Throughout the season, I will be breaking down the playcalling so that you can assess whether you saw what you think you saw on the field. I know many people felt the air raid offense was not so much air as it was ground raid. The truth is there were 31 passes compared to 28 rushes. While that still might not be the ratio some wanted, it is better than most believed. But anyway, here are the stats broken down by down and distance with a little of my analysis thrown in.
Pass: 14 plays (8-11, 72 yds, 1 TD, 3 sacks for -20 yds)
Run: 11 rushes for 121 yards, 1 fumble
Analysis: Statistically speaking, those stats don’t look that bad. Except for the 3 sacks, UK completed a high percentage of passes, ran for over 10 yards per carry and scored a touchdown. But really, they are somewhat misleading. Jalen Whitlow had a 50 yard burst that inflates the rushing a bit and Max Smith threw a late touchdown against a prevent D. But still, not a bad start on 1st down.
2nd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Pass: 6 plays (4-6, 34 yds)
Run: 8 rushes for 42 yards, 1 TD
Analysis: 1 touchdown run and a rushing average of over 5 yards per carry. But the passing attack was mediocre at best. This was the spot where short passes were the norm.
2nd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Pass: 1 play (0-1)
Rush: 4 rushes for 60 yards
Analysis: Much like the 1st down stats, they are a bit misleading considering Sanders’ 52 yard run in the 1st quarter. What is most interesting in the Cats only saw 5 instances of 2nd and short situations, while they saw 14 times of 2nd and long. That is not a good ratio.
3rd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Pass: 6 plays (4-6, 65 yds)
Rush: 2 rushes for 1 yards
Analysis: The story of this scenario is who was playing quarterback. When Jaylen Whitlow was in there, he was unable to convert a 3rd down with a pass, while Max Smith did it twice with lengthy gains.
3rd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Pass: 4 (2-4, 33 yds)
Rush: 3 rushes for 5 yards, 1 TD
Analysis: Nothing spectacular here. A good balance of run and pass, with very little success in the running game, sans a short TD run by Jonathan George. Whitlow and Smith each converted 1 first down with 10+ yard passes, so no real advantage there.