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Play Charting Texas Tech | Digging Into the Run/Pass Ratios and Personnel

I've finally had some time to delve a little deeper into the play charting that I did for the Houston game. I did this for myself, but also to shed some light on some of the plays being run and what they mean. I wish I had done this for the entire year, but I only did the Weber St. game and the Houston game. Since I watched the Weber St. game online, I didn't get a chance to go back and look at my work, whereas with the Houston game I was able to back up the DVR and make sure I got the right play, personnel and result as much as humanly possible. You can expect more of this next year assuming the game is on television.

I also thought this would be helpful from the standpoint that it would either dispel some myths about the offensive play-calling or confirm those stereotypes. Either way, I find the information interesting and useful. Keep in mind this is where you can find the plays I charted. If I've missed something, the let me know and I'll make the correction, but I think the information is mostly accurate.

The first chart is the ratio of run to pass on each particular down. There's the general perception that OC Neal Brown likes to run it on second down and I wanted to see for myself how accurate that actually was.

1 15 18 33 45% 55%
2 16 11 27 59% 41%
3 13 4 17 76% 24%
4 0 1 1 0% 100%
TOTAL 44 34 78 56% 44%


More awesome analysis after the jump.

As you can see, of the second down plays, OC Brown actually passed the ball 59% of the time and ran the ball 41% of the time. To dig a little deeper, you can also go back and look at the down and distance for each of those second down plays. For our intents and purposes, we'll call anything greater than 7 yards, second and long. There were 17 second and long plays total and of those second and long plays Texas Tech passed 11 of those plays and ran the ball only 6 of those plays. Again, it's not so much a question of whether or not a run or pass was called, but rather what was the success rate of those plays. I believe that the guys at Football Outsiders say that success is if a team gains at least half of the yardage needed on that second down play. So, for passing plays, when Texas Tech was facing second and long, the offense was successful 7 of those 11 plays and not successful the other 4. On rushing plays, the offense was only successful 1 of those 6 plays.

I think it's standard to think that a team is more likely to gain more yards passing the ball than running the ball, and the one running play that was wildly successful was in the 4th drive on the 26 yard line and RB Eric Stephens runs the ball in for a touchdown.

Personally, I don't mind running the ball 41% of the time on second down is all that bad and for the most part in line with what OC Brown has done the entire season.  I think I'd be concerned if this percentage was swayed one way or another, i.e. it was incredibly blatant that OC Brown was running the ball on second down or passing the ball on second down.  Maybe I'm too easy on OC Brown, but I didn't find any of the second down rushing plays a terrible play call.  And I also wonder if the point isn't to get the second down play to a more manageable third down play, i.e., rush for 3 yards and have a third and five yards or seven yards.  I don't have any old Leach games on the DVR to make a comparison, and even if someone does send me a copy of your average Texas Tech game by DVD, one game isn't indicative of a decade long track record.  Obviously, these statistics become more meaningful the more data we can accumulate.

Up next, is taking a look at the run plays versus the pass plays by personnel group.

10 1 1 2 50% 50%
11 3 4 7 43% 57%
20 6 3 9 67% 33%
31 0 3 3 0% 100%
10 / Trips Left 17 9 26 65% 35%
10 / Trips Right 6 4 10 60% 40%
10 / Two Wide 11 8 19 58% 42%


I thought this the more interesting of the two tables. First, an explanation, which is that 10 personnel means that the offense has 1 running back, 0 tight ends and 4 receivers. 11 personnel is 1 running back, 1 tight end and 3 receivers. 20 personnel is 2 running backs, 0 tight ends and 3 receivers. 31 personnel is 3 running backs, 1 tight end and 0 receivers (This was the formation for the last 3 plays of the game, the first play was a running play by Batch). On almost all of the 10 personnel groups, I was able to also categorize whether or not the offensive formation was either trips left, trips right or two wide. There were 2 plays in 10 personnel that I didn't catch, although after the play I did count 4 receivers, I just didn't see the actual play.

A couple of surprising things, which is that when Texas Tech was in 11 personnel (1 RB and 1 TE), Texas Tech does favor the run, or at least in this particular game. And even though OC Brown tips his hand by having a tight end in the formation, he was 50/50 in the Houston game. I'll be interested to see if this trend continues.  I should also note that I also believe that when Texas Tech lined up in 11 personnel, it was Chris Olson as the tight end and although Olson wasn't the most dominating offensive lineman, he and the right tackle generally manufactured positive yardage on almost each and every play.

Also surprising is that in 20 personnel, Texas Tech isn't so much a running team, but chooses to pass. I would have guessed a 60/40 run to pass ratio, but that wasn't the case. This seems like a good opportunity for RB Baron Batch to be a lead blocker or vice-versa with Stephens to open up a rushing lane, but that's just not the case. 

In 10 personnel with trips left, this leaves WR Detron Lewis with one-on-one coverage on the right side. When Texas Tech passed in this formation, Texas Tech averaged 8 yards per play (this includes incompletions) and of those 17 pass plays, 6 of them went to Detron Lewis. And this 10 personnel with trips left is by far OC Brown's favorite formation with the 10 personnel with 2 wide being the second favorite. It will be interesting to see if OC Brown runs more balanced formations next year. And in case you're at all curious as to Texas Tech's most explosive personnel package, i.e. the formation that gained the most yards . . .

It was 10 personnel with 2 wide, where Texas Tech averaged over 12 yards per pass play. 10 personnel trips left averaged 8 yards per pass play and 10 personnel trips right, the offense only averaged 4 yards per play.

So this is probably something that I'm going to do next year, assuming the games are on television. Is there anything else that you'd like to see done with these numbers? Is this totally boring? Will you hate me if I keep creating all of these tables?