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FOW Offseason Project 2017: Is Kenny Hill any good? Part 3- SMU

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Coming off of a frustrating loss, Kenny hits the road for the first time as a TCU QB. We’ll check the game film to see how he really does.

Kenny Quest 2017
Will Kenny fall forward with another good performance this week?
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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 3 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.

Lost in the celebration penalty and the loss, Kenny again had a pretty good game against the Hogs. He had one pick that wasn’t really his fault, but had a stellar game on the ground to make up for it. This time we’re jumping ahead one week (I’ll try not to do this in the future, but at current pace we won’t have time for the bowl game and I also want to start getting some road data). The contrast in styles this week is again quite large as SMU isn’t nearly as big as Arkansas and likes to mix in some tempo as well. Points will likely need to be scored, so let’s jump in and have a look at how he bounces back from a loss and start building our data set for road games. As always you’re welcome to follow along thanks to the FoW youtube channel, as we pick things up from TCU’s first possession here.

Play 1: 2 Back pistol 2 receivers right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 11

SMU crowds the line with six guys and are playing another linebacker in fairly tight to stop quick throws to the slot. The Frogs go play action and Kenny pulls up to deliver a nice ball to Diarse on the quick stop. The ball is on the numbers outside, exactly where you’re coached to put it. SMU hid a blindside corner blitz pretty well as well, but the play action threw off the timing. GPR +1, GPE+1, (good playcall +1).

Play 2: Motion to trips right, 2nd and 6 from the TCU 15

Kenny appears to be reading a safety on this one, but I have no idea what he sees as he throws it right into the space where the read safety is. It’s a good ball to Stewart, but there was a very easy first down and more to Williams on the outside. BPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 3: Empty trips right, 3rd and 1 from the TCU 20

The Frogs go empty and SMU brings up LBs late to show pressure. The Frogs have a good crossing route combo over the middle, but pressure means Kenny has to release before he’d like to. The result is a good safe ball away from any defender that Stewart is able to get both hands on but can’t bring in. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Three and outs suck, especially early on the road as it gets the crowd hyped. The bad read on second down comes back to bite us, but I also don’t like no runs in the first three plays. Happily the Frogs drive SMU backwards this time and we take over in better field position still trailing 3-0 after SMU’s opening field goal. We pick it up again here.

Play 4: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the SMU 43

Frogs go zone read and the SMU DE makes an aggressive move to both contain and try to attack the mesh. Kenny has to hand off quickly and Hicks picks up a few. Sadly this one didn’t appear to have a bubble screen set up as SMU was giving a huge cushion on the left. GRR +1.

Play 5: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 2nd and 7 from the SMU 40

Sideline zoom on Meacham before the snap and for good reason as the curly haired lover of fades has a trick play in mind. Kenny hands off to Hicks, who flips it to Diarse who does a very bad toss back to Kenny- It’s slow and it’s high so the entire defense can see it. By the time Kenny gets his hands on it he’s bracing himself for impact because SMU has two free running linebackers with momentum within three yards. No Kennystats, Dumb playcall +2, hypothetical Diarse chart -1.

Play 6: Empty trips right, 3rd and 22 from the TCU 45

Third and a mile is one of Kenny’s definite trouble spots and SMU brings delayed pressure to get a free runner up the middle. Kenny sees it and throws to his safety valve Hicks a bit high but again safe given the cushion. As a result we’re back where we were before the dumb thing and we still lack a first down. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Ugh, there’s a time and a place for trick plays, but that was one that needed to wait until TCU had actually established the run (or shown a reverse in any previous game). SMU is bringing a lot more heat than Arkansas did, so the slow developing plays are very dangerous. The frogs pin the ponies deep and another White return sets them up in SMU territory once again here.

Play 7: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 1st and 10 from the SMU 35

It’s the same outside zone look that the Frogs ran their flea flicker from, but this time it’s actually a straight handoff and Hicks makes some decent gains forward. It would’ve helped to have run that play before the flea flicker. No chart.

