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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Offensive Playcalling Breakdown (Central Michigan)

All year, normally on Mondays, I will breakdown the UK offense based on the down and distance.  This can often give us the ins and outs of where the offense truly went right and wrong.  I will breakdown running and passing plays on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd downs.  And for 3rd down, I split it up between 3rd and short and 3rd and long plays.  A look at Central Michigan:

1st Down
Run: 22 rushes, 161 yards, 2 TD
Pass: 6-12, 75 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (1 fumble lost)

Recap: The stats are pretty gaudy and the Cats did have some highlights, most notably the Rose touchdown run in the first quarter but it wasn’t perfect, especially in the first half.  Inconsistency with the passing game and 2 turnovers stand out.  The 2nd half was much more consistent as the Cats chewed up yards on the ground with ease.  But overall, 236 yards on 34 plays is quite good.

2nd Down
Run: 16 rushes, 113 yards, 2 TD (1 fumble lost)
Pass: 4-5, 19 yards (1 sack allowed)

Recap: A very solid effort on 2nd down either gained the Cats 1st downs or gave them 3rd and short situations all game.  Not much to write home about in the pass game but 80% completion was promising.  Snell’s long touchdown included in this set but even taking that out, Cats averaged nearly 5 yards per carry on this down.

3rd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Run: No Plays Run
Pass: 3-6, 24 yards, 1 INT (converted 1 of 6)

Recap: Has consistently been an issue under Mark Stoops and nothing changed on Saturday.  Obviously in 3rd and long situations you need an effective passing game to continue drives.  UK doesn’t have that yet, as evidenced by the 1 for 6 conversion.  If you can hit 33-40% of these, you’d be doing great.  1 for 6 is not going to cut it though.

3rd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Run: 4 rushes, 22 yards (converted 4 of 4)
Pass: 2-3, 12 yards (converted 2 of 3)

Recap: Cats were fantastic in these situations, converting the tough yards when they needed to.  The strength of the running backs should make this a strong point of the offense all year.  6 out of 7 will certainly be a strong ask moving forward, but Cats must maintain 50% or higher to keep the offense on the field this season.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

6 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Offensive Playcalling Breakdown (Central Michigan)



  1. CatsfaninFL
    10:10 am September 4, 2018 Permalink

    Bti: what is the national average on 3rd and long? Would like to see how we compare to that because I know it’s not an easy feat but would think higher than 16.5% (1 in 6)



  2. CatsfaninFL
    10:12 am September 4, 2018 Permalink

    Also… having to post on my phone. Online my computer loaded 209 ads (and i stopped scrolling) so I couldn’t even get to the bottom to post. That really needs to get fixed. Adblocker works at home but can’t install that at work! Shhh.



  3. DerBaron
    10:47 am September 4, 2018 Permalink

    Miss Freddy’s After Action Reports.



  4. RackEmWillie
    12:30 pm September 4, 2018 Permalink

    3rd and short is probably the most hopeful stat out of all of those, and none of them are really bad (3rd and long is to be expected, especially in game 1).

    But, the fact that they were able to convert through the air on 3rd and short only makes their ability to convert on the ground that much easier.

    Converting a few more 3rd and longs per game is a big difference in the overall game. That can be the difference between winning and losing a close game, no doubt about it.



  5. mashburnfan1
    7:59 pm September 4, 2018 Permalink

    3rd and long issue is not throwing the ball far enough. Gran and his garbage short passing conservative stuff will not win in the SEC. You can do that at Cincy but not SEC football. Look at Conrad and Bowden, they averaged less than 3 yards per catch for the game. We have 3rd and 14 and toss a screen or quick out for 5 yards. The rules really favor the offense so throw it down field, may complete it, may get a penalty but give the young men a chance. Noy just 3rd down but even more on 1st and 2nd down. Teams will just load the line of scrimmage. With ur talent at RB a play action will work well. We threw 3 deep balls vs CMU, 1 PI penalty, 1 a little over thrown and 1 I thought Naker could have run to but regardless all 3 WIDE OPEN. Yet Gran would not try to throw it when it was obvious they could not cover us deep. How can Bowden and Conrad average 3 yards a catch and us win vs good teams?