It’s hard work being a quarterback in college football. There may be no position in major sports that fans hold more accountable for wins and losses, with the possible exception of a goalie in the NHL, but the quarterback is only part of the equation. TCU was 6-7 last year, but how much of that was on the mercurial Kenny Hill? We’re in week 2 of the project to either set your mind at ease or make you even more stressed, to analyze game film on a deeper level to see just how well Kenny is doing.
Last week was a pretty good one overall for Kenny Hill in his debut, a few bad throws but by and large the decision making was quality. In week 2 the competition takes a step up though, and the opposing offense is one that loves to hang onto the ball, meaning that possessions and plays are at a bit more of a premium. We all have one image in mind from near the end of the game, but how did he actually do overall? Let’s get going and find out. Feel free to follow along with the game film if you like, TCU’s first offensive possession starts here.
Play 1: Empty trips right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 25
Arkansas is playing their cornerbacks close to the line, giving Hill a different look than anything he saw last week. The coverage is very tight across the board as the Frogs attempt a curl-flat concept, but the CB doesn’t let the outside WR get any separation and the receivers essentially run into each other. Hill puts the ball out wide where either no one will catch it or Hicks will, but the timing was thrown off by the jam and it’s incomplete. GPR +1, GPE +1, safety first.
Play 2: Pistol even spread receiver stack left, 2nd and 10 from the TCU 25
Arkansas backs its DBs up a bit against the stack and the Frogs run the zone read. The DE is patient on the edge and so Hill makes the handoff and Hicks runs into the wall of bodies for 3. GRR +1.
Play 3: Trips right, 3rd and 7 from the TCU 28
Arkansas is back to the press so Hill has to hold the ball a few moments longer. Pressure develops fairly quickly, but it is deftly evaded and Hill throws a great ball on the move to Slanina on the sideline which is hauled in for a first down just before he steps out. GPR +1, GPE +2, great throw against tight coverage.
Play 4: Quad left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 36
It’s a neat trick against tight coverage as the Frogs set up a screen and get nice blocking on the outside to free Hicks up for a nice gain. No read, no plus.
Play 5: Even spread, 2nd and 3 from the TCU 43
A throwback to an old Justin Fuente favorite, TCU runs what looks like a zone read with a pulling guard, but is actually setting up a very nice play action. On the move, Hill delivers a nice ball into a moderate window that Porter secures. before being wrapped up. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 6: Empty quads left, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 43
The Frogs tease the screen pass again, but the receivers are releasing vertical instead. Kenny throws a very good ball to the outside that Williams stops and elevates for, but can’t land in control of with the cornerback on top of it. Nice ball and Kenny is clearly reading outside in, but if he’d gone to the second receiver it was probably a touchdown. Not his fault, but frustrating all the same from the overhead view. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 7: Even spread, 2nd and 10 from the Arkansas 43
Again on second and ten the Frogs go conservative to make sure they get something. It’s a zone read/bubble screen triple option type play, but there’s a safety close to the line sitting between Hill and the bubble receiver so the read if handoff all the way and Green mashes forward for three. GRR +1.
Play 8: Trips left, 3rd and 7 from the Arkansas 40
The pigs show a ton of pressure but bail out at the snap, giving Hill a clean pocket and time to look at pretty much diddly squat downfield. Finally Hill takes the checkdown to Olunilua who only just gets ankle tackled by the cornerback before he could pop free for the first down. Right decision, but it doesn’t always work out. GPR +1.
Play 9: Empty trips left, 4th and 4 from the Arkansas 37
Firmly in no man’s land, the Frogs are going for it. Arkansas is again playing very tight, with nine men within three yards of the line of scrimmage and TCU responds by sending everyone deep, forcing the Hogs to back their defenders off. This means that Kenny has a nice wide running lane after about two seconds, and he takes it, gliding effortlessly past the first down and adding on another 15 as we see flags flying everywhere. Still, GRR +1, GRE +1.
Play 10: Trips right under center(!?), 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 26
Hill fakes the jet sweep and pitches it out to Gray who makes some spiffy moves but one extended finger changes the flow of the game. An Arkansas linebacker just catches his finger on Gray’s facemask, causing him to jerk around backwards and fall, fumbling as he falls. No call, Hog ball. Very frustrating. No chart.
A good start for Kenny, safe throws and one really nice one to boot. The block in the back penalty was unnecessary and frustrating, and the lack of penalty on Gray’s facemask/fumble just made it all the more frustrating. If you get a lead on Arkansas their game plan has to change tremendously, as they can’t just hang onto the ball forever. The Frogs get a stop and get the ball back here, but it sure would be nice to be leading.
