The UB Bulls defeated Duquesne 38-28 on Saturday. Along the way, Buffalo’s passing game averaged 7.39 net yards per attempt with junior Joe Licata completing 69.4% of his passes.
On average, Buffalo’s receivers were 11.3 yards downfield. Seven of Licata’s 36 passes were thrown twenty or more yards past the line of scrimmage (three were caught). The pass distribution is depicted below.
Licata was lights out on his short passes. After removing one throw away and one pass interference penalty, 81.8% of his passes ten yards or shorter were complete. However, those passes (22 of them) averaged just 5.91 yards per attempt. Licata’s completion percentage distribution is depicted below.
The Bulls feasted on play action passes. Fourteen passes were thrown (and one throw away) off the fake handoffs, and the target was an average of 20 yards down field. Note how different the target distribution is when the Bulls ran play action.
Those play action passes were completed 60% of the time (including the throw away). It’s no wonder the Bulls averaged 12.2 yards per play action pass. The Duquesne defensive backs were unable to content with the Buffalo receivers and accurate throws.
Ron Willoughby was Buffalo’s leading receiver with ten catches, 132 yards, and two touchdowns. He was targeted thirteen times (and was credited for another target on the throw away) and was 13.5 yards past the line of scrimmage, on average. Six of his targets came off play action passes, which accounted for five catches and 106 yards. A detailed breakdown of his targets are below.
Next week, the Bulls travel to West Point to play the Army Black Knights. Army allowed just 205 passing yards per game last season (19th best in FBS, but that includes a their final game against the run-intensive Navy offense). Look for the Bulls to have continued success with the play action pass.