Play 8: 2 back pistol ???, 2nd and 7 from the SMU 32

The Frogs give what is apparently a very similar look and run a very similar play, but it’s hard to say for sure with the weird tight camera angle. ESPN -1 Collins picks up a holding so the point is moot anyway.

Play 9: Empty trips left, 2nd and 17 from the SMU 42

Once again SMU shows pressure against the empty look and Kenny has to get it out fast. The result is a ball that is thrown right at Porter’s facemask and it bounces off his hands. He might have been better off just letting the facemask catch it unnecessary roughness style. GPR +1, GPE +1 Drop #2.

Play 10: Trips left, 3rd and 17 from the SMU 42

The Frogs bring in a back to help slow down the pass rush, but SMU looks like they’re playing conservative. It’s a quick screen to White and he manages to get to the 30 to set up a field goal attempt. No read but a nice ball, GPE +1.

Negative plays absolutely choke this offense and so far the Frogs have been giving them up by the bushel whether by penalty or poor decisions. To his credit, so far Kenny hasn’t taken the bait to do something overly aggressive on third and a mile and as a result we’re tied at 3. It’s becoming pretty clear from the playcalling how much the lack of Turpin is hurting the offense though. SMU pins the Frogs deep on a punt and so Hill will take them out of the end zone here. This would be a good time for that first first down.

Play 11: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 2

The Frogs are bunched in pretty right to the right to create a lot of space for a one on one matchup on the left. Sure enough, the Frogs go play action and look to the left where Williams has run a slant, has space and Kenny puts it on him in stride. First down. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 12: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 15

The frogs hurry up after the first down and give SMU the same look. This time the handoff is real however, and Hicks rumbles up the middle for a very nice gain. I’ll give Kenny a plus since there were receivers running routes, so I assume it was a Run/Pass option. GRR +1.

Play 13: 2 back shotgun 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 34

Outside zone handoff to Hicks, ended up being nicer because SMU stunted to make the OLs reach blocks easier. No chart.

Play 14: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 2nd and 6 from the TCU 38

SMU continues to load the box in response to this look and TCU has a ton of space on the left again. It’s a straight inside zone to the sadly transferred Johnson though, no read. No chart.

Play 15: Pistol even spread, 3rd and 3 from the TCU 41

Straight inside zone handoff, but SMU blitzes a man into the gap and Hicks spins out- and may get a bad spot. It’s inches short in any case. No chart.

Much better drive for both Kenny and the Frogs, though I would’ve liked to see a change up on that third down call instead of a third inside zone in four plays. Still, the Frogs got out from their end zone and flip field position on the punt. The Frogs get another great return from White and set up in SMU territory again. The Frogs take over here looking to establish control of the game early in the second quarter.

Play 16: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the SMU 40

The Frogs set up a nice high-low read to the left and Kenny makes the right read. I think he may throw it too quickly here as Graham is a bit unsteady out of his break and it ends up slightly behind him. Still, Graham gets both hands on it and it ends up bouncing on the turf. GPR +1, not sure whether to ding the execution or not. I’ll call it a wash, but it’s worth noting that all of TCU’s incompletions so far have been drops.

Play 17: Pistol even spread, 2nd and 10 from the SMU 40

Straight outside zone and Hicks makes a nice gain before being spun out again. SMU is much better at tackling this year than last year, I will note. No chart.

Play 18: Trips right, 3rd and 4 from the SMU 34

The frogs run double internal slants from the trips side and Diarse pops wide open right as Kenny puts the ball on him right on the top right corner of the “9”. Despite this, Diarse drops it. Dang it. GPR +1, GPE +1. Hypothetical Diarse -2.

Play 19: Pistol trips right, 4th and 4 from the SMU 34

In no man’s land, the Frogs go for it and SMU gives them a very attractive 2 low-1 high look on the trips side. It’s a good route combination and Kenny would have two solid options downfield, but Kenny is reading a linebacker to the single side and when he’s dropped back deep enough Kenny dumps the ball to Hicks out of the backfield. The ball is put in the perfect spot so Hicks can catch with momentum and pick up the first down. GPR +1, GPE +1. It would be easy to say that the routes from the trips would have been a safer bet and read, but Hill has seen two of the guys on that side drop two balls in this drive alone.

Play 20: Pistol even spread, 1st and 10 from the SMU 23

SMU is crowding the line again and the Frogs run straight into it for okay yards. Giving it to Hicks and seeing what happens does seem to be the most effective offense for the Frogs so far. No chart.

Play 21: Even spread, 2nd and 7 from the SMU 20

Play action has Kenny reading the safety up top and sees Diarse release right into an open spot. What Kenny doesn’t see is that the linebacker who has been playing very aggressively on play action to this point actually gets an early bailout and as a result the window is much smaller than the safety says. As it is the linebacker makes a great play leaping and getting full extension to pick the ball off. Frustrating play, but one I think at least slightly influenced by Diarse’s drops earlier as it looks like Kenny was trying to give him an easier one. I’ll call it BPR +2 for missing the linebacker, but I can’t fault the execution given what we’ve seen so far.

Another trip to the SMU side of the field comes up with nothing and shades of the Arkansas game are looming large. Still, I remember thinking when the pick was thrown live that it probably was a bit of an adjustment to the drops where Kenny tried to throw a more easily catchable ball. To start the game Kenny was delivering fastballs with a lot of oomph to very safe spots where a defender couldn’t touch it, but they ended up dropped. I think we’re starting to see the root of our issues last year, though we’ll see just what sort of fruit that theory ends up bearing. The Frogs bend but don’t break on defense and take over at the 20 here.

Play 22: Empty trips right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 20

The Frog set up a screen to the trips side and get good movement from the OL to essentially set up an inside/outside read for Hicks. Sadly it’s coming back due to Collins’ second hold of the night. No chart.

Play 23: Even spread, 1st and 20 from the TCU 10

This looks like the exact same play that Hill got picked off on before, but this time there’s a lot more space away from the end zone and Hill gets good loft. The result is that the ball drops smoothly to Diarse who makes the catch in stride. GPR +1, GPE +2 we learned from past mistakes!

Play 24: Empty trips right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 33

Kenny reads middle, but the coverage is pretty tight and it forces him to come back to his checkdown. The ball comes out a bit high (which is becoming a bit of a common sight when Hill has to come off of his initial read to one of the short receivers), but very catchable for White for a nice gain. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 35: Trips left, 2nd and 4 from the TCU 39

An almost play action bubble screen gets some good separation and Kenny lofts it past the arm of a DE who gets a good jump on the play. GPE +1.

Play 36: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the SMU 48

Kenny takes a straight dropback into fairly tight coverage by the mustangs- it looks like a sideline fade and so Kenny seems happy to come off of it to the checkdown to Hicks. Giving the ball to Hicks in space is almost always a good idea. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 37: Trips right, 2nd and 3 from the SMU 41

SMU is playing tight over the trips but soft on the one receiver side. Sure enough, Kenny looks to the single receiver side and gets it out to Williams on a deep crossing route. The ball is a little bit behind and Williams has to stop to bring it in, but it actually may end up getting him more yards as the CB runs by him at first. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 38: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the SMU 16

Low snap puts the ball on the ground and Hick’s momentum takes him into Kenny before he can retrieve it. As a result Hicks is the one who picks up the ball and runs straight up the middle, still somehow gaining five. No chartables.

Play 39: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 2nd and 5 from the SMU 11

SMU is stacking the line and showing a ton of pressure. Aaaand it’s short side option time. Hill steps up but there’s a shoulder in his gut after just two steps, but he completes the pitch out to Hicks and Hicks turns the corner for another first down. GRR +1, GRE +1.

Play 40: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 1st and goal from the SMU 4

Hicks shifts right before the snap and it’s the 2 back QB power that the Frogs showed against Arkansas. Hicks can’t get a good block on his guy and Hill has to change momentum and gain depth to try to turn the corner. Without that forward momentum Hill isn’t nearly as good a runner, and it definitely looks like he would’ve been better to cut up inside and keep his momentum than try to take the edge. BRR +1.

Play 41: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 2nd and goal from the SMU 8

Outside zone handoff to the wide side gets Hicks a bit of space and he gets it back up to the four. No chartables.

Play 42: Empty trips right, 3rd and goal from the SMU 4

SMU is crowding the middle again to try to keep from giving up the easy one. Instead it’s back corner end zone shot time. Hill puts it up nice and high but while Hunt makes the catch he can’t get his foot down in bounds. GPR +1, BPE +1.

The frogs get the field goal at least to finally take the lead, but ugh, the back corner throw. It’s just not a throw he makes well, but it seems to be the backbone of the Meacham offense. The Frogs take over with about 30 seconds left in the half here.

Play 43: Trips left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 16

Zone read and Hill makes the handoff to Hicks and it seems the Frogs will play it fairly conservative to close out the half. GRR +1

Play 44: Trips right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 31

Or maybe not. Hill drops back and ha a look down the field before delivering a strike into the chest of White on a deep comeback. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 45: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the TCU 46

Pressure comes from the outside and forces Kenny to tuck and get upfield. SMU again swarms and tackles well. GRR +1, GRE +1.

Play 46: Trips right, 3rd and 1 from the SMU 45

After a quick spike the Frogs prep for a deep shot. Pressure comes again though and Kenny is forced to weave through traffic before setting up and heaving. Impressively it hit Porter right in the hands in the end zone. Predictably, it isn’t caught though. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Oof, that was a painful half. Four trips to SMU territory and just six points to show for it, drops aplenty and kind of a bland offense overall. The lack of Turpin in this game is readily apparent and it seems to have thrown the whole offense off of its groove, Kenny in particular. The Frogs take over after the second half kickoff here.

Play 47: 2 back pistol 2 receiver right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 20

It’s an inside zone look but the Frogs go play action and again Hill looks to Diarse who has a nice window between three SMU defenders. The ball finds Diarse in stride and this time he catches it and turns up, powering through a tackle attempt and not stopping his stride until he’s handed the ball to the official in the end zone. GPR +1, GPE +2 and good for Kenny for going back to Diarse one more time.

Not a lot to say, but it’s nice to have a really big explosive play. That’s one big difference between this year’s offense and when we had the Doctson/Listenbee/Turpin options. The Frogs hold SMU to a long field goal attempt which is missed, and the offense comes back on to try and establish a tight hold on the game here.

Play 48: 2 back piston 2 receiver left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 29

Play action outside zone has Kenny rolling out to the one receiver side but the coverage is tight and the only option he sees is a route breaking open on the other side of the field that will hang in the air forever. Given that option and traffic all around him, Hill tucks and starts to move, crossing the field and evading three tacklers before turning upfield and getting the first down. Collins got grabby early though, so it won’t turn up in the box score. GRR +2, GRE +1.

Play 49: Even spread, 1st and 20 from the TCU 19

SMU shifts their front to provide an attractive run lane, but Kenny keeps his eyes downfield and finds White on a deep out route. The ball is a bit low, but that’s a safer delivery on a route like that and for White in particular he barely has to bend. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 50: Trips left, 2nd and 9 from the TCU 30

Another quick drop and deliver as Kenny is reading a nice big hole in the safeties and has Diarse running right into it. The only thing that stops this from being an absolutely massive gain is the fact that the ref is right in the receivers way as he catches the ball and in going around him it gives an SMU defender a chance to catch up. Still a first down, but it could’ve been 40 yards. GPR +1, GPE +1, Ref -2.

Play 51: Wide OL (Tackles are both next to the receivers) with 2 receivers stacked on each side, 1st and 10 from the TCU 42

Unique lineup screams “screen” and since SMU is playing well off on the left, that’s where Kenny goes straight away. It’s a nice play design, but Williams completely whiffs his block and White gets shoestring tackled before he can gain a bunch. No chartables, but bad effort Taj.

Play 52: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 2nd and 11 from the TCU 41

The Frogs go play action outside zone and Kenny rolls out away from it again. This time the coverage is still tight down the field so he turns back and delivers a ball across the field to Hicks who is still in the backfield and makes a nice gain. I’m beginning to develop a theory about the TCU offense. GPR +1, the execution is a wash- it got there but Hicks had to dig to keep it off the turf.

Play 53: Even spread, 3rd and 4 from the TCU 48

The Frogs need four yards so they run a 5 yard deep out that Hill puts right on the money for Graham before he steps out of bounds. Tiny window, great throw. No read, but GPE +2.

Play 54: Trips left, 1st and 10 from the SMU 46

The Frogs try to go tempo but Noteboom is a bit exuberant and picks up a false start. Try again.

Play 55: Even spread, 1st and 15 from the TCU 49

SMU is overloading the RB side and is bringing pressure. The initial pickup is decent but the coverage downfield is good and Kenny has arms around him before he can step up. Still, he sees Hicks turn out of the backfield and tosses the ball at his feet to avoid a sack. I don’t know whether to call it a run or pass read, but it was good. We’ll call it GPR +1.

Play 56: Tight end and 2 receivers right, 2nd and 15 from the TCU 49

The Frogs line up in a very unconventional formation for them but are running the standard inside zone which is blown up in the backfield due to the LG just flat out getting beaten. No chart.

Play 57: Trips right, 3rd and 19 from the TCU 45

Another danger spot for Kenny, but he delivers the ball early and with purpose to Williams on a slant who manages to corral it and turn it up to almost the first down line. GPR +1, GPE +1 With a 10 point lead there’s no need to throw a risky ball there. Happily SMU gives us the first down with a facemask anyway. After a penalty Meacham often loves to go deep, so let’s see.

Play 58: Trips right, 1st and 10 from the SMU 35

Sure enough it’s a 4 verticals concept and Diarse is releasing right into the soft middle of the field. Kenny put it on him between two defenders and Diarse does the rest for another first down. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 59: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the SMU 14

After being lulled into softness by so many pass plays this drive, SMU seems confused when TCU just runs straight inside zone and Hicks plows ahead for another first down. No chart.

Play 60: 2 back 2 receivers left, 1st and goal from the SMU 2

Kenny shifts out of the Pistol presnap and a high/low route combination gives a nice look at a breaking out route in the end zone but it hits Wilson in both hands and bounces off. Sigh. GPR +1, GPE +1, things like that are why Kenny doesn’t have very many passing TDs.

Play 61: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 2nd and goal from the SMU 2

SMU is crammed in tight with nine players in the box, but there’s no adjustment in blocking from Kenny so I’m thinking pass. Sure enough, it’s a fade to the far side where there’s a lot of space for the one on one. Kenny puts it up and out (being further from the sideline helps him) and Austin comes down with it. GPR +1, GPE +1, Kenny’s first successful fade.

Nice drive from Kenny, particularly on that third down and forever. What stands out to me more than Kenny at the moment is Meacham’s playcalling- I’m starting to see what the issues were. I’ll save the big one for the end write up but out of the 14 plays of this drive, only two were runs- that’s a bit rough when you have a player as good as Hicks in the backfield, and it means that when you run play action people aren’t respecting your run. That means that it’s just a pass that takes longer, rather than softening coverages with the threat of a run. Against SMU that’s fine, but against better teams it will cause issues. The Frogs take back over on offense here looking to put the game away before the fourth quarter, but are working out of their own end zone.

Play 62: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 3

It’s play action inside zone again and Walsh runs a quick in and Kenny sees the corner playing way off. It’s not a delivery that leads Walsh though as he has to sit and wait for the ball for quite a while before he can catch and turn upfield. It works out okay, but I can’t help but think this is the first issue of third string receivers lacking quite the chemistry as the first and second string. GPR +1.

Play 63: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 21

Play action inside zone again, this time Kenny reads a safety coming up and the cornerback bailing but the ball comes out low and Williams can’t corral it. GPR +1, BPE +1.

Play 64: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 2nd and 10 from the TCU 21

. . . Play action inside zone again, this time the receivers on top and beneath have vertical releases. Sadly the receiver on top of the formation is just running free and would have a clear path to the end zone but it’s not the first read and Kenny delivers to Porter. Sadly, Porter can’t get away from the coverage and can’t do the Doctson hovering in air forever thing so it falls incomplete. GPR +1, execution isn’t really here or there, but at least it was in bounds.

Play 65: Trips left, 3rd and 10 from the TCU 21

Once again the Frogs are running four vertical s, but this time SMU is ready for it and floods the passing lanes for long enough for their pass rush to make Kenny need to check down to Hicks out of the backfield. Getting the ball to Hicks in space is always a good idea. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 66: Empty trips left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 33

Hill sees that SMU is leaving a big gap between their DT and DE and brings Green in from the two receiver side to leave us in trips left. Unfortunately Noteboom totally whiffs on his assignment and Green gets chopped down before he can hit what looks like a sizable hole. D’oh. Nice read to change the play, though. GRR +1.

Play 67: 3 back pistol, 2nd and 8 from the TCU 35

It’s a fake handoff QB keep, but even though both Green and Hunt get a nice option to get a block on the SMU DE but totally whiff and he ends up getting a hold of Kenny’s leg to help the second defender make a tackle. No chartables.

Play 68: Empty trips right, 3rd and 8 from the TCU 35

The Frogs have routes moving in levels at the middle of the field, which means that Kenny can either take an underneath route if the linebacker isn’t deep enough or a higher route if the safety drops too deep. Kenny gets good protection and delivers a ball straight into the chest of a receiver whose number I can’t make out- but they look very surprised to have actually caught it. GPR +1, GPE +2

Play 69: Pistol even spread, 1st and 10 from the SMU 43(?)

ESPN is replaying the last play in split screen (I still can’t see the receivers number though)but the Frogs are in hurry up so I don’t get a good look at the defense or if this is an RPO. It just looks like a basic outside zone handoff to Anderson to me, though. No chartables.

Play 70: Pistol even spread, 2nd and 4 from the SMU 37

Outside zone the other way gets a first down. Now would be a good time for that play action outside zone... No chart.

Play 71: Even spread, 1st and 10 from the SMU 30

Rather than play action, it’s a quick swing pass out of the backfield which Anderson strings out wider than would be ideal because Thomas can’t get a good block. No read as the receivers were flying straight to blocks (kudos to Diarse(?) for getting a shoulder into the free safety), so no chart.

Play 72: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 2nd and 9 from the SMU 29

The frogs shift into a more standard 2 back look right before the snap and run option to the 1 receiver side of the field. Collins leaves his man as he’s supposed to and walls off inside, so Kenny makes the pitch. Sadly, H-back Hunt has just run entirely by the man he was supposed to block and so Green is cut down for next to nothing. GRR +1, hypothetical -1 for Hunt, no idea what he thought he was supposed to do there.

Play 73: Empty trips right, 3rd and 8 from the SMU 28

The frogs go vertical and set up a nice window for Diarse to cut into the middle of the field. Kenny sees it and releases the ball right on Diarse’s break to catch him in stride for the first down and more. GPR +1, GPE +2. It was really more of a +1.5 each as the speed of the read set up the execution, but we’re not getting into decimals.

