Against Rice, Clayton Tune looked much better, certainly more comfortable, than he did a week before against Texas Tech. But before we get to Clayton Tune’s full spray chart from the Rice game and compare it to Tech, as well as his overall tendencies so far this season, I wanted to look at Nathaniel Dell’s production and what he’s meant to Tune.
Here’s Dell’s production chart. As a reminder, we chart how far the ball travels in the air and not the ultimate distance of a play.
Dell has been very good this year but he’d be the first to tell you he should have 17-18 catches instead of 14. A few have gotten through his hands or have been dropped.
The most important aspect of Dell’s performance this year is his 3rd down work. Tune has thrown 18 passes on 3rd down this year and he’s targeted Dell on 10 of them (he’s caught 7/10).
Of the 17 first downs Tune has completed through the air, Dell has caught nine of them. In the Rice game, Tune attempted six third-down passes and all six went to Dell. I doubt anyone else in the country has caught over 50% of a team’s first-down passes.
Dell is UH’s possession receiver and also the best downfield threat: he’s caught five of Tune’s 10 completions thrown past 10 yards. Tune and Dell put on a clinic on 3rd down in the 3rd quarter Saturday. On 3rd downs of 19, 17, and 15 yards, the two hooked up for completions of 19, 22, and 18.
Clayton’s Spray Chart: Rice
As we’ve said, Clayton Tune had an excellent day in the Rice game, making better decisions than he did a week before. Just for comparison’s sake, here’s what his chart against Texas Tech looked like (for accurate representation, we chart how far the ball travels in the air and not the ultimate distance of a play. HD means “hit defender” in the hands:)
And here’s the Rice game: