5 crazy good stats following Week 11
Baker Mayfield has a quarterback rating of 152.7 when targeting Sterling Shepard
The Sooners are making a hard charge up the playoff rankings and Mayfield and Shepard are a huge reason why. Mayfield’s NFL-style quarterback rating of 152.7 when targeting Shepard is tops in the country. Shepard has caught 59-of-74 targets for a ridiculous percentage of 79.7. With a strong game against Baylor (+8.5) Mayfield is now PFF’s top-rated quarterback at +44 and Shepard is the second-ranked wide receiver at +24.1. Nearly all of the damage has come on the right two-thirds of the field. Shepard has remarkably been targeted only once on the left side of the left hash marks. TCU’s stud safety, Denzel Johnson (+16.8), might want to pay extra attention to that side of the field on Saturday.
Joe Thuney (OT, North Carolina State) has allowed a total of four pressures on 347 pass blocking snaps.
Thuney’s pass blocking efficiency of 99.0 is good for first in the country. The senior from Ohio has an overall rating of +24.3 through week 11. Of the 10 Wolfpack opponents, four of them are ranked in PFF’s top 20 pass-rushing defenses (Louisville, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Boston College). Thuney is not just holding his own, he’s shutting down some of the nation’s top pass rushers. In addition, Thuney has proved to be extremely versatile. According to the NC State official website, Thuney entered the 2013 training camp as the team’s starting center and went on to play right tackle, right guard and left tackle. Last season, he posted a +21.9 grade in nine games as the team’s starting left guard. That’s all five offensive line positions in the last three years.
Derrick Henry (RB, Alabama) had 176 yards after contact against Mississippi State in week 11.
According to various media outlets, Henry has taken the top spot in the Heisman race, now entering late November. With three 200-yard rushing games in his last four tilts, Henry has cruised past LSU’s Leonard Fournette in the eyes of many. His effort against Mississippi State was extremely impressive. Henry was the main focus of the Bulldog’s defense, who routinely brought both safeties close to the line of scrimmage to slow the 240-pound junior – and all he did was run for 204 yards. A whopping 176 of them were after he was contacted by a defender. To put it more in perspective, only nine running backs in the country had more total yards in Week 11 than Henry did after contact. Henry has 19 touchdowns on the year and has been in the end zone in every single game. While the raw stats look fantastic, Henry is just our 20th-ranked running back at +15. The main reason for this discrepancy is his -3.2 grade in pass protection. While prolific in the running game, Henry needs to improve his pass protection if he wants to a complete back at the next level.
Antonio Longino (LB, Arizona State) had 10 quarterback pressures against Washington in Week 11.
Longino’s 10 pressures were the most of any player in college football in week 11. No other linebacker had more than six. Longino’s pass rush grade in week 11 alone was +7. Only two other linebackers had an overall grade that high. Washington has struggled in the pass protection department with a season grade of -15.7, but 10 pressures is unparalleled against any opponent. While Longino has been average in pass coverage, pass rushing is one of the most coveted skills by NFL teams. Coming in to the season, NFL.com’s Mike Huguenin listed Longino as number six among the top 15 physical players in college football. If the senior linebacker can package legit pass rushing skills with his physical presence, he should draw plenty of attention leading up to the 2016 NFL draft.
Sheldon Day (NT, Notre Dame) is the only defensive tackle to have a grade higher than +20 in both pass and run defense.
After an ordinary year in 2014 (+5.5), Day is making the most of his last season at Notre Dame. Viewed by scouts as undersized for a tackle and lacking quickness for an end, Day is proving both assumptions to be wrong. Through week 11, Day is our top-ranked defensive tackle at +42.5 and he’s the only tackle to have a rating of at least +20 as a pass rusher and run stopper (+20.5 and +23.5 respectively). The senior’s best game came in Week 9 against Temple. He posted a +9.3 grade including six pressures and four stops. If Notre Dame hopes to advance into the College Football Playoff, they will need the big man in the middle to continue to anchor the defense against Boston College on Saturday and Stanford in the regular-season finale.