5 crazy good stats in college football
Every week, we dive into the data to bring you the most impressive performances. Here are the numbers that stood out through nine weeks of play.
5 crazy good stats in college football
Matt Weiser (TE, Buffalo) has not dropped a pass this season on 52 targets.
Of the 52 targets, 37 of them were determined to be catchable. He has caught every one of them. While Weiser does most of his work on short passes in the middle of the field, he does have five catches beyond ten yards and two beyond twenty yards. As a receiver, Weiser owns PFF’s eighth-highest grade at +3.7 and is fourth in yards after the catch with 205. Weiser’s problem is in the running game. He ranks 188th at -8.3 in the run blocking department. That leaves him with an overall grade of -3.6 which checks in with a ranking of 144. Weiser needs to greatly improve his blocking to avoid the one-dimensional label, but is currently the most sure-handed tight end in the country.
Corey Coleman (WR, Baylor) is averaging a five-yard gain every time he runs a passing route.
Yards per route run (YPRR) is a PFF signature stat that measures how active and productive receivers are in their team’s offense. The higher the YPRR, the more production per passing play. Corey Coleman currently leads the FBS at 4.99. As a comparison, Amari Cooper was ranked second in 2014 at 3.97.
The opposition better know where Coleman is at all times. He is targeted on 38.5 percent of Baylor’s passing plays when he’s on the field. Having a YPRR that high means that Coleman is cashing in on his opportunities. Coleman’s production has helped his quarterback, Seth Russell, improve his yards per attempt from 9.5 in 2014 to 10.5 in 2015 (second in the nation). The junior from Richardson, Texas is averaging over 20 yards per reception and is on pace for an eye-popping 31 touchdowns this season. I’ll sum up Coleman in one word – explosive.
74 percent of Connor Cook’s (QB, Michigan State) passing yards have come before the reception.
The senior quarterback leads the country in yards in air percentage (YIA) at 73.9 percent. This is 5.5 percentage points higher than the second-place quarterback. What’s even more impressive is that Cook is 16th in the country in yards per attempt at 8.08. The fifteen quarterbacks in front of him have an average YIA percentage of 51.6 – over 20 percentage points lower. What this indicates to me is that Cook is a self-made man. He is not relying on big yards after the catch (YAC) numbers to inflate his yardage totals. His top three YAC receivers are ranked 108, 272 and 408 in the country. If you combined all their YAC yards into one receiver, it would barely be enough to crack the top 25. Cook is currently CFF’s ninth-ranked quarterback with a grade of +26.1. It makes you wonder what a combination like Cook and Texas Tech’s Jakeem Grant (647 YAC) could do.
Shakeel Rashad (LB, North Carolina) has not missed a tackle in 457 snaps.
The senior from Jacksonville entered the 2015 season as a first time starter. He has not disappointed with a very respectable +17.2 grade. Even more impressive is that he has yet to miss a tackle in 2015. Not even one. Rashad has played on 75 percent of UNC’s defensive plays and of the 457 snaps, 267 of them have been running plays.
Rashad is more than just reliable as a tackler. He has recorded a positive grade in all eight games this season. In Week 5 against PFF’s fifth-ranked rushing defense (Georgia Tech), Rashad played on every snap posted an overall grade of +5.7. He and defensive lineman Jeremiah Clarke (+15 against the run) are the main reasons that North Carolina ranks in our top 15 run defenses and leads the ACC Coastal division.
Dakota Gordon (FB, San Diego State) has a better run blocking grade than all but ten offensive lineman.
The former walk on is making a case for fullbacks to stay in the future plans of offensive coordinators. He essentially gives the Aztecs an elite lineman in the backfield to block on running plays. Through 448 snaps, Gordon has a run blocking grade of +19. That would be good enough for eleventh among all offensive lineman in the county. This isn’t a one year thing for Gordon either. In 2014, SDSU running back D.J. Pumphrey set a single season school rushing record with Gordon as his lead blocker. Of Pumphrey’s 1,859 total yards, 1,036 of them came before contact. Pumprey’s 2014 grade was +7.6. Gordon’s was +34.1. While Pumphrey’s name goes down in the record book, the real recognition should go to Gordon.
The Ezekiel Elliott pass blocking efficiency update is currently on vacation since Ohio State was on a bye in Week 9. It’s hoping to return rested, tan and at 100 percent after Week 10.