A whole new ballgame

It’s too much effort for me to go back looking for the post, but I remember writing something back in the day when Mark Richt was coaching about how the college passing game was evolving towards an emphasis on completion percentage, something that was not a priority through the stretch when Greene, Shockley and Stafford were starting.

With that in mind, here’s some data David Hale’s compiled on that metric.

What you get from today’s elite quarterbacks is everything:  completion percentage and yards per attempt.

I’m pretty sure Kirby Smart knows that as well as anybody these days.


Filed under Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

16 responses to “A whole new ballgame

  1. Ran A

    He is data driven and believes in analytics. In this case, the #’s don’t lie. He knows what he has to do. He just didn’t want to let go to what he knew had worked for so long… But I do think he is there now…


  2. Down Island Way

    Don’t know CKS, how he lives or thinks…no matter how many showers you take, that 2019 lsu spanking has to stick on you somewhere, OT losses are what they are, do believe vertical attack is the direction the UGA program is headed, today, tomorrow as long as Kirbs is the pilot….


  3. jacopojpeterman

    We should note in-air passing yards vs YAC-included yards in stat lines somehow. Seems like instead of listing passing yards as “315,” wouldn’t be hard to note passing yards as “181-315,” “315(181),” or something like that. With more & more offenses “passing to run” and QB looking more important every year, this would be so helpful when just looking through basic game stats.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Granthams Replacement

    The college game has moved to where the pro game has been for a long time. Elite QB play = championships. Defenses should adopt the pro strategy, stop the run and kill the QB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ASEF

      3 yard college rule makes it much, much harder to do that. It’s amazing how much difference that drives in the two games.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Was having this discussion with a friend the other day. That one rule makes playing defense a totally different world between the two. I mean we just had two playoff teams in the NFL play to a final score of 17-3, it’s possible for defenses to still be effective in the NFL. The chances of seeing a playoff score like that in college are pretty much nonexistent. Because in one, the defenses (especially front 7) can read their keys and react. In the other, the front 7 is held in limbo until it’s too late.

        Liked by 7 people

      • Granthams Replacement

        The tactics are different but the strategy should be the same. Rattle the QB or at least make him make the dime throws on the move.


  5. ASEF

    We’ve got kids raised on these concepts in youth football flooding the system now. Nonstop QB camps, receiving camps, year-round 7-on-7s, the works.

    After the championship game, I watched some tape on Mac Jones by Matt Wyatt and Murph Baldwin. The Wyatt tape was a hard watch – it was done right after the Georgia game, so that game featured prominently.

    It kind of struck me – the things they were talking about him doing were the same things announcers would gush about pro QBs doing 20 years ago. Reading a defender and throwing the ball to a spot well before a receiver had made his break. Over and over again. Often with a guy in his face. The timing and coordination on that kind of stuff between QB and receiver is pretty remarkable when you slow it down and look at all the moving pieces on the field.

    This is just common execution at the QB position in college now. At least common for teams that aspire to playoff contention.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Ozam

    With all the rules today favoring the offense, the passing game has become like the three-point shot in basketball. You will lose to teams that can consistently do it well. It’s just math.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. One thing that I’ve noticed is how much pre-snap motion there is now. It’s been a part of the game for a while but it’s gotten really exotic. Alabama destroyed OSU with it! It really gets people open has the bonus of opening up running lanes, too. Add in fast WRs and good route running and defending it is all but impossible.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    With Bombs Away Daniels I don’t think we’ll ever get to the top of that statistic. But that might not be all bad.


  9. Biggen

    When David Hale charts posting charts on Twitter its usually about Corona. Nice to see him get back to something is at least vaguely familiar with.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. uga97

    These data points are no surprise but just validating what we all know & see- the intersection of spread + rules of the game. the spike/change from 2016 to 2017 was insignificant, but the one from 2017 to 2018 should have been in kirbys face.


  11. I remember the main criticism when Matthew Stafford was preparing for the draft was his completion percentage was below 60%, and that number was a target for him and Bobo every year (I think he posted a 60% percentage in his soph year maybe, but I’m not sure).

    I wonder if his numbers would change if he was in college now.. It didn’t keep him from being selected #1 overall back then


  12. coachemup78

    Not arguing the game hasn’t changed, but…
    2004 comp %: 55.x
    2020 comp %: 62

    Those graphs make a 7% jump looks enormous.

    Reality out of 30 attempts per game:
    16.6/30 (55.4%)
    18.6/30 (62%)

    That’s only 2 more completions per game.

    I know I shouldn’t have stepped up on stats soapbox.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gotthepicture

      I think it’s a valid point and good that you noted how few completions can make that much of a difference, but at the same time, since this is for all P5 QBs, that’s about 24 more completions a year/QB x 50+ QBs (yes, very rough numbers thrown out there in a stats article). That’s a lot more pressure or failure on the D- depending on how you look at it.

      Liked by 1 person