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Thursday, July 19, 2007

From the Comments...

Bumped from the comments, because I've apparently become Callahan's biggest defender. Crikey.

Husker Mike: As for the Auburn game, Nebraska got the ball with 5 minutes left and never threw a pass downfield until it was 4th and long. (Threw a screen pass for a loss on 3rd and long.) Go back and look at Callahan's playcharts. At the end of the game, it looks balanced, but that's because his playcalling is run-run-run-run-pass (3rd & Long) or pass-pass-pass-pass-pass. Every so often, we'll see a pass-run-run-pass-pass-run-pass-run-run situation, but it's far too infrequent.

Ok, so let's look at the run/pass split by down.

1st Down
18 runs 67%
9 passes 33%

Not a 50/50 split, but not as severe as Mandel (and Husker Mike) might believe.

More important statistic is 1st down efficiency (plays gaining 4+ yards)

+4 runs = 8 (44%)
+4 passes = 4 (44%)

Running and passing was equally effective on first down (but with a smaller sample of passes). Based on this, we should perhaps have seen a more equal mix of runs and passes on first down.

But, an even more important factor when it comes to playcalling (and gameplanning), is what do you expect to work?:

Auburn’s National Defensive Rankings

Passing Efficiency Defense = #33
Yards/Pass Att. Allowed = #33
Passing Defense = #14

Rushing Defense = #45

Auburn was statistically better at stopping the pass than stopping the run. Would a 50/50 run/pass split in the gameplan have made sense coming into the game?

Now the rest of the playcalling splits

2nd Down
14 runs 64%
8 passes 36%

Again, more proof that the run-run-pass scenario clearly wasn’t happening every drive

3rd Down
1 run
14 passes

So, yes, we threw a ton on third down. Again this has more to do with 1st down and 2nd down efficiency (by way of runs or passes) and falling behind on down and distance than anything else, right?

Additionally, I still don't subscribe to the notion that Callahan went into a hole in the fourth quarter.

Playcalls in the 4th Quarter
17 total plays (1 scored as penalty, without going to the tape I don’t know if the hold came on a run or a pass)
6 runs
10 passes

Again, the offense was ineffective, but we can't blame all of that on playcalling. I was very frustrated watching this game that we didn't throw more and didn't try to get something going downfield. But, that doesn't mean that I had a clear understanding of what was actually going on. Now I haven't gone back to watch the tape for a while, but this analysis comes straight from the charting of the game I did and collected in a spreadsheet.

What am I missing?