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StatTiger

Notes on Big Play Offense

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Big Plays in Gus Malzahn's Offense:

  • Big play defined as an offensive play resulting in 30-yards or more.

  • From 1992-2015, Auburn is 82-12-1 in games with 3 big plays or more with an average of 38.5 PPG.

  • From 1992-2015, Auburn has produced a 30-yard run play or better every 58.2 attempts and a pass play of 30-yards or more every 19.7 attempts. This is a strong indicator of why good quarterback play is necessary to compete at a high level.

  • From 2006-2015, Gus Malzahn's offense has produced 375 plays of 30-yards or more with an average of 1 every 25.5 snaps.

  • A big play has been worth 12.8 points per play in Malzahn's offense.

Ratio of Big Plays (2006-2015):

  • 2006 Arkansas ............. 1 every 26.2 snaps
  • 2007 Tulsa ................... 1 every 21.7 snaps
  • 2008 Tulsa ................... 1 every 19.9 snaps
  • 2009 Auburn ................ 1 every 31.5 plays
  • 2010 Auburn ................ 1 every 20.2 plays
  • 2011 Auburn ................ 1 every 37.6 plays
  • 2012 Arkansas St ......... 1 every 27.8 plays
  • 2013 Auburn ................ 1 every 22.5 plays
  • 2014 Auburn ................ 1 every 26.1 plays
  • 2015 Auburn ................ 1 every 40.5 plays

Breakdown by quarters:

  • 1st quarter: 23.5%
  • 2nd quarter: 30.7%
  • 3rd quarter: 28.8%
  • 4th quarter: 17.1%

Additional Notes:

  • 64.8 percent of the big plays in Malzahn's offense come via the pass-offense, which places even more importance of having a consistent quarterback in place for 2016.

  • Though the number of big plays (375) have accounted for only 3.9 percent of the total offensive snaps, they do account for 27 percent of the total yardage.

  • Auburn was No. 93 nationally in producing 30-yard plays during 2015, a significant drop from being No. 18 in 2014 and No. 2 in 2013. Arkansas State ranked No. 18 during 2012 and Auburn was No. 2 in 2010.

  • Last season the national ratio in big plays was 1 every 31.9 plays and Auburn finished at 1 every 40.5 plays. Baylor was No. 1 with 1 every 19.0 plays and Missouri was dead-last with 1 every 70.0 snaps. LSU was No. 1 in the SEC with 1 every 23.0 plays.

  • Auburn's 2015 run-offense produced a 30+ yard run every 97.7 attempts. During 2010 it was 1 every 31.0 attempts and 1 every 31.7 attempts during 2013. The national average during 2015 was 1 every 55 rush attempts. Peyton Barber was a bruiser at RB but Auburn needs more quickness & speed at the RB position to generate more explosive plays in the running game. Having a dual-threat QB would also create more opportunities.

Auburn's top-5 Big Play makers (1987-2015):

  • Sammie Coates ................. 26
  • Tyrone Goodson ............... 22
  • Ronnie Brown ................... 19
  • Frank Sanders ................... 18
  • Stephen Davis ................... 17
  • Ricardo Louis .................... 17

From 1987-2015, only three Auburn offenses produced a big play every 25.0 plays or better. That would be the 2004, 2010 and 2013 Auburn offenses with a combined 39-2 record and three conference championships.

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That's one statistic I think we can all count on moving back in the right direction this year. 1 in 40 is atrocious.

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That's one statistic I think we can all count on moving back in the right direction this year. 1 in 40 is atrocious.

That happens when your starting QB throws it backwards...

Hopefully JF3 will step in to the Nick Marshall role, and we will see explosive plays galore.

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That's one statistic I think we can all count on moving back in the right direction this year. 1 in 40 is atrocious.

That happens when your starting QB throws it backwards...

Hopefully JF3 will step in to the Nick Marshall role, and we will see explosive plays galore.

Awful stat...JMO but mostly because the QB's rarely threw the ball down field....and once Duke was gone, there did not seem to be a big play threat left on the team. Looks like we signed up several of them this year if the QBs can get them the ball.

