5 crazy good PFF stats heading into Week 4

Every week, we dive into the data to bring you CFB's most interesting numbers. Here's what's stood out from Lamar Jackson, Chad Hansen and more.

| 9 months ago
(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

5 crazy good PFF stats heading into Week 4

With three weeks of play in the books, we’re taking a look at the most interesting numbers from around the country. Here are five crazy stats that stood out to us as we prepare for Week 4:

1. Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville) has improved his PFF QB rating by 33 percent from 2015

Much has been made about Jackson’s running ability, and it’s warranted, but the main reason for his breakout sophomore season is his improvement as a passer. Jackson’s PFF QB rating in 2015 was 81.51. Through three games this season his rating leads all quarterbacks at 108.2. Jackson’s Week 3 opponent (Florida State) had a defensive grade of 25.6 entering the game against Louisville. Jackson’s dual-threat ability forced a grade of -15.2. In two weeks, Jackson will go head-to-head with the preseason Heisman favorite Deshaun Watson and the fifth-ranked Clemson Tigers.

2. Chad Hansen (WR, Cal) has caught all six catchable deep targets

Hansen has been targeted 12 times beyond 20 yards, but only six were deemed catchable. He has caught every one of them. After a non-descript first two years, Hansen has showed up in a big way in his junior season. He has at least 12 receptions and 160 yards in each of his first three games. He already has 40 receptions for 545 yards and five touchdowns and has been targeted 54 times – six more than the second-place receiver. Hanson is currently PFF College’s fourth-ranked wide receiver.

3. Curtis Samuel (RB, Ohio State) is averaging 4.89 yards per route run

The junior from Brooklyn has 259 receiving yards on 53 routes through three games for a whopping 4.89 yards per route run (YPRR). As a comparison, Christian McCaffrey led the country among RBs in 2015 with a YPRR of 3.2. Anything over 3.0 is usually reserved for wide receivers. A bulk of Samuel’s receiving yards came in week 1 against Bowling Green where he had nine receptions on nine targets for 177 yards. Samuel is only 28 receiving yards short of his total from 2015. He is PFF College’s top-graded receiving running back at 5.1 which is almost double the grade of the second place back.

4. John Stepec (DE, Toledo) leads all defensive lineman in run stops with 13

In his senior year, John Stepec has stepped into the starting lineup to provide the run support needed from his position in the 3-4. Stepec has 13 stops through three games — a stop is defined as a tackle that caused an offensive failure. It’s a good reflection of disruption caused by a tackle. Against Fresno State in Week 3, Stepec posted a massive grade of 9.9 – almost double his grade for the entire 2015 season. He is currently PFF college’s top-ranked run-stuffing defensive end.

5. Jayon Brown (LB, UCLA) has not missed a tackle in 207 snaps

In 2015, Brown was thrust into the starting lineup after stud linebacker Myles Jack tore his meniscus. He had some major struggles, especially the last four weeks of the season. 2016 has been a different story. Brown had a slow start in Week 1 against Texas A&M, but that was mainly due to some coverage gaffes. Overall, Brown has not missed a tackle in 207 snaps. In Week 3 against BYU, Brown had a grade of 5.3 with nine tackles, six stops, a sack and three more QB pressures. With positive grades in all three major categories (run defense, pass defense and pass rush) Brown is proving to be a reliable three down linebacker.





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