September 7, 2010


The Madness

Is this just an excuse to shoehorn as many acronyms as possible into the title of a post? No, as a matter of fact, this will be an attempt to explain my upcoming series of analysis concerning the UCLA passing game. I call it the "Passing Inquisition," because it's an investigation of the team's throwing offense, and PI is a pretty recognizable term with regards to passing the ball.

Basically, I'm more or less ripping the idea straight from the oft-imitated, never-intimidated Brian Cook, one of the most well-known college football writers on the internet. You can usually find Brian over at his Michigan-centric haunt, MGoBlog. When he isn't there, he's waxing poetic on the rest of the college football world at The Sporting Blog. While the impetus for this operation, titled Upon Further Review, is a full-scale analysis of the entirety of each Michigan football game, I'm a little less ambitious.

My goal is to get into the smaller details of just UCLA's passing attack - most specifically, the play by the Bruins' quarterback(s?) and wide receivers. As such, I'll be employing the QB/WR nomenclature Brian pioneered in a breakdown of each and every passing play run by the UCLA offense this season. I'll include video embedding as I see fit to highlight whatever I find particularly interesting, enlightening, or frustrating.

The Method

Will I be as thorough as the original UFR? No, no I will not. While Brian would list offensive formation, opposing defensive formation, the number of RB/WR/TE, and then go in-depth on the type of play, and performance of the offensive line, I will keep things a bit more simplified because I am a giant wuss.

Each play will list the yard-line, down, and distance, to set up context, but I won't go into formations (*though I may make mention of when the Bruins line up in the Pistol, at least for the time being). I'll note the targeted receiver, as well as the yardage gained on completed passes (incompletions will be noted as INC). I'll then give a description of the play itself, followed by a summary of the type of pass attempt, and reception attempt, I believe it to be.

The glossary for pass attempt descriptions can be found here, while the glossary for what the numbers describing WR catch attempts mean is located here.

A sample entry follows below, with a description to make sure this is clear for everybody involved:

Yard Line Down Distance Player Yards
UCLA 20 1 10 Pressley INC
This is not the way to start a new season. Prince takes the snap out of the shotgun, and finds Pressley on a quick pass at the sticks. However, the throw is behind Pressley, and he has to twist his body to attempt the catch. That, combined with the Kansas State defender hitting him as he goes down, causes him to drop the ball. If Prince puts this a bit more in front of him, this is a 1st down. Still, MP got his hands on it, and probably should have brought it in. (CA-, 2).

The above basically means that UCLA had the ball, 1st and 10 on its own 20-yard line. The pass was to Pressley, but was incomplete. The "(CA-, 2)" means that the throw was CA-, which, if you check the QB glossary means that the pass was catchable, but made more difficult for the receiver because it wasn't that good of a throw. And the 2, according to the WR glossary, means that the catch was moderately difficult, but should be made more often than not.

Hopefully this makes sense, and we can all watch the progression of UCLA's passing game from not-so-good to something (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease) serviceable at worst, and excellent at best.

No comments: