While I concur with Seth Emerson that “Aaron Murray… could throw a dozen interceptions on G-Day and kick his head coach in the hip, but Murray will still be the starting quarterback on Aug. 31 at Clemson”, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things in Georgia’s passing game that couldn’t stand improvement.
Take a look at Bill Connelly’s latest post about the quarterback charting data his bunch compiled from last season, for instance. Here’s part of the pass distribution data for a group:
Notice that about 57% of Murray’s passes are thrown less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and are fairly evenly distributed in the three sub-groups.
Now here’s the completion rates for those passes.
Throws behind the line of scrimmage are completed at a fairly meh rate compared to his peers, but check out the completion rate for Murray’s throws within four yards downfield. That’s pretty bad, relatively speaking.
Now look at his completion rate on throws 15-19 yards past the line. He killed those. The thing is, those throws made up less than ten percent of his completions. He threw twice as many passes of 0-4 yards.
Now, obviously the lower completion rate on those isn’t all on Murray. You have to factor in drops, for example. But I wonder if some of it’s due to pass protection and throws being batted down (height and pocket awareness matter too, of course), and if some of it’s due to predictable play calls in certain circumstances. (With regard to the latter, that’s hard to tell from the situational stats. Check out Murray’s completion ratio on third down and short.)
In any event, it’s something worth looking at. And maybe it’s worth chunking a few more intermediate-length passes this season.