I like breaking down the mechanics of plays and their execution, but I don’t care for analyzing play calling. If a single call is blindingly “good” or “bad” because of talent discrepancies, tendencies, results, or whatever, I’ll speak to it. But looking at them in aggregate doesn’t do it for me. That’s because breaking down a game’s worth of play calls is a pile of mind-numbing work. However, calls from the booth have been a hot topic lately, so for this article I’ve poked around in the Furman game to see what popped up with Coach Cornelsen’s plays of choice.
First, though, breaking down games play-by-play is a big pain. Teams carry a fixed number of plays into a game. They have the basics—Inside Zone, a Smash Concept, etc.—and then a few extra plays that aren’t as frequently used on top of that. That means evaluating changes in play calling can and (often does) go beyond calling plays. Instead, it could be that a team runs power, but in the first quarter it’s with the tailback aligned away from the play, and in the third he’s aligned on the same side. It could be they pull the guard from the strength of the formation...
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