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Brett Hundley: Utah Film Breakdown

An analysis of the passing game and Brett Hundley's overall performance in the Bruins' 34-27 victory on the road over the Utah Utes

Gene Sweeney Jr.

I had a non-conference breakdown of Brett Hundley last week, now I've taken a look at his play from last Thursday night at Utah and share my thoughts and analysis below. This on is about 2000 words shorter than the previous post, so you all have that to look forward too.

On his raw stats, Hundley had a decent day against the Utes. He completed 17 of his 27 passes for 211 yards with 1 touchdown pass and one interception. His rushing looks better. as he had 20 attempts for 85 yards and 1 touchdown, that also accounts for 3 sacks and the lost yardage (which is still stupid for the NCAA to count as negative rushing yards). He also caught a 7-yard touchdown from Devin Fuller and had a pooch punt get downed inside the 10-yard line.

Those numbers will get some context after going through the tape, so let's get to it.

Versus Utah

(Thanks to Adrian Ahufinger for posting this video)

Play by Play Breakdown

Play Route Targeted Player Targeted Yardage Notes
1 WR Screen Right Devin Fuller 4 Space was there, Evans blown up blocking.
2 Hitch Left Devin Lucien 8 Nice playcall against zone blitz (6 rushers), same route is open on both sides of the field.
3 Scramble Brett Hundley Keeper 5 Okay decision to tuck it. Lucien open on play on a drag with lots of space underneath the linebackers
4 Sneak Hundley Designed Run 2 3rd and 1, easy pickup under center
5 Swing Left Paul Perkins 44 Easy decision, excellent block on the edge by Bell and Lucien.
6 Scramble Hundley Keeper 0 Mishandled good snap, nice recovery to nearly score.
7 Sneak Hundley Designed Run 0 Stuffed on goal-line. TE in.
8 RB Screen Left Jordon James -5 This play just doesn't work with James for some reason. MLB sniff it out easily for a big loss.
9 Scramble Hundley Keeper 4 WR screen to Jalen Ortiz on the right looks like a good option, Hundley tucks it and picks up a few.
10 Drag Middle Right Jordan Payton 29 3rd and 11. Good ball and a nice playcall to take advantage of the blitz. An absolutely outstanding blitz pickup by Jordon James at 1:56, cut blocks two defenders at once.
11 Sack Hundley -9 Low snap. Simon Goines beat badly on blitz outside, James can't pick up either free rusher. Phillip Ruhl would have been open if Hundley had time to get it off.
12 Swing Right Paul Perkins 5 Low snap. Blitz not picked up by Alex Redmond. Great job to deliver ball under pressure.
13 Curl Middle Darius Bell 11 Low snap. 3rd and 14. Nice ball, Bell falls, probably gets the first if he doesn't. Makes it 4th and manageable.
14 Punt Brett Hundley Pooch Punt 27 (downed inside the 10) 4th and 3 was makable, but punt is safe choice.
15 Streak Left Jordan Payton - Not a bad risk, Payton's effort on the ball is lacking. 6'2" WR needs to go up and get that ball. Gets outjumped by safety. If he gets off the ground, better than 50-50 shot he catches it.
16 Scramble Hundley Keeper 8 Awful snap. Lucky to get first down because Utah didn't bring pressure. Nice job blocking downfield by Fuller, gets Hundley the first down.
17 Curl Right Shaquelle Evans 11 Quick decision, nice job to get the first down.
18 Streak Right Shaquelle Evans - Great coverage. Not a catchable ball anyway, Fuller open on the left side.
19 Curl Right Jordan Payton 22 Maybe a half a beat late by surveying the field. Good ball. Outstanding physical run after the catch.
20 Flat Right Brett Hundley 7 TD TE in. Direct snap reverse pass. Nice ball from Fuller, nice route and catch from Brett Hundley.
21 Out Left Devin Fuller 15 3rd and 2. Low snap. 6 rushers vs. 5 blockers. Great adjustment and ball under pressure.
22 Read Option Hundley Designed Run 5 Good read. Would likely have been big gain if Hundley goes outside instead of trying to avoid defender in space. No chance he gets caught on the edge.