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but, but, but I thought defense won championships :drippingsarcasm7pa: hopefully, we can see the offense start putting up better numbers this year, regardless of who the QB is. I firmly believe the defense could well be the strength of this year's team. even an average CGM offense can set us above the others in the SEC, and therefore the country. imagine us averaging 35+ pts/game with a strong defense. it would be like 2004 and 2010 had a baby. lol. I just hope they are able to figure out their redzone woes, and get out of their own way with the nutty play calling. WDE

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4 plays account for 27% of the yardage wow! Defensively, scheme to keep the big play away from Gus and make Gus call long drives. Often times Gus will eventually outsmart himself with a momentum killing playcall killing the drive. Couple that with QB play that needed to be better and the offense becomes the mess it was last season

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4 plays account for 27% of the yardage wow! Defensively, scheme to keep the big play away from Gus and make Gus call long drives. Often times Gus will eventually outsmart himself with a momentum killing playcall killing the drive. Couple that with QB play that needed to be better and the offense becomes the mess it was last season

True....we were rarely able to pull off a 10+ play drive without a play that resulted in a loss and brought it to an end....usually about 15-20 yards short of a TD when it became necessary to go for a FG.

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Gus needs to reverse the trend based on the data of the OP. And D does win championships.

wde

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And D does win championships.

wde

Actually "great teams" win championships. Does it help to have a great defense? Of course it does but no more than great offense or great special teams. As I have posted before, 43 percent of the FBS teams from 2000-2015 that finished with a top-10 defense managed to lose at least 4 games during the season.

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Of course. But teams that consistently play good to great D are more likely to win championships consistently. spuat has had very good defenses since saban has been HC. How many SEC Championships and National Titles has spuat won since 2007? saban to his credit has also learned that a decent O will help and he hired Lane Kiffen and has adjusted his O philosophy but there is no doubt saban and spuats success is built on D.

wde

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Of course. But teams that consistently play good to great D are more likely to win championships consistently. spuat has had very good defenses since saban has been HC. How many SEC Championships and National Titles has spuat won since 2007? saban to his credit has also learned that a decent O will help and he hired Lane Kiffen and has adjusted his O philosophy but there is no doubt saban and spuats success is built on D.

wde

Sure his teams are sound on defense but they are also sound in the running game as well as Qb play.

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Of course. But teams that consistently play good to great D are more likely to win championships consistently. spuat has had very good defenses since saban has been HC. How many SEC Championships and National Titles has spuat won since 2007? saban to his credit has also learned that a decent O will help and he hired Lane Kiffen and has adjusted his O philosophy but there is no doubt saban and spuats success is built on D.

wde

Sure his teams are sound on defense but they are also sound in the running game as well as Qb play.

saban's teams are more than just "sound" on defense. Under Pruitt, spuat is likely to get even better on D. Under saban spuat has beem sound on O and are getting better than sound on O since Kiffen has been OC. saban is a damn good HC who adjusts. AU fans can only hope saban will retire or die in the next several years.

wde

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I am a bit surprised at the 3rd quarter percentage. It seems like we go into an offensive coma during the 3rd quarter under malzahn.

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Of course. But teams that consistently play good to great D are more likely to win championships consistently. spuat has had very good defenses since saban has been HC. How many SEC Championships and National Titles has spuat won since 2007? saban to his credit has also learned that a decent O will help and he hired Lane Kiffen and has adjusted his O philosophy but there is no doubt saban and spuats success is built on D.

wde

Sure his teams are sound on defense but they are also sound in the running game as well as Qb play.

saban's teams are more than just "sound" on defense. Under Pruitt, spuat is likely to get even better on D. Under saban spuat has beem sound on O and are getting better than sound on O since Kiffen has been OC. saban is a damn good HC who adjusts. AU fans can only hope saban will retire or die in the next several years.

wde

Would rather AU get it together and beat him. Then he retires....as an AU fan I would never hope anyone opposing coach dies....

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Of course. But teams that consistently play good to great D are more likely to win championships consistently. spuat has had very good defenses since saban has been HC. How many SEC Championships and National Titles has spuat won since 2007? saban to his credit has also learned that a decent O will help and he hired Lane Kiffen and has adjusted his O philosophy but there is no doubt saban and spuats success is built on D.

wde

Sure his teams are sound on defense but they are also sound in the running game as well as Qb play.

saban's teams are more than just "sound" on defense. Under Pruitt, spuat is likely to get even better on D. Under saban spuat has beem sound on O and are getting better than sound on O since Kiffen has been OC. saban is a damn good HC who adjusts. AU fans can only hope saban will retire or die in the next several years.

wde

Would rather AU get it together and beat him. Then he retires....as an AU fan I would never hope anyone opposing coach dies....

