As I’ve mentioned before, TSN’s Matt Hayes has this thing about Matt Stafford that I just don’t get.
Today, mixed in with his praise (“At this point, the ‘Dawgs are the nation’s most complete team.”) in elevating Georgia to #1 on his 2008 preseason list is this comment:
My only reservation with Georgia: What happens to QB Matt Stafford in big road games. (South Carolina, Arizona State, LSU, Auburn; Florida in Jacksonville are all on this year’s road slate)? He was hot and cold last year away from Athens…
What happens to Matt Stafford in big road games? Well, last year he led his team to a 4-0 record in Georgia’s four biggest away games – Alabama, Florida, Georgia Tech and Hawaii.
His stats in those four games?
- Alabama – 19/35, 224 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
- Florida – 11/18, 217 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
- Georgia Tech – 14/29, 214 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 31 yard TD run
- Hawaii – 14/23, 175 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
In three of those four games, Stafford clearly outperformed the opponent’s starter and in the fourth (Florida), the QB stats were fairly even. And don’t forget his heroics in the ‘Bama game. I’m just not seeing “hot and cold” there.
Look, given the man’s conclusion – “He’ll go one of two ways this fall: succumb to the preseason pressure, or develop into the No. 1 overall NFL pick. I’m going with the latter.” – and the fact that Stafford does need to improve his game for Georgia to have a strong chance to excel this season, I don’t want to be too harsh here, but, seriously, has Hayes watched much Georgia football lately?
7 responses to “Has Matt watched Matt?”
I would replace Hawaii with the Tennessee stinker(putting Hawaii in that category gives them way too much credit). Doing that gives MS a 3-1 record. Still very good. I’m hoping that MS takes his game to another level this year. It is time and I think Georgia needs him to if they want to meet expectations. The ’08 UGA with the same MS will be very good. If MS plays at the next level then UGA will be great IMHO.
Man…..Georgia is getting a ton of pub lately which is great for the program. Do you ever remember a time when Georgia has received so much of this?
Eh, it’s probably fair to include the UT game, but even in that one, Matt didn’t stink the joint up. His stat line: 16/33, 174 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT. (He actually threw for more yards and TDs than Ainge did, not that that really matters.)
Call it 4-1, then.
Anyway you look at it, Matt was much more of an “hot/cold” player at home than on the road last season.
I would agree with last statement. I did not realize that MS stats were that good in the UT game. I guess I was blinded by the fact that UT had like 28 points in the first half and UGA had like 2 first downs. Anyway I curious to see if MS plays the entire game like he is interested. It may be just a bad perception on my part but he has seemed disinterested in some games before. Hopefully, we can get some leads and see Logan play some.
Speaking of QBs Aaron Murray (Plant HS – Tampa)is suppose to announce his school of choice tomorrow and some seem to think he will pick the Dawgs. I have a video link of him on Athens Online. He looks really good to me.
Has Stafford missed too many easy throws….Yes. Hence why his completion % needs a little work. What everyone seems to miss are the throws he makes that look so easy until you see them from the game films. Sure he could have a couple more completions a game (which he likely will this year), but that is not the story. What gives him the chance to be special are the throws he can make that very few others can. For instance look at the AU game when he steps up in the pocket and flips the ball 50+ yards for a TD, or the UF game where he hits Massaquoi for a TD (only two out of many examples). Watching live in the UF game it looks like he over throws the WR and Massaquoi makes a great catch. Watch it again and you will see Stafford steps into a defensive player and throws the ball while a man is draped all over him.
Basically….yes it would be nice to see Stafford a little more accurate, but the upside even if he does not improve (which is very unlikely) substantially outweighs the downside of his current ability. If Stafford is the teams weakness next year (hot and cold) we should likely make reservations now for the MNC.
I know the Vandy game wasn’t “big” in terms of publicity and I don’t know what his stats were for the game but the drive Stafford put together to set up the game winning FG was a thing of beauty.
Not to defend Matt (Hayes), but maybe what he meant was that Matt (Stafford) was hot and cold within the games and not game-to-game. I think as you pointed out, Stafford’s overall numbers were pretty solid in big away games. He was the 4th rated QB out of SEC QB’s with 200+ attempts.
However, as noted previously, Stafford’s comp% could be better (8th out of SEC QBs with 200+ attempts). Within individual games he can go from amazing long passes, to horribly off common passes, to game-winning drives. Now some of the blame for Stafford’s comp% certainly goes to the receiving corps who have regularly dropped passes, but Stafford can make the move to elite QB by boosting the completion percentage and making a slight reduction in INTs. I am hoping he makes that next step this season.
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