Fade Pass/Deep Route-Success Rate

It isn’t a secret on here how much I truly hate this play call. To me, it is a waste of a down. To the eye test, it rarely succeeds. I loved the offensive game plan against BGSU. We hardly threw that fade route/deep pass, and we dominated the game. Against WMU, and as I expected as soon as Gage returned, so did this deep ball play call. Gage is a great weapon, but it doesn’t have to be always a deep pass/fade. So I decided to go play by play through our offensive plays for the WMU game. We threw the fade/deep ball 12 times against WMU. We completed it 3 times. So 3/12 success rate. 25%. That’s not good. Think of all the wasted plays and yards. Brett was 20/35 against WMU. Remove these plays and he was 17/23. 73% completion rate. I am not saying never throw it. But to me clearly, this play hurts our offense. Plus, against a team like Toledo, we need to keep their offense off the field. Throwing the fade isn’t the way to accomplish that.


To me, with very minimal exceptions, the fade pass is analogous to a jump ball in basketball with the added negative that a defender can either try to intercept or bat the ball down. For the most part, to be successful, the receiver must have a meaningful height advantage or a substantial jumping advantage over the defender.


One factor you might not be considering is that when we stretch the field we are forcing the defense to be designed to cover the entire field, and that actually opens up the shorter passing game.


Exactly, @DICK. This feels like a weird time to be critiquing this. Gabbert is completing over 61% of his attempts this season. We have one of the most explosive offenses in the country. We have one of the highest offensive success rates in the country. Offensive explosiveness is one of the biggest predictors of offensive success.

Not only does it keep safeties from coming up and focusing on the run, it keeps them wide and opens up the passing game in the middle of the field.

No idea why @Renmanco thinks a fade requires a height advantage. It’s not a jump ball. It’s a ball thrown between the hash and the sideline. Sounds like there’s a confusion between a fade and a back shoulder ball. And again, Brett has all of 4 interceptions. That’s best in the conference among QBs that have played all season.

As far as the eye test, it doesn’t match the stats.


Agree that you must occasionally throw a deep ball to keep the D on it toes a s to hopefully open up shorter pass routes. So, an occasional “jump ball” throw is warranted, although you can also run other deep patterns to stretch the D… doesn’t ha e to be a fade route.

Dick I knew as I hit “reply” someone would say this. And if you note, I specifically state " I am not saying never throw it.". But not 13 times a game. I stand by my original post.

1 Like

A fade isn’t a jump ball. A face is a deep route where the QB puts the ball over the receivers outside shoulder, causing them to “fade” toward the sideline. If the receiver runs it well, they keep the DB on their inside hip, giving the QB a lot of green to drop the ball into. Depending on what the WR is good at, you’ll see a different ball. Marshall will normally get it on his back shoulder (more of a jump ball), whereas Gage will run onto it. I think folks really need to separate the ball being thrown from the route.

Here’s where we compared to other teams in terms of success vs opponent this week



Tell me Jive, I provided the stats as best I can ascertain them, how does throwing a pass that has a 25% success rate, 13 times a game, or 37% of our overall pass plays, help the offense? Especially when our other pass plays complete over 70% of the time. Again, I never said not to throw it. But with this frequency? No, it is not helpful. I don’t need to “stretch the defense” 37% of my pass plays. And I can’t clarify from the stats we keep which deep ball is a fade. I can only include those where it is stated “deep ball”. But either way, we aren’t completing many of them. So tell me, how are my stats wrong? How is my “eye test” wrong? I wear contacts and can’t see a damn thing without them, but they are on during games!

You should know better than to make up numbers. How can you actually be trying to have a good faith discussion when you want to make things up?

The point is that you wouldn’t get the 17/23 on the other passes without stretching the D on those fades. Do the deep balls all have to be fades? No, but CM seems to like those better than the post because there is less chance of a pick.


What did I make up? I went play by play through our game. From Miami’s website. The “play by play”. This site: Football vs Western Michigan on 10/14/2023 - Box Score - Miami University RedHawks

So now that you have taken a very cheap shot and insulted me, how am I not using good faith? What am I making up? Feel free to check what I did.

1 Like

Again, I acknowledged using it occasionally. From my original post: " " I am not saying never throw it.".

A practice on the board getting chippy ahead of the big game. That’s usually a pretty good sign. Lol

Let’s use this as an example. First pass is a fade. Second is a skinny corner/fade. Defense starts playing outside leverage to keep him from getting open on those. So they run a seam route for a 99 yard TD. Then a skinny post as the inside receiver clears out the linebacker (again, DB was trying to keep outside leverage). Couldn’t see the route on the scramble drill, but then again, outside leverage leads to a 70 yard seam route being open. Getting burned twice on the first drive led to UMass changing their coverage the entire rest of that game.

1 Like

So you’re calling any deep ball a fade? C’mon blues. I respect how much you know about football. But gotta do better than that. Is any medium range route an out? Is every run an inside run?

I just did the same play by play review of the BG game. We threw 1 deep ball the entire game. It was incomplete. We won 27-0. I realize different game, different team. Just using it as an example.

Jive how many times do I have to say the same thing. I cannot differentiate from the only source available to me which “deep balls” are fades. I would love for Miami to give that information. Because I would do the same analysis. But I don’t have access to that. So all I can do is analyze how well we do on pass plays our football staff or scorekeeper designate “deep pass”. Honestly Jive, you aren’t being fair to me. I was very honest and forthright in my initial post what I did.

If you have access to that information, which “deep passes” are fades versus another type of “deep pass” please share it. Thanks.

1 Like

I’m not much of a coach. Typical watch the ball sort of fan.

Against BG I don’t remember throwing long even once. Soon as Gage comes back have to agree with Blues, long ball seemed it was a bit overdone. This is especially true considering the success we had against BG and during the WMU game with the shorter game. Brett was very accurate in the short/medium game and it kept us out of a lot of 3rd and long situations.

They can run the deep fade or post route and make the defense run with them which opens up the field for other receivers. Just because he’s headed long doesn’t mean they have to throw him the ball every time he does. If he’s open throw him the ball (duh). If not then look short/medium. Depending on the route he’s cleared a corner and a safety out and made some space. Sometimes—not every time—if he trusts the receiver and he has a back running with him, then sling it and trust him to “make a play.”

Watch any other college football game and we clearly throw more deep balls into single man coverage (call the routes whatever the hell you want, Jive) than average. Blues’ point stands. Why has it been working better than it used to? 1. We have better receivers this year, and 2. Brett is very crafty and usually underthrows them just a hair purposefully and his receivers know to slow down/come back for the ball. Sure it works sometimes and keeps the D honest, but I think we’d all like to see it mixed in with a more higher percentage passing over the middle with slants, seams, and crossing routes, especially when we’re trying to trying to keep a drive alive.

1 Like

I watched the game from start to finish and I would say we did a lot of passes to the sideline with a lot of loft to them that seemed to be low percentage. Whatever you want to call those passes is fine with me. It seemed like we had fewer slants

1 Like