Play 11: Even spread (I think? Terrible camera angle), 1st and 10 from the TCU 28
Turpin takes either a fly or jet sweep (thanks camera angle) directly from Hill and runs a very, very very long way to gain two yards after stiff-arming a DB. Stay healthy this year you glorious waterbug. No chart.
Play 12: Empty trips left, 2nd and 8 from the TCU 30
Okay, this one is just bad. Simple math means that with Arkansas rushing 4, there are 7 defenders dropping back to cover 5 receivers. That means that in a worst case scenario, there are still three potential one on one matchups... and yet Kenny throws it to a slant that has three defenders right there- and it was too far in front, too. BPR +1, BPE +1.
Play 13: Empty trips left, 3rd and 8 from the TCU 30
Solid coverage across the board again and Kenny is again forced to dump it short of the sticks and hope his receiver can break a tackle. Kenny puts it out wide so White gets some momentum, but he’s still chopped down in short order. D’oh. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Three and out with one bad decision by Kenny, but for the most part it just seems like Arkansas isn’t giving him a lot of opportunities to deliver. Press coverage and seeking to contain with the line is throwing the TCU attack off schedule. That second down throw was a definite head scratcher though. We pick up here after another Arkansas field goal. Sure would be nice to be up 7-6.
Play 14: Trips right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 33
Run Pass option as the receivers release downfield, but Hill hands off and and Hicks gets a quick 3 yards that looked more like 5 on first watch. No chart.
Play 15: Empty trips right, 2nd and 7 from the TCU 36
Again Arkansas is playing tight with just one man further than 6 yards away from the line. It looks a whole lot like the Frogs are setting up a screen as all five OL are face down on the turf at the same time- usually they pop back up and a running back comes in behind them for the QB to dump to and they go get yards. There is no receiver/running back anywhere nearby though, so I don’t really get it. Hill rips a ball to an out route on Gray who again might have been held. The hold looks to throw off his pace slightly, but the ball is well placed and Gray is able to corral it and step up for the first down before his momentum takes him out of bounds. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 16: Trips right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 45
Bubble screen to Slanina creates some good space, but Gray cannot get a block on his man and is run over, turning a likely 5-6 yards into 2. Gray’s name is popping up a lot more through two games than I remember last season. GPR +1.
Play 17: Trips right, 2nd and 8 from the TCU 47
Good play combo with the last one as TCU looks like they’re setting up a screen to the outside trips receiver. Instead of blocking though, Slanina pops by the jam linebacker and Hill finds the gap between the LB and the safety. Ball is high, but it needs to be to get over the LB. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 18: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 40
For the first time in the game, the Frogs really push the tempo and it catches Arkansas off guard, I count 4 defenders not looking toward the line as the ball reaches Hill’s hands and the linebackers are in a clump. The frogs run a zone stretch/outside zone, and the confusion means that the LT making the most difficult reach block is able to easily get there. The only issue is that Gray heads toward a more inside defender from the slot- when there’s a free OL about to hit the same guy. That unintended double team means the LB gets high-lowed and Hicks has to dodge an ankle tackle from Gray’s man, but after that he has an easy path up the sideline for nine yards. I am beginning to see why Gray may have played less in later weeks, that likely could have been 15+ if Hicks hadn’t had to take it out wide so soon. Hypothetical Gray chart -2, back we go.
Play 19: Even (Wide) spread, 2nd and 23 from the TCU 47
Arkansas is playing well off, so the receivers go deep and Kenny tries to dump it to Hicks who has a one on one, but it’s delivered outside of him. GPR +1, BPE +1.
Play 20: Empty trips right, 3rd and 23 from the TCU 47
Pressure comes as Kenny gives the receivers time to get deep and disaster is in the offing. The DE is right there as Kenny starts his delivery and Hill doesn’t get the follow-through as a result. The ball comes out high and a bit inside and Hicks doesn’t come back to it, giving the Arkansas LB time to come up and make the pick and take it to the house. This is the first pick this season where I’m torn on what Kenny could have done- once that arm is in motion any disruption becomes huge no matter if you’re Kenny Hill, Trevone Boykin or Andy Dalton. Still, he could have thrown it sooner. BPR +1, execution is a wash.
