"(I) think about 'The Lion King,' Simba gets hit over the head and (he's told) 'the past can hurt,' " Harbaugh said Monday afternoon. "'You can either run from it or embrace it and learn from it.'
So, I had some spare time at work and decided to look into something that I have been wondering for a while: does it seem like Rich Rod sticks to the run too much, even in games where we are losing? At this point I’m sure you all know RR likes to run the ball—duh. But how often, exactly, does he run the ball?
This analysis is just a basic overview of my dataset. I will follow up with more in-depth looks at point margins and down and distance, but I thought you all might be interested to see basic percentages for our offense through Purdue. If anyone has anything specific regarding playcalling vs. score margin vs. down and distance, let me know and I will see what I can do.
A few notes and stipulations on the dataset:
1.) All data is taken from Brian’s UFRs for games this season.
2.) Analysis stopped at end of UFR, so if Brian didn’t include it in his UFR (i.e. blowouts), it is not in my analysis. If Brian doesn’t think its worth looking at, well, neither do I.
3.) Plays in which either team got a penalty are included ONLY IF the ball was snapped, since if it didn’t, we can’t know what play was called.
4.) Every snap weighted the same regardless of time left in half/game, because my thought process, we are almost as likely to run the ball in a 2 minute drill as the rest of the game (almost, though not quite).
5.)2 pt. conversions left out.
Disclaimer: 4th down numbers are not very accurate due to low sample size.
Now, for a chart:
A few things here are obvious. First, RR likes to run on 1st down (69.1% of the time). His affinity for running decreases every down, with the exception of 4th down. Most of the runs on 4th down are 4th and short, and the passes 4th and long.
Next, we will take a look at the distribution when the game is tied:
What we see here is that RR is more likely to run the ball on every down when the game is tied than his average, except fourth down.
Now, we look at when we are winning the game:
So, RR is more likely to run when we are winning, though not to a statistically significant level except on 1st down.
And when we are losing:
So, RR is much less likely to run on all downs (except 4th) when we are losing.
This data all flushes out pretty much as expected, but I thought I'd share anyway. In the next edition, I will analyze run-calling affinity per down based on score margin. Stay tuned, folks for all upcoming editions of 2010 Playcalling so far: An Analysis.
P.S. If anyone is interested in seeing my whole dataset for validation or to do your own analysis, please leave a comment/message me (can you message people on here?) and I will be pleased to share!
EDIT: Title and Tags edited to be more informative