Yesterday, we examined Texas A&M’s offensive and defensive efficiency as a way of grading their performance against Sam Houston. Today, we’re using the same efficiency metrics to grade App State’s performance in their season opener against North Carolina. Using advanced stats is a quick way to preview an opponent and show their strengths and weaknesses.
App State Offensive And Defense Efficiency
As we can see in the above graphic, App State had 11 valid possessions against North Carolina and converted 7 of those possessions into points. This is an offensive efficiency of 63.64%, an outstanding offensive efficiency. Anything over 50% if a machine, and App State was certainly machine-like on offense against the Tar Heels.
App State’s defense faced 11 valid offensive possessions, and allowed North Carolina to convert 8 of those possessions into points. App State’s defensive efficiency is a poor 72.73%. At that level, you’re really not stopping the opposing offense at all.
Aggies looking for reasons A&M may improve on their offensive performance against Sam Houston should look at that defensive efficiency. App State struggled to stop North Carolina in the air (352 yards, 9.8 ypa, 4 TDs) or on the ground (215 yards, 6.1 ypc, 3 TDs). Teams make their biggest improvement between their first and second game of the season. App State’s inability to stop UNC hints more at a talent issue than one of scheme or fundamentals. If A&M is going to get both their rushing and passing attack going, App State is a good team to work out the kinks.
Beyond Efficiency: Stellar Interior Line Play
Looking beyond efficiency stats, App State has an outstanding offensive line leading the way. Center Troy Everett and left guard Bucky Williams are both proficient in the Mountaineers’ zone scheme. App State runs inside zone, outside zone, and duo in their running game. Everett and Williams are key players who make the running game go.
Watch this inside zone run on 2nd and 1:
Everett easily climbs second level and seals the BSLB outside. Williams picks up a blitz from the PSLB and seals him inside. The two blocks by Everett and Williams open the lane for RB Camerun Peoples on his 38 yard TD run.
Here is another zone run:
Williams engages the 3-tech and Everett brutally leverages him from the side. Williams pancakes Myles Murphy while Everett climbs to the MLB. Everett and Williams’ perfectly executed Ace combo opens the hole for Nate Noel’s 24 yard run.
The key to A&M stopping App State’s rushing attack starts with handling both Everett and Williams. If you can anchor against Everett and Williams, you stuff the middle. Stuff the middle, and you stop App State’s rushing attack.