13-0, but it’s really not Kenny’s fault so far. The offense is executing fairly well, but penalties and turnovers have made the scoreboard one sided. Two of Kenny’s three picks so far this season have come on third and 10+, so we may be seeing our first trend. TCU immediately takes back over here.
Play 21: ESPN Graphic, 1st and 10 from the TCU 25
A zone read run/pass option sees Hill make the pull and start to run outside before delivering to a wide open White. The ball is low and takes White to his knee to catch though, so no yards after catch. GPR +1, BPE +1, put the ball higher, Kenny.
Play 22: Even spread, 2nd and 5 from the TCU 30
Turpin motions out to the right just before the snap and Kenny gives him a hard fake look before turning to deliver a strike on a wide receiver screen to Gray on the other side. It’s a beautiful setup and ball but Gray just flat out drops it. Deante Gray and the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 23: Trips right, 3rd and 5 from the TCU 30
This looks like disaster from the get go as Arkansas sends 5 and causes enough confusion to give a DL an untouched run straight to Hill. Hill sees it and takes off to the right, dropping back further to get behind the line and he’s 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage before he starts to turn the corner. Props to White for seeing the distress and pushing deep on the scramble and taking a defender with him and huge props to Porter for keeping a block on the Arkansas CB for 5 seconds. Their efforts create a bit of space and Kenny does the rest, taking the edge to and past the first down before cutting back inside and stiff-arming a safety to earn another 8 yards. That is a mansome run right there that I don’t know that even peak-Boykin could have done better. GRR +1, GRE +2, and he pops right back up to push the tempo. Someone remind me about Porter’s blocking on that play the next time I complain about him blowing something.
Play 24: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 44
The Frogs are running slants on the left side and the camera is zoomed in on the slot receiver so it looks like a bad overthrow. Instead it’s a pass to the outside receiver (No one would throw a ball that high to the 5’7” Desmon White) but the receiver whose number I can’t really see (Maybe Stewart?) can’t come up with it. GPR +1, PE ????- I have no idea whose fault it was that that wasn’t a completion thanks to the angle. ESPN keeps the camera on White, despite the other receiver being open behind him and getting what looked like(?) both hands on the ball. Maybe all of the issues Kenny had last year were just good decisions with bad camerawork? . . . Okay, that seems unlikely. ESPN -1.
Play 25: Motion to empty trips left, 2nd and 10 from the Arkansas 44
Turpin motioning out wide from the backfield makes the defense have to readjust on the fly and it sets up an easy receiver screen that Turpin makes even better. No read, GPE +1.
Play 26: Trips left, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 30
Porter cashes in his “don’t complain about him” chip early as TCU swings Hicks out behind the Trips and Porter has his man lined up to block... but steps around him to go downfield (the other receivers are blocking, so if Hill throws it to him it would be a penalty). Hicks is tackled by the unblocked guy and loses one. No chart.
Play 27: 2 back shotgun 2 receivers left, 2nd and 11 from the Arkansas 31
Run-pass option that Hill pulls out from and flows out to the right, but he has a DL in his face before he can set and deliver, so he reverses field entirely before finding a lane and charges straight through it for 16 yards- but it’s coming back on another chop block. BRR +1, GRE +2. Another great run, but if he had just kept going to his initial side he would’ve gotten an easy 6 and there wouldn’t have been the increased chance of a hold/chop penalty.
Play 28: Pistol even spread receivers stacked on the left, 2nd and 23 from the Arkansas 44
Hill drops back and delivers quite quickly to an open spot, but the ball is again low and it bounces before Hunt can corral it. GPR +1, BPE +1- put the ball up, Kenny.
Play 29: Trips left, 3rd and 24 from the Arkansas 44
We appear to have lost a yard according to ESPN’s graphic. The Frogs send the trips deep to open a dumpoff underneath to Hicks to try and get at least a chunk of it to set up either a 4th down that you can go for or a field goal. Hicks picks up 9 and we’re in no man’s land. No read, GPE +1.
Four possessions, three trips into Arkansas territory and no points thanks to a bad no-call turnover and two third and 20+s. I don’t like football anymore, and we’re only halfway through week 2 of this project. So far it’s not Kenny’s fault, though. TCU gets a fairly quick stop and the ball back here.
Play 30: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the TCU 28
Zone read Run-pass option sees Kenny pull, take a step back and deliver a high ball to a wide open Slanina. Slanina can only get one hand on it and it bounces off and luckily falls straight through the arms of an Arkansas DB. That one was on you, Kenny. GPR +1, BPE +1.
