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Scouting the Aggies 2015: Kyle Allen's Efficiency

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We don't have a great idea about what to expect this season, but QB efficiency is always a good starting point.

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Football is back, and my new and improved fancy spreadsheet and I are prepared to meticulously chart thousands of ultimately meaningless data points and attempt to trick you into thinking I have done something worthwhile.

Allow this to serve as a preview and a reference point for this year's Scouting the Aggies articles. I've only been doing this for a couple years, so I'm still refining my process, but this year I want to be a little more focused so that readers can know what to expect.

As I chart each play and then organize the data, I want to be able to answer a few questions for you each week:

  • What kind of personnel and formations did A&M use on standard downs, 3rd downs, and short yardage plays?
  • What kind of plays did A&M run in those situations?
  • What did A&M have the most success with?
That's a good starting point. For those of you that just like to skim, I'll start each article with quick analysis and graphics of that data, both for the prior game and for the season as a whole.

Beyond that, I will break things down into smaller categories and see what trends jump out. Among other things that I am going to track, I will chart each play by down and distance, hash, formation, motion, run/pass option, QB accuracy, success rate, and a bunch of others, all of which can be then sorted and sifted. I'll try to find trends and notable numbers for those of you that like to get a little deeper.

Beyond THAT, I will occasionally do some actual football analysis, diagramming plays and/or showing pictures and videos of things that I talk about above.

And finally, beyond THAAAAT, I will pull out some stats from around the country and from around the SEC that I find interesting and stats that I think will be important for A&M's next game.

So, all that said, I was going to do a detailed summary of 2014 first, but 2014 was pretty weird for the Aggies. They started strong, then got progressively worse, benched the quarterback, started a true freshman in his place, ran a completely different offense in his first game than they ran the first two months, then finished the season with a much different look in the bowl game. Because of that, i don't think full season numbers do much justice to what we saw from the Aggies last year. It was like four different seasons in one year.

For example, in the first two months of the season, A&M ran about 75% of their plays out of "10" personnel (one wide running back, four wide receivers). In the bowl game? Just 40%, with "11" personnel (one running back, one tight end, three wide receivers) actually showing up most often. That's a major shift in philosophy.

So what does that mean for 2015? No one knows. The shift to more even usage of 10 and 11 personnel worked for A&M in the bowl game, but this year A&M also has no proven player to use as a tight end. And the Aggies are absolutely loaded at wide receiver.

We'll have to wait and see, but as we start to see answers to these questions (Will we be a 10 or 11 personnel team? Will Kyler Murray be part of the offense? Will we use the quarterback in the run game? Will we be effective on play action? What will the mix of quick passes vs. longer drop back passes be? Which receiver will get the most targets?), I'll do my best to put them in context for you and present them in an interesting way.

For now, I'll leave you with one stat to get you excited about the Aggie offense this year.

In 2014, despite getting off to a rough start in both mop up duty and in his first start against ULM, Kyle Allen played very well in his last four starts and had a QBR (see here for explanation) of at least 77 in each game. For the season, his QBR was a stout 77.8. If he had played enough to qualify, that number would have ranked 13th in the nation. As a true freshman. That's a pretty good place to start for 2015.