here is how successful we have been at running and throwing from each personnel group. The "success rate" you see is simply what percentage of those plays were successful. I consider a play successful if it gains at least half the necessary yardage on first or second down and all of the necessary yardage on third and fourth down.
Here is how successful we've been overall on each down.
Now, if you're one of those people who still find yourself underestimating Ben Malena and always seem to think the other running backs are better, here's a stat for you. This shows what percentage of each running back's carries are successful, again using the above definition of "successful." [NOTE: THE CHART BELOW HAS ONE MISTAKE. TRA CARSON SHOULD ACTUALLY BE CREDITED WITH 68% SUCCESS.]
Interesting, no? Now what about passing? A&M by and large uses four wide receivers at a time, and by far, the four that get the most reps are Mike Evans, Derel Walker, Sabian Holmes, and Malcome Kennedy. Here is a breakdown of how successful we are, by passer rating and by yards per target, throwing to each player.
We don't run play action very much, but so far this year, here is Johnny's passer rating on play action vs non-play action.
Finally, the big picture stat for our passing game. It's fairly self-explanatory, but here's a short explanation anyway. When I chart, I break the field down into different sections. Left and Right are passes behind the line of scrimmage, 1, 2, 3, and 4 are 0-10 yards down field from left to right, A, B, C, and D, are 10-20 yards down field from left to right, and the "deep" categories are balls that travel at least 20+ yards down field. Here is the yardage, passer rating, and number of touchdown passes that have gone to each section. (These are just Johnny's throws. Sorry, Matt Joeckel)