Play 31: Even spread, 2nd and 10 from the TCU 28
Motion turns into a fly sweep, but Porter takes too long to cut upfield and just gets strung out before a defender and shed a block and make a tackle for a loss. Ugh. Back to neutral, Porter.
Play 32: Empty trips right, 3rd and 14 from the TCU 24
This play is very similar to the one Hill got picked on before, but this time the pocket is clean and Hill puts it right on Hicks who takes it out wide to beat a defender to the edge before turning it up for an easy first down and a lot more. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 33: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 44
Back on the Arkansas side of the field, Hill deals with pressure again and rolls out to escape, but this time there are three unblocked pursuers and when he tries to cut back he’s cleaned up. That one needed to be a throwaway. BRR +1- if it had been just two pursuers he would’ve escaped again, though.
Play 34: Even spread, 2nd and 16 from the 50
Inside zone up the middle shows why TCU hasn’t really gone to that well too much today. No chart.
Play 35: Even spread, 3rd and 14 from the 48
Hill is bouncing a bit as he drops and steps up in the pocket, looking a bit jumpy after the sack. As a result he drops it well short of Diarse who had a bit of a window. GPR +1, BPE +1.
Another frustrating drive that goes backwards once it hits the Arkansas side of the field. The Frogs defense is starting to get it together though, and the Frogs get the ball back, but with just 20 seconds left in the half here.
Play 36: Empty quads left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 23
The frogs set up the screen to Hicks again, who gets about a first down in 4 seconds before stepping out of bounds. Good ball, GPE +1.
Play 37: Trips left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 33
The Frogs go vertical to try and get a chunk, but the coverage is good and Kenny has to check down to Hicks, who picks up another 9 before stepping out. GPR +1.
Play 38: Trips right, 2nd and 1 from the TCU 42
A quicker drop back this time before Hill delivers a nice ball to Slanina, who catches and goes down with just 3 seconds left. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 39: Trips left, 2nd and 10 from the Arkansas 47
After a spike, hail Mary to the end zone which is batted away. No chart.
Very frustrating half, the Frogs made it into Arkansas territory on all but one of their possessions and came up with nothing thanks to a variety of self-inflicted injuries. In fact, they came out with negative seven after that pick. It felt like Arkansas was lucky to be in the lead at this point watching it live, and the stats do back that idea up for the most part. Frogs get the ball after the half, and we pick it up here.
Play 40: Bad angle, I think even spread, 1st and 10 from the TCU 15
Jet motion and Hill fakes the fly sweep before handing off to Hicks behind his back. A nice bit of trickery to get Hicks in space, but it’s not that effective because the Frogs haven’t actually made Arkansas fear the jet motion yet. ESPN -1
Play 41: Double stack, 2nd and 8 from the TCU 17
ESPN randomly zooms in on an Arkansas DE at the snap so all I see is that the ball got to Turpin in space somehow. Good job Turpin. Kenny- sorry if that was a great read or great throw. ESPN -2.
Play 42: Empty trips left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 27
Kenny drops back and gets a good pocket which seems to settle his bouncing a bit. With time he reads the middle and puts a ball into a low window for Slanina for another nice gain. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 43: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the TCU 45
The frogs hurry up to the line and Arkansas’s secondary doesn’t look to be ready as the Frogs get the ball snapped. The Arkansas DL is ready though, and before Kenny can deliver the ball he has to dodge a tackle before falling to a second one. No chart.
Play 44: Even spread, 2nd and 14 from the TCU 41
Hicks motions out to the left just before the snap which draws the linebackers over. Hill is reading the middle of the field as a result and delivers a safe ball to White to set up a third and slightly more manageable. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 45: Trips right, 3rd and 9 from the TCU 46
Arkansas is in a 3-5-3 look to flood the intermediate routes with bodies, but Hill finds a thin window of daylight to Diarse right past the first down marker and puts it on him hard, fast and accurately. Tough read, tough delivery, possibly Hill’s best ball so far. GPR +2, GPE +2.
Play 46: ???, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 36
ESPN is showing the replay of the last play and doesn’t realize that TCU has gone hurry up so we miss everything until the receiver has the ball in his hands. No Kennystats, ESPN -2.