23 Deep Cross Middle Grayson Mazzone 14 Drag not there underneath, stays composed in pocket. Delivers a great ball with velocity. Route by Mazzone is outstanding (in the slot at 4:47).
24 Read Option Pass Hundley Designed Run 9 Good read & decision to not throw. Pumps to get past defender, gets him in the air. Avoids contact smartly.
25 Quick Out Left Jordan Payton 17 TD 7 rushers brought on pressure. Quick decision. Good ball to create 1-on-1 in space.
26 Streak Left Devin Lucien - Dropped. Perfect ball under pressure. Almost a sure thing TD if caught. Caleb Benenoch beaten badly on rush.
27 Read Option Hundley Designed Run 3 TE in. Probably the wrong read. Eye injury incident occurs.
28 Read Option Hundley Designed Run 7 Good read. Avoids hard contact.
29 Read Option Hundley Designed Run 0 3rd and 1. No good read to make here. 8 men in the box, 7 rushed.
30 Sack Hundley -4 Poor pass protection of the left side. Ruhl and Goines both beaten, Perkins doesn't help.
31 Quick Hitch Middle Devin Fuller 7 6 rushers vs. 5 in protection. Basically a checkdown. Nice ball under pressure.
32 Curl Middle Darius Bell 5 3rd and 7. Bell settles too soon. Has to get to 1st down marker before stopping route.
33 Throwaway RIght Hundley - Alex Redmond beat inside instantly, good decision.
34 QB Draw Hundley Designed Run 3 Low snap. 3rd and 10. Never had a shot to do anything here, poorly blocked.
35 Read Option Pass Hundley Designed Run 2 Well defended on read option and swing.
36 Swing Left Paul Perkins - Low snap. Benenoch beaten at snap. Great pickup on that by Steven Manfro. Not a good throw after no one downfield was open. All arm, almost no lower body.
37 Swing Right Steven Manfro - 3rd and 8. Dropped. 5 rushers vs. 5 in protection still creates pressure. Unblocked rusher hits Hundley. Not going to get the 1st down anyway.
38 Curl Right Shaquelle Evans - Bad snap, dropped pass. Good read. Perkins also a good option on the edge.
39 Throw Away Right (Sort of but not really) Devin Lucien INT TD Awful play all around. 6 rushers vs. 6 in protection. Poorly blocked, no one open, routes quit on, terrible decision by Hundley. At 8:21, Caleb Benenoch beaten badly again at snap and unblocked rusher takes away quick slant over the middle, flushes Hundley to left, missed sack forces him right, bad throw.
40 Out Left Devin Fuller 6 3rd and 4. Great ball and pass protection.
41 Scramble Hundley Keeper 5 Low snap. 3 man rush. Zone coverage. Manfro open with 1-on-1 in space. Not a fan of this decision, forced run with no pressure at all.
42 Back Shoulder Left Devin Lucien 9 3rd and 8. Bad snap. 7 rushers vs. 6 in protection. Amazing pass under pressure by Hundley and play on the ball by Lucien. Thrown before he's turned.
43 Throw Away Right - (Counted as a 14 yard loss) - (Intentional Grounding Penalty Bobbled on a decent snap. Caleb Benenoch outsmarted at snap, helps Redmond instead of picking up blitz. Unblocked rusher creates penalty. Could argue that Manfro was in the area.
44 Scramble Hundley Keeper 8 3rd and 20. Simon Goines beaten at snap, Caleb Benenoch beaten by spin move. Great job to avoid sack.
45 Scramble Hundley Keeper 15 Low snap. 6 rushers vs. 6 in protection. Perkins picks up blitz well. Good decision, no one in middle of the field underneath.
46 Curl Left Shaquelle Evans - Awful play by Benenoch. Helps double with Redmond instead of picking up insanely obvious blitzer on edge. Lucky to get the ball off.
47 RB Screen Left Steven Manfro 9 Good playcall, executed much better on this attempt.
48 Streak Left Jordan Payton - 3rd and 11. Look at 10:40 in video. 4 man blitz stacked against 3 in protection. 7 rushers vs. 6 in protection overall. Pause at 10:45 and see a blatant hold that was missed. Horsecollar tackles the rusher. Dumb play by Benenoch.
49 QB Draw Brett Hundley Designed Runs 36 TD Love the playcall. Well blocked, even the non-block downfield by Redmond is perfect. Athleticism wins on this play.

Alright, some notes from this game.