I hope he gets bonked on the head and wakes up as brilliant anthropologist, doctor, or chess player...but most importantly forgetting all football knowledge.

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Always cool reading these stat posts. Hopefully we can get 2016 numbers back to 2010 numbers :)

....Also, what is spuat? :lol: Don't think I've seen that before.

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Great points. The big breakdown in 2015 was with the passing offense. Poor QB play, interceptions, fumbles, sacks given up, and dropped passes.

I really wish there was an easy way to take every play that started as a pass play, and put it into the pass statistics. Think about Clemson's Deshaun Watson and the running gains he made during on planned passing plays. Think about sacks given up and QB fumbles on planned passing plays. Those are all part of the passing game. Sometimes they do not show up in the passing statistics.

How many times did we see our O-Line in 2015 give up sacks to a standard pass rush? How many times were our QBs under unnecessary pressure? How many times did we give up sacks? How many times did our QBs fumble on planned pass plays (not a zone read or a QB draw)? How many interceptions did we throw? How many poorly thrown passes did our QBs make? How many busted routes did our WRs run? How many good passes did our QBs make that were dropped?

Auburn was 35th in the nation in rushing offense with 196.4 YPG.

Auburn was 111th in the nation in passing offense with 173.6 YPG

Auburn was 94th in the nation in total offense with 370 YPG.

We needed about 90 more YPG out of our passing game. That would have gotten our passing game up into the 30th - 35th spot, and our total offense up into the 30th - 35th spot.

90 more yards of passing offense would likely have resulted in more yards of rushing offense, due to more yards per carry, due to defenses needing to respect our passing game.

90 more yards of passing offense would likely have resulted in much better Red Zone performance, due to defenses needing to respect our passing game.

The addition yards of total offense should equate to at least another touchdown per game, perhaps a TD and a field goal..

It is okay to have low passing yards because you don't pass, and make it up with a superior running game (i.e., 2013). I is not okay to have an okay running game with a horrible passing game.

Fix the O-Line blocking, fix the QB play, fix the WR play, and we are competitive. We lost four games in 2015 by 8 points. If we had an effective passing game, we probably would have won those, or at least half of them. We would have been 9-4 or perhaps 11-2.

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Hey Stat,

You've probably answered this before, but where does the standard of "Big Play = 30 yards or more" come from? Is it a standard of college football stats, or did you come up with it from some type of statistical analysis? Also I think you term plays of 15 yards or more as "Impact Plays". I'd ask the same question for that standard. Where did those yardage figures come from?

Thanks for all your breakdowns; they are very interesting and revealing.

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Of course. But teams that consistently play good to great D are more likely to win championships consistently. spuat has had very good defenses since saban has been HC. How many SEC Championships and National Titles has spuat won since 2007? saban to his credit has also learned that a decent O will help and he hired Lane Kiffen and has adjusted his O philosophy but there is no doubt saban and spuats success is built on D.

wde

Sure his teams are sound on defense but they are also sound in the running game as well as Qb play.

saban's teams are more than just "sound" on defense. Under Pruitt, spuat is likely to get even better on D. Under saban spuat has beem sound on O and are getting better than sound on O since Kiffen has been OC. saban is a damn good HC who adjusts. AU fans can only hope saban will retire or die in the next several years.

wde

Would rather AU get it together and beat him. Then he retires....as an AU fan I would never hope anyone opposing coach dies....

Totally agree. I would never wish harm to any opposing coach or player. I was just being sarcastic.

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Hey Stat,

You've probably answered this before, but where does the standard of "Big Play = 30 yards or more" come from? Is it a standard of college football stats, or did you come up with it from some type of statistical analysis? Also I think you term plays of 15 yards or more as "Impact Plays". I'd ask the same question for that standard. Where did those yardage figures come from?

Thanks for all your breakdowns; they are very interesting and revealing.

Something I have been tracking since the early 90's. On a side note, Terry and Tommy Bowden referred to plays covering 30-yards or more when they were at Auburn. Chizik referred to plays of 15-yards or more.

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And D does win championships.

wde

Actually "great teams" win championships. Does it help to have a great defense? Of course it does but no more than great offense or great special teams. As I have posted before, 43 percent of the FBS teams from 2000-2015 that finished with a top-10 defense managed to lose at least 4 games during the season.

