Donovan Smith’s spray chart and some offensive stats


We look at Donovan Smith’s spray chart through three games and some stats that might you squirm a little. As always,’s 2023 football coverage is presented by Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers – the official injury law firm of UH Athletics.

the daily #53 | 9/22/2023 | Archives

Spray. Here’s Donovan Smith’s spray chart through three weeks:

We chart the distance a pass is thrown, not the distance of the play. Red circles with white outlines are TDs, while white circles are INTs.

It’s hard to compare to Tune at any point – Tune came in midseason as a backup in 2019, 2020 was a mess with the schedule, and in 2021, Tune was knocked out of the third game (Grambling). Maybe 2022 is a good comparison, but we only have a Tune spray chart through four games, not three. But still, some similarities.

Smith is virtually identical to Tune early last season in throws 11-20 yards (Tune – 50% on 24 throws, Smith 50% on 24 throws) and basically the same 21+ yards (Tune 29.4% on 5/17, Smith 28.6% on 4/14). UH played UTSA, Tech, Kansas, and Rice in the first four games.

The real difference is throwing behind the line of scrimmage. Smith is 8/12 with a couple of drops, while Tune was 31/33 and three TDs on throws behind the LOS. Smith’s throws are going more downfield – he has 14 more passes 1-10 yards downfield in three games than Tune had through 4 games.

Smith is worse to the right side but throws much more that way. Not sure what to make of that. He’s also been sacked 12 times while Tune was sacked 10 times through three games last year and Tune/Ike Ogbogu were sacked 11 times in 2021 in three games.

We’ve Got Numbers. Here’s a good stat for you: penalties have been cut in half this year. Last year, the Coogs had 33 penalties through three games and in 2023, there have been 16. Dana said they emphasized this in the spring and fall camp and it appears to be paying off.

Part of that is because pre-snap penalties are way down. There have only been two presnap penalties on offense this year (there were seven in the first three games last year). Overall, presnap penalties are down from 12 through three games last season to five this year (UH has three defensive offsides in 2023).

And here are some bad stats … and some that might show how low scoring this weekend’s game could be: UH’s 3.16 yards per rush is 119th nationally. Sam Houston comes into the game at 1.37 yards per carry – last nationally by some margin.

UH is 126th in red zone scoring (14 attempts, nine scores), while SHSU is dead last. They’ve played two games but have only one (unsuccessful) trip inside the red zone.

Only one game nationally this week has a lower wagering total than UH/SHSU (37.5). That’s Oklahoma State/Iowa State (35.5). There might be some weather in Ames, though.

Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is proud to be a corporate sponsor as the Official Personal Injury Law Firm for the University of Houston Athletics.

“As a University of Houston alum, I am honored that the University of Houston Athletics chose our firm to be their official and exclusive personal injury law firm,” says Stewart J. Guss, the firm’s founder.