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Option Advanced Stats Report: VPISU

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In which Bud Foster tries to figure out what a Speed Option is

ESPN

The TECHmo Bowl never fails to deliver. Every year, Paul Johnson and Bud Foster square off in the season’s best chess match, and Option strategy evolves on live television....

Or not. Or, CPJ could call 24 Speed Options to go with 20 Zone Dives and bludgeon Foster’s defense to the tune of 465 yards. 2 plays accounted for well over 50% of the total plays run by the Georgia Tech offense, yet the Foster never came close to slowing them down. Part of that was indeed a scheme choice by Johnson.

Many of the Speed Options were run out of the Tight formation. With the front the Hokies were showing, the pitch key was shifted from the OLB to the CB. The CB always stayed out with the A-back, allowing the WR to help with sealing the second level and giving Tobias an easy keep read. With 62.5% Success Rate and matching Opportunity Rate, it was dominant. Foster had no answer.

Data by Play

Play Count YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp
Play Count YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp
Triple 3 8.7 66.7% 0.0% 66.7% 5.5
Zone Dive 20 6.2 75.0% 0.0% 60.0% 2.8
Midline 6 9.7 83.3% 0.0% 83.3% 5.0
Counter Speed 3 2.0 66.7% 33.3% 66.7% 1.0
Belly 1 9.0 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 2.5
Toss 8 5.0 37.5% 12.5% 50.0% 2.0
QB Follow 10 5.0 60.0% 0.0% 40.0% 2.0
QB Draw 1 13.0 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 6.0
Speed 24 5.5 62.5% 4.2% 62.5% 1.7

Almost everything worked. The success rate on the Rocket Toss is still concerning, as it has been a part of the offense that has been missing over the last couple of years. Part of the low success rate was due to situational usage, however, as the opportunity rate was still a solid 50%. When the high- volume plays have success rates above 60%, the offense is going to absolutely dominate. Tech was able to dominate with plays that were easier to block and read than the standard Triple, especially against the fronts that Foster was showing. Significant formation adjustments were needed, but Foster didn’t make them.

Time for some new data! We’ve started tracking which A-back and WR were on the play-side during each run play, and displaying the offense’s metrics when that player is the edge blocker. It isn’t a perfect system quite yet, as it tracking all plays instead of just those that go to the edge, but given the heavy use of the Tight formation this game, it’s fairly important.

Data by Blocking ABack

Play Carries YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp
Play Carries YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp
Searcy 24 5.5 62.5% 4.2% 58.3% 2.0
Jarrett 3 4.0 66.7% 0.0% 33.3% 1.5
Lynch 23 6.0 60.9% 8.7% 60.9% 3.1
Cottrell 23 6.5 65.2% 0.0% 65.2% 2.8
Gantt 2 11.0 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 4.0

Data by Blocking WR

Play Carries YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp
Play Carries YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp
Camp 9 4.3 44.4% 0.0% 44.4% 0.9
Carter 21 5.8 57.1% 9.5% 57.1% 2.6
Sanders 1 12.0 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 5.0
Stewart 35 6.3 68.6% 2.9% 62.9% 3.0
Dolphus 3 7.0 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 1.5
Hawkins-Anderson 7 6.0 71.4% 0.0% 57.1% 2.9

The A-back stats didn’t reveal much, but the splits between Brad Stewart and Malachi Carter were significant and shouldn’t be ignored. Stewart has been an excellent blocker during his career at Tech, and Carter is still developing as a player. Carter’s stats weren’t bad by any means, but they weren’t near Stewart’s.

Finally, the race for the highlight yards cup. Unsurprisingly, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Data by Ball Carrier

Play Carries YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp Total Highlight Yards Highlight Yards (Season vs. FBS)
Play Carries YPC Success Rate Stuff Rate Opportunity Rate Highlight Yards Per Opp Total Highlight Yards Highlight Yards (Season vs. FBS)
Oliver 38 5.4 57.9% 5.3% 55.3% 2.3 49 269.0
Marshall 0 0.0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0 0 248.5
Mason 12 6.9 100.0% 0.0% 75.0% 2.7 24.5 198.0
Searcy 2 7.5 50.0% 0.0% 100.0% 1.8 3.5 108.0
Howard 12 6.3 58.3% 0.0% 58.3% 3.5 24.5 102.5
Cottrell 3 7.0 66.7% 0.0% 66.7% 2.3 4.5 37.5
Lynch 2 1.5 0.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0 0 33.0
Graham 2 12.5 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 5.5 11 11.0
Malloy 4 6.8 75.0% 0.0% 75.0% 1.8 5.5 5.5

Tobias Oliver was already close to the lead following the Duke game, so it’s no surprise he took the lead back after this one. Overall, highlight yards were scarce in this game. The longest run was 16 yards, good for a whopping 9 highlight yards. Interestingly, Jerry Howard and Jordan Mason both ran for 24.5 highlight yards.

James Graham and Christian Malloy both made their debuts and impressed. They both made their way onto the highlight yards sheet, and were marching down the field when time expired. Malloy had similar YPC numbers when compared to the main B-back rotation, and Graham had the highest YPC of any player, albeit with just 2 runs. Both showed plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the future of their respective positions.

With TaQuon Marshall returning next week, the focus of the next Advanced Stats report will undoubtedly be the QB controversy that is currently swirling on the flats. Oliver had excellent numbers against VPISU, but how will he compare to Marshall in a game where Johnson said both will play?