Conversely, wouldn't that mean that 57 percent lost less than 4 games and had at least 9-10 wins (depending on 11 or 12 game season) ? Of course you can't win championships with only defense, but defensive teams seem to win more of them than offensive teams.

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Of course. But teams that consistently play good to great D are more likely to win championships consistently. spuat has had very good defenses since saban has been HC. How many SEC Championships and National Titles has spuat won since 2007? saban to his credit has also learned that a decent O will help and he hired Lane Kiffen and has adjusted his O philosophy but there is no doubt saban and spuats success is built on D.

wde

Sure his teams are sound on defense but they are also sound in the running game as well as Qb play.

saban's teams are more than just "sound" on defense. Under Pruitt, spuat is likely to get even better on D. Under saban spuat has beem sound on O and are getting better than sound on O since Kiffen has been OC. saban is a damn good HC who adjusts. AU fans can only hope saban will retire or die in the next several years.

wde

Would rather AU get it together and beat him. Then he retires....as an AU fan I would never hope anyone opposing coach dies....

Totally agree. I would never wish harm to any opposing coach or player. I was just being sarcastic.

I know you were..

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Great points. The big breakdown in 2015 was with the passing offense. Poor QB play, interceptions, fumbles, sacks given up, and dropped passes.

I really wish there was an easy way to take every play that started as a pass play, and put it into the pass statistics. Think about Clemson's Deshaun Watson and the running gains he made during on planned passing plays. Think about sacks given up and QB fumbles on planned passing plays. Those are all part of the passing game. Sometimes they do not show up in the passing statistics.

How many times did we see our O-Line in 2015 give up sacks to a standard pass rush? How many times were our QBs under unnecessary pressure? How many times did we give up sacks? How many times did our QBs fumble on planned pass plays (not a zone read or a QB draw)? How many interceptions did we throw? How many poorly thrown passes did our QBs make? How many busted routes did our WRs run? How many good passes did our QBs make that were dropped?

Auburn was 35th in the nation in rushing offense with 196.4 YPG.

Auburn was 111th in the nation in passing offense with 173.6 YPG

Auburn was 94th in the nation in total offense with 370 YPG.

We needed about 90 more YPG out of our passing game. That would have gotten our passing game up into the 30th - 35th spot, and our total offense up into the 30th - 35th spot.

90 more yards of passing offense would likely have resulted in more yards of rushing offense, due to more yards per carry, due to defenses needing to respect our passing game.

90 more yards of passing offense would likely have resulted in much better Red Zone performance, due to defenses needing to respect our passing game.

The addition yards of total offense should equate to at least another touchdown per game, perhaps a TD and a field goal..

It is okay to have low passing yards because you don't pass, and make it up with a superior running game (i.e., 2013). I is not okay to have an okay running game with a horrible passing game.

Fix the O-Line blocking, fix the QB play, fix the WR play, and we are competitive. We lost four games in 2015 by 8 points. If we had an effective passing game, we probably would have won those, or at least half of them. We would have been 9-4 or perhaps 11-2.

As always... grand observations. I will add I focus more on efficiency rating that passing yardage. Gus has 135 games in the books as a collegiate coach. His offense is 82-10 with a pass rating of 130 or better and 58-5 with a 130 pass rating combined with 200-yards rushing during the same game.

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Of course. But teams that consistently play good to great D are more likely to win championships consistently. spuat has had very good defenses since saban has been HC. How many SEC Championships and National Titles has spuat won since 2007? saban to his credit has also learned that a decent O will help and he hired Lane Kiffen and has adjusted his O philosophy but there is no doubt saban and spuats success is built on D.

wde

Sure his teams are sound on defense but they are also sound in the running game as well as Qb play.

saban's teams are more than just "sound" on defense. Under Pruitt, spuat is likely to get even better on D. Under saban spuat has beem sound on O and are getting better than sound on O since Kiffen has been OC. saban is a damn good HC who adjusts. AU fans can only hope saban will retire or die in the next several years.

wde

I still believe in Gus Malzahn's ability to develop the program into one that challenges for the national title year in and year out, personally. Last year was rougher than expected, but my undying loyalty combined with my knowledge of how much talent there is out there leads me to think this year could very well be the first in a long line of successful campaigns, regardless of UAT's level of success.

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