Play 74: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the SMU 13

The frogs go play action inside zone, but Kenny gets a DE’s arm on his shoulder right as he sets to throw. After being spun around a full 360 (but remaining very upright) Hill tosses the ball in the general direction of Williams, but safely out of bounds. GPE +1 to avoid the sack/grounding penalty.

Play 75: Trips left, 2nd and 10 from the SMU 13

A lot of space up top makes me think fade. Instead it’s an inside zone that Hicks bounces out and juuuuust gets tripped up before he could turn the corner. No chart, but good for Meacham for not falling prey to jump ball lust.

Play 76: Empty trips left, 3rd and 5 from the SMU 8

SMU is bringing the house with six rushers and one of them gets a free release. Kenny puts it into an empty spot in the end zone where if he’d been able to hold the ball a second longer he would’ve found Thomas for the TD. Oh well. No chart.

Nice drive for Kenny as he overcame a bit of predictable playcalling to get the frogs out of their own end zone and push the lead to 20 points. There have definitely been moments in this game that remind you how nice it is to have a QB who can not only run, but is also solidly built. The frogs get a stop on D and it’s time to salt this game away by taking some of that clock off starting here.

Play 77: Trips left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 19

The Frogs motion White into the backfield right before the snap and have him bounce immediately back out to take a swing pass with Johnson blocking for him. Nice design, no chartables.

Play 78: Trips left, 2nd and 5 from the TCU 24

Okay, maybe coach and I have different ideas about salting the game away as the Frogs snap the ball with 15 seconds left on the play clock and go play action inside zone. The route to Thomas is there but SMU has again gotten a man to Kenny almost untouched so he has to switch into run mode. A pump fake on the run buys him a little space but he’s shoved out of bounds just short of the first down. GRR +1.

Play 79: Trips right, 3rd and 1 from the TCU 28

Coach and I have very different ideas about salting the game away. TCU has two receivers breaking open, but Kenny can’t put the ball on them because they’re running double moves to try and get a deep shot. Meanwhile SMU’s pressure is coming in again and Kenny has to step up and weave through traffic to pick up the first. GRR +1, Dumb Play Call -1.

Play 80: Trips right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 34

Bubble screen that doesn’t look like much because Austin totally whiffs his block, but because Kenny got the ball to Thomas so quickly it ended up letting him slide out of the CB’s tackle attempt and get yards. GPE +1.

Play 81: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 2nd and 2 from the TCU 42

Play action outside zone and Kenny has plenty of time to look at a Mills concept (Deep square in from one side, Deep post from the other- take whichever the safety doesn’t) and he delivers a nice deep ball to Williams on the post. GPR +1, GPE +1.

Play 82: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the SMU 21

Another rush to the line so just totally nix my thought on milking clock. Play action inside zone again and Kenny delivers to Williams again on a quick hitch. GPE +1.

Play 83: Double tight end single back, 2nd and 6 from the SMU 17

Kenny is under center, so about as weird a formation as you could expect from the Frogs. It’s a traditional outside zone handoff to Hicks though. No chart.

Play 84: Even spread, 3rd and 2 from the SMU 13

Kenny moves Hicks in from the Pistol before the snap as SMU is showing a ton of pressure with 7 in the box all on the line of scrimmage. That means man coverage, and with as Porter’s man is playing well off, the double slant call sees him pop very open very quickly and the Kenny delivers it just as quickly. It might be a little bit behind, but hits Porter right square in the #1 on his chest and knocks him over. Actually on the replay it looks like Porter was trying to change direction to go pack outside right as he was setting to catch the ball, so that’s all on him. Damn it Porter, your block in the Arkansas game wasn’t that good. GPR +1, GPE +1, Hypothetical Porter chart -2.

