UCLA-Houston Game at a Glance
I like to visualize data graphically, tables of numbers are nice but sometimes graphs and plots are more revealing. So I decided to parse the EPSN play-by-play account of last week's game and plot it. This was a test case (the first game I had the heart to really look at in detail <lol>). Warning, there are some bugs in the code. E.g. some plays, like Houston's TD, appear in the wrong quarter - I'll work on it this weekend, but I wanted to get this out for comments before we forget last week's win.
I left off the legend, so I'll try and explain it:
Colors: If I have to explain that to you, well ...
Grid lines: The white lines at top & bottom indicate the endzones (UCLA always defends the bottom endzone). The horizontal gray lines are yardage and the vertical gray lines indicate the quarters.
Rushing plays: Solid lines, extending from the position of the snap to where it was down.
Passing plays: "Railroad tracks" - for an interception both colors are superimposed, for Incomplete, it's just a dot.
Sacks: solid line going the 'wrong way' - not distinguishable from rushing for a net loss.
FG's/PATS's dashed lines extending into the endzone.
Punts: Heavy Black Dashed Lines
Penalties: Solid Black Lines
Fumbles: well, ball possession just changes color,
Start of drive: Dot (well, this is where the drive starts EXCEPT for cases of turnovers - those made it too cluttered)
Why is there no score, dammmit? Actually, there IS, you just have to know how to read it, the lines which extend half-way into the 'endzone' are scores. We can see UCLA's 3 rushing TD's (& PATS) and a FG as well as Houston's FG's and a passing TD (yes, yes, it shows Houston got that TD at the end of Q3 but they got it at the start of Q4 - as I said, there's a bug in the parsing of the PBP - hopefully I'l fix it before running the code on the Texas game.)
A note about time: you may think that you can clearly see UCLA running out the clock on that last drive but be careful: I only had the time for the whole drive not for each play. So I did not bother to represent TOP for each drive. For each quarter, every play occupies the same horizontal slice. So in Q4 it looks like Houston is taking its sweet time to score - but we know that didn't happen. Damn ESPN!
The Yards Per Play chart basically shows the yards per play shown in the 'Game at a Glance" - I left out kicks and haven't decided how to represent turnovers (cuz, after all, the D should get credit for the yards on a turnover). Also, I am not satisfied with the visibility of details on this chart, since the lion's share of plays are short yardage we need to see that in detail, but we still want to see those long-yardage plays, I was thinking of using a semi-log plot for this - but I think I can be banned from BruinsNation for even mentioning semi-log plots <lol>
I welcome comments. Remember it is a work in progress so helpful suggestions are gratefully accepted.