Two posts with some statistical anomalies caught my eye, both involving players from the ACC.
First, Steve Megargee takes a look at Tech’s Demaryius Thomas’ season. He is the Jackets’ passing game, as this chart demonstrates.
The main target This look at Georgia Tech’s individual receiving statistics shows how critical Demaryius Thomas is to the Yellow Jackets’ passing attack. Name Catches Yards TDs Demaryius Thomas 27 671 4 Anthony Allen 4 81 1 Stephen Hill 3 91 0 Embry Peeples 3 69 0 Orwin Smith 2 26 0 Jonathan Dwyer 1 11 0 Totals 40 949 5
As concentrated as that is, Thomas is having a freakishly good year. How good? This good:
Demaryius Thomas – whose nickname is Bay-Bay” – ranks second in the nation in yards per catch. He has more receiving yards than anyone in the top 10 while playing on a team that throws the ball significantly less often. Here’s a look at the top 10 players in that category and how often their teams throw the ball. To qualify for the list, a player must have participated in 75 percent of his team’s games while averaging at least two catches per game.
NOTE: * Reflects percentage of plays team has passed the ball this season.
Name School Catches Yards Avg. Pct.* Anthony McCoy USC 14 350 25.0 42.3 Demaryius Thomas Georgia Tech 27 671 24.9 17.7 Owen Spencer NC State 12 287 23.9 52.6 Colin Larmond Boston College 17 368 21.7 40.6 Curenski Gilleylen Nebraska 13 281 21.6 50.0 Uzoma Nwachukwu Texas A&M 21 445 21.2 51.9 Slick Shelley Tulsa 20 411 20.5 41.0 Dane Sanzenbacher Ohio State 16 326 20.4 39.2 Wes Kemp Missouri 13 261 20.1 52.3 Jonathan Baldwin Pittsburgh 28 549 19.6 42.5 Rashaun Greer Colorado State 23 451 19.6 45.1
Like I said, freakish. He’s got the best set of stats on that chart in an offense that throws the ball well under 20% of the time. Despite averaging less than four catches per game, he leads the ACC in receiving yards per game and just slightly trails A.J. Green in that category.
Meanwhile, down south of the border, Christian Ponder is having one heckuva year in Tallahassee, capped by leading that stunning Thursday night comeback against North Carolina. And when I say “leading”, I mean leading: FSU’s top rusher finished the game with 18 yards and the Seminoles as a team only gained 43 yards on the ground for the game. With no running game, Ponder finished 33-40, 395 yards and 3 TDs. He also completed his last sixteen passes in a row in bringing his team back from an 18-point deficit.
If you look at his numbers on the season, he’s pretty much been the story for the FSU offense all year, as Matt Hinton shows us with this chart.
So Dawg fans, if you’re wondering whether a quarterback needs a running game to succeed, there you go.