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Advanced Game Analysis: Alabama-LSU

Staff Columnist
Posted Nov 4, 2012


Alabama escaped Death Valley with a heart-stopping win, despite Zach Mettenberger’s best performance in purple and gold. The play-selection statistics show just how fortunate the Crimson Tide are to hold on to the No. 1 ranking in college football.


Statistics for this game were compiled by freelance researcher Ross Lancaster.

ALABAMA-LSU ADVANCED ANALYSIS

NOTE No. 1: Statistics do not include LSU's truncated possessions at the end of each half.

NOTE No. 2: For the purposes of statistical precision, play selection statistics include plays nullified by penalty because they reveal the intentions of the play callers. For instance, if a team runs on second and four, only for that second-down run to be nullified by a holding penalty which brings about a second-and-14 situation, the record will note that the team chose to run on second and four instead of passing on second and 14.


FIRST DOWN PLAY SELECTION – Alabama: 12 runs, 15 passes; LSU: 25 runs, 7 passes.

RUSH-PASS COMBINATIONS –
When a series of downs progressed to second down at the very least, how did offensive coordinators handle their first- and second-down play combinations? How did each combination work?

ALABAMA COMBINATIONS AND FIRST-DOWN SUCCESS RATES: Rush-first, pass-second combinations: 1 of 3 conversions; rush-first, rush-second combinations: 3 of 5; pass-first, rush-second combinations: 2 of 4; pass-first, pass-second combinations: 3 of 5.

LSU COMBINATIONS AND FIRST-DOWN SUCCESS RATES: Rush-first, pass-second combinations: 8 of 11 conversions; rush-first, rush-second combinations: 7 of 9; pass-first, rush-second combinations: 3 of 6; pass-first, pass-second combinations: 1 of 1.

DOWN AND DISTANCE PLAY SELECTION AND SUCCESS RATES

NOTE: For the purposes of definitional and statistical clarity in this subsection, a second-down play is deemed "successful" if it gained more than half of the distance needed for a first down. A third-down play is deemed "successful" if it gained the first down.

ALABAMA PLAY SELECTION BREAKDOWN

Second down and under four yards to make: 1 of 1 rushing, 1 of 2 passing.

Second and 4-7 yards: 2 of 3 rushing, 1 of 1 passing

Second and over 7 yards: 2 of 5 rushing, 2 of 5 passing.

Third and 3-5 yards: 0 of 1 rushing, 0 of 3 passing.

Third and over 5 yards: 1 of 5 passing.

LSU PLAY SELECTION BREAKDOWN

Second down and under four yards to make: 1 of 3 rushing, 1 of 1 passing.

Second and 4-7 yards: 1 of 3 rushing, 2 of 4 passing.

Second and over 7 yards: 2 of 9 rushing, 6 of 8 passing.

Third down and under 3 yards to make: 0 of 1 rushing

Third and 3-5 yards: 2 of 2 rushing; 3 of 4 passing

Third and over 5 yards: 0 of 1 rushing; 5 of 11 passing

Fourth downs: 0 of 1 rushing, 0 of 1 passing.