Play 47: Even Spread, 2nd and 9 from the Arkansas 35
Evident miscommunication as Kenny is looking for a play face but Hicks is going straight into a route without coming to the mesh, not sure who to ding for that. It’s okay though, because the smooth release lets Hicks get down the field into an open spot and Hill puts it right in front of him in stride for one of the first big plays through the air tonight. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 48: Trips right, 1st and goal from the Arkansas 9
Zone read that sees the OL get solid push across the board and the D-end comes out wide so Hill completes the handoff and Hicks finishes the drive off before some penalty messes it up. GRR +1, touchdown.
Nice drive for Kenny, two particularly good throws and settled back down even with another sack. About this time past Hawk was thinking that Kenny is going to end up being really good this year, while present Hawk knows how the story ends but is still confused about how we got there. Like Titanic- you know the boat is going down, but you don’t know when or who all will be on it when it does. TCU gets a nice stop on the next drive and we take over again to try and take the lead here.
Play 49: Trips left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 11
TCU goes back to the swing pass behind the trips, but Arkansas has seen it enough to be well ready for it and Turpin is brought down behind the line. Not great effort by Diarse on the setup block, but no chartables.
Play 50: Even spread, 2nd and 14 from the TCU 7
The frogs spread out wide and it does look like there are route options, but Hill sees a lane and a lot of open space and acts decisively. Kenny tucks the ball and powers forward for a nice chunk- Gray is quick to come out of his route and block though, so good job Deante. GRR +1, GRE +1.
Play 51: Empty trips right, 3rd and 1 from the TCU 20
The frogs hurry up and Kenny delivers to Hicks on a bubble screen. No read, and the linebacker covering him was looking in the opposite direction, but Hicks takes it outside and makes it more difficult than it needs to be. Hypothetical Hicks chart -1.
Play 52: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the TCU 21
The linebackers bail out quickly which leaves a lot of space for Hicks coming up through the middle out of the backfield. Hill misses the read though and throws the ball away outside. BPR +1.
Play 53: H back Pistol, 2nd and 10 from the TCU 21
The frogs go to a run heavy look and get a decent look for the run, but it’s play action and Kenny gets a nice window to Stewart who lets the ball pass straight through his fingers. That’s a frustrating one. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 54: Trips right, 3rd and 10 from the TCU 21
Arkansas is playing well off again, but they’re bringing more pressure and they start getting uncomfortably close to Kenny before he has a receiver past the line of scrimmage. Instead with the Frogs seemingly getting away with a hold on the line (Refs +1) he has to dump it short to Gray who gets slammed right away. GPR +1, GPE +1.
A mostly harmless bad read, but that drop by Stewart is what stands out in this series. The Frogs really could have used the momentum there, but if we cried over every drop in 2016 we’d all be dehydrated well before the end of this series. Instead Arkansas finally scores an offensive touchdown and we’re a bit more behind the 8-ball when the Frogs take the field again here.
Play 55: Trips right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 33
Play action inside zone sees Kenny roll our to the trips side and it looks like the frogs are trying to isolate one matchup in particular as he unloads deep down the sideline too deep. It was open, but a very difficult throw made more difficult by being on the run- I’m more inclined to blame the play call than the throw. Particularly as Arkansas has started to put together some first downs on the other side and you’d like the D to rest a bit some higher percentage plays would be better. Still, GPR +1, BPE +1, DPC +1 (Calling run on the next play)
Play 56: Even spread, 2nd and 10 from the TCU 33
Lo and behold, after getting nothing through the air on first down the Frogs turn to the ground to attempt to get something positive before third down. This is the sort of thing that really rankled about Meachem’s play calling as the year went on. As for the actual play it’s a zone read and Kenny pulls to take it out wide and gets some decent yards before 4 razorbacks converge to finally bring him down. GRR +1, GRE +1.
Play 57: Trips right, 3rd and 5 from the TCU 38
The Frogs desperately need a first down here and Arkansas is bringing heat. Kenny changes the coverage at the line before taking the snap and getting the ball out in a hurry, drilling a bullet into Slanina that he can’t help but catch. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 58: Even stack, 1st and 10 from the TCU 45
The frogs use the stack look to get a deep release, possibly where a safety is going to have to cover a ton of distance to get over to the sideline. Kenny delivers deep downfield but it’s a bit deep and outside for Williams. Williams had a step, but this sort of route definitely does not look to be Kenny’s forte- I sure hope that we don’t simplify playcalling and just call a ton of these later in the year... but who would do that, right? GPR +1, BPE +1.