Okay, Diarse’s earlier drop was bad, but that one would have seen my hair regrow to its glorious high school state just so it could be torn out in frustration. The field goal is good and it’s a 23 point lead at least, but... arrgh. Texada gets gifted a pick on SMU’s drive and we’re in close out the game mode here... I think.

Play 85: Tight end 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 25

A tight run formation sees TCU run power with Johnson to good effect, about 3 yards before contact. The rest is all TJ, and I’m so bummed he won’t be playing for us again this year. No chart.

Play 86: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 2nd and 1 from the TCU 34

Inside zone but as Hunt whiffs on his assignment again, Johnson cuts back and gets the first down, gets contact after two yards and powers through it for more again. Eight yards after contact. No chart.

Play 87: Tight end 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the TCU 44

Play action inside zone and this time it works beautifully. Hights gets a clean release down the sideline on a fade and Kenny puts it up where he can take it in stride. If Hights doesn’t stumble slightly after about 10 yards this is probably a TD. GPR +1, GPE +1. That’s two good fades thrown by Kenny so far this game/this year.

Play 88: Tight end 2 receivers left, 1st and 10 from the SMU 14

High snap but Hill handles it and gets it down for Johnson on the inside zone. One cut later and he’s running through an ankle tackle into the end zone. No chart.

Well, that certainly bummed me out about Johnson’s transfer all over again. If you’re curious about Sawyer’s few garbage time snaps I’ll chart those too, starting here.

FS Play 1: 2 back pistol 2 receivers right, 1st and 10 from the TCU 33

This formation generally screams play action inside zone, and sure enough Meacham doesn’t disappoint. Sawyer fakes the handoff and delivers to Zeller on a quick out route. The ball is quite a bit short and Zeller falls over trying to come back for it, but he does make the catch. GPR +1, BPE +1.

FS Play 2: 2 back pistol 2 receivers left, 2nd and 10 from the TCU 33

Straight outside zone to Miller. No chart.

FS Play 3: Trips right, 3rd and 7 from the TCU 36

SMU brings a delayed blitz which gets a free runner straight up the middle to blast Sawyer. Oops. Quick cut to Sawyer on the sideline saying “Daaang”.

Garbage time disclaimer applies, but we’ll put that into the end of season comparison.

Traditional stats have Kenny at 31/45 for 452 yards and two touchdowns compared with one interception. They also have him at 6 rushes for 0 yards which is pretty rough, but in college they do count sack yards as rushes for... some reason. Good but not great. Also don’t draw any conclusions from it because garbage time, but Sawyer was 1/1 for 0 yards and -7 yards rushing. Let’s check our chart.

Run Read: 10 good run reads (+11), 1 bad run read (-1)

Run Execution: 3 good run executions (+3), 0 bad run executions

Pass Read: 33 good pass reads (+33), 2 bad pass reads (-3)

Pass execution: 33 good pass executions (+38), 2 bad pass executions (-2)

Passing wise, that’s Kenny’s best performance by a mile. The past two weeks have been about 3:1 on good pass to bad pass executions while this time Kenny was 16:1 which is pretty incredible. He needed it, as SMU was very keyed in on making sure that there weren’t run lanes to let Kenny get the forward momentum he needs to do great things. Still, the run reads were consistent and if it weren’t for the one very bad read on the pick this would have been a near perfect day by these stats. So where was the difference? Well, to start with it was a bad day for TCU’s receivers- the first four incompletions Kenny threw each hit his receivers in the hands and they just flat out dropped them. Even his end of first half Hail Mary found both of Porter’s hands before it was dropped, as part of a mind blowing eight drops I charted in this game that were all on the receivers. Turn those into catches and Kenny would have been 39/45 which is... yeah. So far things have looked really good for Kenny, which again makes me more curious to see just what is going to go terribly wrong in the coming weeks. Oklahoma is coming to town next week, so how will Kenny respond with the spotlight back on him? Thoughts, suggestions or anything else you’d like to see measured or charted? Let me know in the comments.