  • Caleb Benenoch had some nice plays, but got beaten and outsmarted far too often. Will not fly against better competition.
  • The middle of the field was not as underutilized as I thought it was watching the game. Several throws there got taken away by the pass rush and a couple throws were made, but not well executed by receivers.
  • The drop by Lucien was huge in terms of momentum. Utah might have been much less of a threat in the second if that play hits. Going into the half up 28-17 instead of at 21-17 is a big deal in terms of game-planning.
  • Brett Hundley ran for 67 yards and a TD on 9 designed runs (7.4 YPC). Scrambling he was far less effective when sacks and the IG penalty are taken into account, as he totaled just 18 yards on 10 plays, that also doesn't include the throw-aways and Interception returned for a touchdown while he was scrambling. Flat-out, protection has to be better, especially at picking up the blitz.
  • Hundley also started off absurdly hot. Completed 13 of 15 in the first half with that dropped ball by Lucien. The second half was not kind. Just 4 of 12 with the interception, 2 sacks (including the intentional grounding penalty), and without that 36 yards TD run, he had negative rushing yards for the half. Utah did a great job at taking the downfield passing game away.
  • UCLA relied on the read option much more than normal in the second half as hell. It worked well, but was concerning how easy the pass was taken away by just a decently talented secondary.
  • The RBs did a decent job in pass protection when asked to do so. Each of the three had a mistake or two, but each also did something above and beyond the expected as well. I thought Manfro did much worse until I watched this. Can't poke holes in what James, Perkins or Manfro did there. If anything, Phillip Ruhl looked worse on his limited snaps at FB than any RB did.
  • In total, there were 11 no doubt bad or low snaps that I counted from Jacob Brendel. 4 others were on the borderline of low, but didn't warrant mention. That simply can't happen. As a center, snap has to be the first thing you think of.
  • Nate Iese played more than I thought, he was in on a number of rushing plays as well as the 5 or so plays listed here. And he was playing a traditional TE spot as opposed to a Y. Interesting to see how that develops moving forward.

Player Total Targets Total Catches Total Yardage Total TDs & Drops (Notes)
Jordan Payton 5 3 68 1 TD
Devin Fuller 4 4 32
Shaq Evans 4 1 11 1 Drop
Devin Lucien 3 2 17 1 Drop
Paul Perkins 3 2 49
Steven Manfro 2 1 9 1 Drop
Darius Bell 2 2 16
Grayson Mazzone 1 1 14
Jordan James 1 1 -5
Brett Hundley 1 1 7 1 TD

Weirdly limited number of targets for Evans. The Utes did a nice job taking him out of the game, as he didn't flash open on many routes that I noticed. 3 drops is not good, but not a disastrous day by any means. Thomas Duarte and Jalen Ortiz were on the field for around 10 snaps each and were not targeted, though neither appeared to be open outside of one screen to Ortiz that Hundley passed up. Other than those two and Nate Iese, every player who ran a route was targeted.

After that analysis, here is an updated total on who Brett Hundley targets through this season along with the other stats included in the previous post. (Note: not including Hundley's TD catch on this sheet because it is a strict focus on Hundley's decision making.)

Player Total Targets Total Catches Total Yardage Total TDs & Drops (Note)
Evans 27 (1 batted at line) 14 221 3 TDs & 3 drops (1 before targeting penalty)
Fuller 24 (23 in reality) 17 (16 in reality) 197 (167 in reality) 2 TDs (1 taken away) & 4 drops
Payton 15 9 163 1 TD
Bell 10 7 90 1 drop
Lucien 9 6 80 1 drop
Mazzone 8 (7 in reality) 7 (6 in reality) 107 (99 in reality) 1 drop (1 catch taken by holding penalty)
Perkins 9 7 105 1 drop
Duarte 3 2 12
Manfro 4 3 50 1 TD & 1 drop
James 3 3 -4
Jones 1 1 25 1 TD
Ortiz 1 1 19
Andrews 1 1 17
Ruhl 1 1 12 1 TD
Iese 1 1 3 1 TD
Totals 117 (115 in reality) 80 (78 in reality) 1097 (1059 in reality) 10 TDs (9 in reality) & 12 drops

Not the flashiest game, but more adversity for Hundley than the previous three games combined. Pressure, injuries, elements, environment, snapping issues, eye injuries. Doubtful to encounter that many problems in just one game again this season, maybe in his career. It'll be interesting to see what Hundley is able to do against the California Golden Bears on Saturday. The Bears' defense has been awful and it should be a game where Hundley can put on an absolute show to make up for his bad game in Berkeley last year as a freshman.

Until next week, Go Bruins!