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ASU Football: Charting the Sun Devil offense’s performance vs. Texas Tech

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Here’s a breakdown of the ASU offense’s performance against Texas Tech, because let’s revisit that again.

Texas Tech v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

So, let’s start this by admitting that this week’s Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners film breakdown was pretty weak, and as our guy cokermania noted in the comments, it wasn’t exactly accurate.

To make up for that, I decided to go back through the previous week and give you not a film breakdown, but a charting of how last week’s offense ticked.

The Arizona State Sun Devils possessed the ball for over 90 offensive snaps during their 68-55 win against Texas Tech last weekend. We’ve already noted how offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey has the offense humming, but he’s done so in a very subtle matter; never mind the record-setting performance and average of 56 points per game through two contests.

Below, we’ve compiled a breakdown of the Arizona State offense’s performance, which includes identification of formations, plays, the direction they’re run in, down-and-distance to go, and who was involved.

Enjoy! (I got almost everything).

Notes: At the end of the column, is a glossary of the terminology I used to denote everything. To view the entire chart breakdown, click this link.

Also, so you’re not confused as to why January is a down, Excel kept correcting 1/10 to 10-Jan, so that’s how we’re rolling with it because why not. Therefore:

January: first down (example—10-Jan: first-and-10)

February: second down (example—4-Feb: second-and-4)

March: third down (example—5-Mar: third-and-5)

April: fourth down (example—1-Apr: fourth-and-5)

First Quarter

Lindsey freed Wilkins to start the game, opening up with four straight passes. In fact, 17 of the Sun Devils’ first 24 plays were called passes.

A majority of Wilkins’ first-quarter throws (13 to be exact) targeted the boundary side of the field, usually isolating a receiver in a one-on-one matchup. This allowed receivers N’Keal Harry and Jalen Harvey to get involved, while easing Wilkins into the game. Most of his completions to Harry and Harry came on slant routes, making use of the former’s big body and the latter’s savvy.

Lindsey’s play calling also kept Wilkins from potentially throwing the ball into danger; by prioritizing the third of the field featuring the lowest number of defenders, the risk of turnover is low.

This is also true of the four passes thrown behind the LOS, which simultaneously spread the Texas Tech defense out at the same time.

The success ASU enjoyed early on opened up things for the rest of the offense moving forward.

Second Quarter

With the passing game having spread the Texas Tech defense to the perimeter, Lindsey’s play calls shifted to a focus on the run, utilizing RPO and RO action in the backfield to keep the opposition on its toes.

Twelve of ASU’s 25 offensive plays worked toward the boundary side of the field. Thirteen plays worked to the right. Despite freshman tackle Zach Robertson being out, Lindsey didn’t shy away from running behind veteran linemen Stephon McCray and Quinn Bailey. It worked out pretty well, if you ask me.

A key aspect that went unnoticed during ASU’s win: the usage of two tight-end sets (12 personnel) in which Kody Kohl and Raymond Epps are on the field at the same time, primarily as blockers.

Epps is pretty nasty.

Epps and Kohl’s blocking is something that will end up being key to the run game’s success in fruture contests.

Third Quarter

In the third quarter, the ASU offense utilized the open side of the field a bit more, but still managed to

As the Sun Devils tried to wear down the Texas Tech defense, they began to press the middle of the field both through the air and on the ground. As the group stated during the post-game presser, the offensive line grew stronger the further into the game it went.

Fourth Quarter

With the lead intact, ASU called its most conservative quarter as its defense began to become more aggressive.

The back-to-back touchdowns runs by Kalen Ballage were backbreakers for the Red Raiders. Following that, it was run, run, run the rest of the way for the Sun Devils, ending the game with its 12 personnel package on the field to help pound the rest of the clock out.

Glossary

Formation/Personnel

Pistol: QB lines up behind center in shotgun, with RB behind him.

Split back: two RBs in the backfield.

11 Personnel: 1 tight end, 1 running back.

12 Personnel: 2 tight ends, 1 running back.

Sparky: I got you.

Trio/Trips: 3 receivers one side of the formation.

Play (Play Type):

Pass: We all know what this is!

Run: We all know what this is, too! (I think)

RO: run option

RPO: run-pass option

PA pass: play-action pass

Trick/Flea Flicker: Take a look at this. You’re welcome.

Run/Jet Sweep: slot receiver or motioning player takes handoff from quarterback at snap.

QB Sneak: that thing Tom Brady is surprisingly really good at and no one knows why.

Pass rollout: during a pass play, the pocket moved with a quarterback as he rolled towards one side of the field.

Short (pass): a pass traveling anywhere from behind the lines of scrimmage to 10 yards downfield through the air.

Medium (pass): a pass traveling anywhere from 10 to 15 yards downfield through the air.

Deep (pass): a pass traveling anywhere from 15 yards or more downfield through the air.

LOS: line of scrimmage