Play 59: Trips right, 2nd and 10 from the TCU 45
Arkansas is creeping up so Kenny checks out of the original playcall (probably a run) and as a result he gets a nice window on the single receiver side to the seldom seen Walsh for a decent gain. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 60: Empty trips right, 3rd and 3 from the Arkansas 48
Arkansas rushes 4 as Kenny takes a deep drop, but right after the initial contact things start going horribly wrong. One of the hog DTs pops free and the DE on his side would be about to join him if not for a horribly blatant holding from the RT. Kenny gets dropped by the free runner and the Frogs have to give it back. No chart.
Definitely getting more of a feel for where Kenny’s comfort zones are and where his trouble spots tend to be. Deep sideline routes are an issue, quick outs/ins and slants are where he’s most comfortable. Not a great series for Kenny compared to most of his others, but still not dreadful. Arkansas takes a very long time again and manages to get down inside the 5 before the TCU D stops them and the Arkansas kicker doinks a kick off of the right upright. TCU takes over still down 13 here.
Play 60: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the TCU 20
Once again the play is to the sideline, but this time a cluttered pocket means that Kenny has to release the ball from an awkward position and the ball falls harmlessly to the turf in front of Williams- who might have been carted off if he caught that ball, the safety was closing in fast. GPR +1.
Play 61: Trips right, 2nd an 10 from the TCU 20
Kenny changes the play at the line again as Arkansas is showing a big gap right above the center, and sure enough Hicks rams straight up the middle for a nice gain. GRR +1 and nice awareness to change the play.
Play 62: Even spread, 3rd and 2 from the TCU 28
Kenny drops back, but the pigs are again giving a nice hole up the middle so Kenny has to weave through a bit of traffic before surging forward to pick up the first down. Once Kenny has some forward momentum in the run game he is an absolute load to bring down. GRR +1, GRE +1.
Play 63: Empty quads right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 37
After the first down the Frogs are thinking deep again and Kenny gets both the corner outside and a linebacker inside to bite on a shoulder turn toward a bubble screen. This frees up Turpin going deep inside and Kenny puts it on him in stride at the Arkansas 38. Turpin with forward momentum is a good thing and the Frogs are set up inside the Arkansas 10. GPR +1, GPE +2. Gave him an extra for the shoulder fake, top quality.
Play 64: Trips left, 1st and goal from the Arkansas 5
The Frogs go hurry up and Hicks is able to get out and find the edge before every Arkansas player is set. When it works, the lightning speed offense can be beautiful. When there aren’t flags for unnecessary holdings, anyway. No chart, touchdown/penalty.
Play 65: Trips left, 1st and goal from the Arkansas 15
Arkansas is showing that wide DL with a soft middle again, and the zone read exacerbates it by leaving the DE alone and setting up double teams in the middle. Kenny gets the DE to stare at him as he hands off to Green who rumbles down back to the 1. GRR +1.
Play 66: Trips left under center, 2nd and goal from the Arkansas 1
TCU hurries up again, but this time the formation leaves no doubt what’s coming and Arkansas lines up with their beef in the middle as well. Kenny gets a good push but the center and nose tackle are at a stalemate and there’s nowhere to go. Understandable play call, but it only works if they’re not ready for it. No chart.
Play 67: H covered right (behind the line) 2 receivers left, 3rd and goal from the Arkansas 1
The Frogs come out in one of their more power style formations and it’s a designed QB run with the H and RB leading. With only 1 yard to gain and a lot of space to work with, Kenny cuts it up untouched. GRE +1, touchdown. (He does the “Kings” sign here as well, it should be noted for posterity).
Nice drive for Kenny and some good calls from the sideline after the first play and we’re starting to click on offense again. Being off the field for a while brings the defense out a bit more fired up and Turpin is finally able to get a return off on the Arkansas punter (who has been amazing, so glad we won’t have to see him this year). TCU takes back over on offense with a chance to take their first lead of the game, but I’m linking you to here so you can watch Turpin defy gravity first. Stay healthy you magnificent waterbug.
Play 68: Empty trips left, 1st and 10 from the 50
The Frogs spread out and Arkansas gives them the wide DL look again. The coverage is initially good, but Hill finds Turpin squirt open right as the DL arrives and delivers a great ball to find Turp in stride while his knees are being impacted. That is simply a bad ass throw. Poor Turpin can’t quite get the stat though, as he’s dragged down inside the Arkansas 10 again. GPR +1, GPE +2- to get a ball out that accurately while being hit is amazing.
