Mike Bobo has an interesting observation about his starting quarterback:
… Murray also can become more consistent, said Bobo, who noted a curiosity about the quarterback’s season: He has tended to play better in the second and third quarters of games than in the first and fourth periods.
“I think in the first quarter he gets hyped,” Bobo said. “His mechanics get a little off; he gets juiced on his throws.” As for fourth-quarter slippage, that has been a team-wide problem that will be a focus of off-season attention.
That got me curious. So I took a look at the tale of the tape, via the always invaluable cfbstats.com. This is the breakdown of Murray’s passer rating by quarter:
It seems that Bobo is on to something here. Murray’s completion percentage is lowest in the fourth quarter – how much of that is due to the problem Bobo alludes to and how much of that is due to game conditions is hard to say. (Although, note that when you look at his performance based on the game score, he was at his worst this season when games were tied.)
By the way, I continue to be impressed with Murray’s drive to improve. It’s one thing that gives me hope that there will be some offset to the inevitable drop off resulting from A.J.’s departure next season. Now if the coaches could find some way to bottle it and give it out to other players on the team…