Play 69: Even spread, 1st and goal from the Arkansas 7
The Frogs rush to the line is blunted by the refs re-spotting the ball so Kenny has to adjust the play call twice to get the blocking setup he wants. It pays off in a big way as Hicks takes an inside zone handoff straight up the middle only needing to avoid an arm tackle before he reaches the end zone. I’ll give Kenny a GRR +1 for adjusting the blocking and formation I guess? Touchdown.
Okay, where in the world did this Kenny go? Efficient, decisive, in full control of the offense- this is a Kenny that would have won 10 games this year. Where is the iceberg coming from? Darn you, football equivalent of Titanic. Frogs take over with a chance to hopefully salt the game away here.
Play 70: Trips right, 1st and 10 from the 50
Zone read action but the DE is hedging so Hill leaves the ball at the mesh point a bit longer to give Green a better forward start. It successfully freezes the DE so Hill completes the handoff and Green makes good progress. GRR +2.
Play 71: Even spread, 2nd and 5 from the Arkansas 45
Hill takes a look at double slants at the top of the screen but doesn’t like what he sees and sees a run lane as he’s moving to the other side. With a lead and time being on our side, keeping is a good read and Hill picks up 10 and even gets the knee down before he’s shoved out of bounds. Very heady play. GRR +1, GRE +2.
Play 72: H covered right 2 receivers right, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 33
The frogs give another interesting run look on play action (I swear that half our play action stuff is off of handoffs that we never actually ran) that makes a nice one on one matchup down the sideline. It’s a nice ball, but it looks like Porter slightly mistimed his jump and has his hands out of position for it. GPR +1, GPE +1- Kenny’s best fade type ball so far this season, a shame Porter couldn’t bring it in.
Play 73: Even spread, 2nd and 10 from the Arkansas 33
Double slants up top and this time Kenny is quick to deliver to White who gets about 1 step before impact. BPR +1, GPE +1- Nice ball, but holding it a bit longer would have been better.
Play 74: Trips right, 3rd and 7 from the Arkansas 30
Double slants again but this time the read is better and the ball is just far enough in front of Slanina to help him out of the tackle attempt and secure the first down. GPR +1, GPE +1
Play 75: Trips left, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 14
The Frogs hurry to the line but then settle in position to run off some clock. It’s not quite a zone read as there is no unblocked defender, but Green gets a nice internal path to bull through. No chart.
Play 76: Trips left, 2nd and 5 from the Arkansas 9
Real zone read this time and the DE crashes in but Hill hands off anyway. It would have likely been a TD if Hill kept it, but I think the goal may have been to take as much time as possible. No chart.
Play 77: H covered left 2 receivers right, 3rd and 1 from the Arkansas 5
The Frogs go to their QB power look again, and again get a good seal to allow Kenny to squirt into the end zone untouched. GRE +1.
You know what happens next but my youtube window legitimately crashed right before it happens. Thanks for trying to protect me, youtube, but we have to get through this together. It actually looks like Kenny may have been bumped into by a jubilant lineman while he was completing the second part of the motion, but that’s the only reason I can see why it would have been flagged this time and not flagged when he did it literally 5 minutes of game time ago. Also I’m not charting the defense but Texada really had a bad night. One bad missed tackle and one massive coverage bust that gave up the TD. Still, Turpin has a spectacular return and TCU has plenty of time to seal the win when they start with the ball here.
Play 78: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 27
You have enough time to take a shot at the end zone, it’s what Meach is going to want to do. Verticals down the sideline and Kenny throws a beautiful ball that Porter snags in the corner of the end zone and maintains possession. Ball game, right? No, apparently Porter stepped out of bounds on his own and was thus, ineligible. I saw the cornerback shove him out, personally. Refs -2.
Play 79: Even spread, 2nd and 10 from the Arkansas 27
Pressure is coming as Kenny drops back and he knows we should already be in field goal range, so he steps up and through to get a little bit closer for the field goal attempt. GRR +1.
Play 80: Even spread, 3rd and 6 from the Arkansas 23
Similar as the last time, Kenny drops back but sees a lane into that soft center Arkansas has been leaving all night. A first down will stop the clock and let the frogs either spike for more plays or run out the clock to kick a field goal as time expires. Kenny delivers the first down with gusto, lumbering through linebackers like a charging rhinoceros. GRR +1, GRE +1.
Play 81: Spike, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 11
Yep, spike. I’m sure Kenny’s spike is fine and doesn’t need a + or -.
Play 82: Even spread, 2nd and 10 from the Arkansas 11
End zone fade? No, end zone double fade. Hill delivers to Slanina who gets shoved while the ball is in the air so he can’t get his left hand up to it. GPR +1, GPE +1, Refs -1. Field goal time.
Good run reads by Kenny to get the ball into a great spot for the field goal attempt. Yes the kickers are who we now know they are, but Kenny has seemingly done enough to win this game twice now. Time for OT to see if he can win it a third time. Bonus chart time starts here.
Play 83: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 25
The Frogs go option and Kenny gets a good seal on the DE before flipping it out to Hicks. GRR +1.
Play 84: Empty trips left, 2nd and 1 from the Arkansas 16
Sort of a modified tunnel screen has Turpin come back from the further slot position and have Hicks block for him on the inside. No chart.
Play 85: Quad stack right, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 11
It’s the quad screen again, but not everyone was set. Back another 5 yards and try again.
Play 86: Even spread, 1st and 15 from the Arkansas 16
Nice quick drop and delivery to Williams whose man literally falls over on his break. Williams doesn’t come back to the ball though, and instead it slips through his fingers. GPR +1, GPE +1.
Play 87: H covered right 2 receivers right, 2nd and 15 from the Arkansas 16
Straight give to Hicks to the side with the massed bodies, trying to get to third and a bit more manageable. No chart.
Play 88: Empty trips left, 3rd and 12 from the Arkansas 13
Pressure is coming as Hill tries to give the receivers time, but just as it looks like he’s going to have to try to run for it he sees a window of daylight and delivers a great ball to Williams over the top. GPR +2, GPE +1.
I know Gary likes to go for the win on the road and keep playing at home, but given Arkansas hasn’t managed to even get a hand on Kenny on their goal line QB run formation, I’d go for 2 and the win here. As it is, off to OT #2 starting here.
Play 89: Empty trips right, 1st and 10 from the Arkansas 25
Arkansas looks like they’re bringing pressure, but bail out into coverage. The Frogs have an early breaking route just in case though and Kenny puts it out high and wide- or at least it’s somewhat high for White, but he’s able to bring it in and get some decent YAC all the same. GPR +1, BPE +1.
Play 90: Even spread, 2nd and 6 from the Arkansas 21
It’s another zone read look that isn’t actually a zone read because Collins is blocking the DE. I don’t particularly love a play call without a read at this point, but okay. No chart.
Play 91: Empty trips left, 3rd and 5 from the Arkansas 20
I hate everything about this play call. I hate the trips to the short side, I hate the deep drop that means that Hill would have a harder time running for a first down and I hate that the primary read is a deep outside route to Turpin, who may or may not have gotten held up by the Arkansas DB when he was adjusting to the ball. Hate it. GPR +1 because it was the right read for the play call, hard to tell on execution who was to blame there. I’ll blame the guy with the headset. DPC +1
TCU gets the field goal but Arkansas scores a TD and that’s your ball game.
Man, whoever thought that this would be a good idea for a project probably wasn’t figuring just how many plays would be in games like this. The official box score has Kenny as 36/56 for 377 yards with a TD and a pick with 15 rushes for 93 yards and two TDs. Pretty good, but let’s see how it compares with our totals.
Run Read: 17 good run reads (+18), two bad run reads (-2)
Run execution: 10 good run executions (+13), 0 bad
Pass read: 39 good pass reads (+41), 4 bad reads (-4)
Pass execution: Twenty nine good pass executions (+33), nine bad pass executions (-9)
So a pretty darn dominant performance on the ground and about a 3:1 ratio of good-to-bad passes which is again just a bit better than the official stats have. The story is really in the reads though, as again Kenny was making solid decisions both on the ground and in the air at almost a 10:1 rate. Kenny did deal with a good bit more pressure and different rush looks from the hogs than he faced in week 1, but acquitted himself well. The early results seem to indicate that Kenny is a very good quarterback when he can keep the offense moving at pace and (in particular) when he’s not working from behind the chains. He has things that he does well (makes good pre-snap reads, runs like a graceful rhino, delivers the ball well on breaking out, in and slant routes) and things that he doesn’t do particularly well (deep sideline routes). This is a game that TCU should have and would have won if not for a variety of self (and ref) inflicted mistakes, so while it’s frustrating we didn’t, it’s not really on Kenny as much as Gray, Porter, Texada and Graf. Also ESPN isn’t good at covering hurry up offenses.
Next week we’ll open up Big 12 play and see how Kenny bounces back. Thoughts, suggestions or anything else you’d like to see measured or charted? Let me know in the comments.