some interesting numbers. hopefully we get decent pressure and induce some freshman mistakes.
Penn State's favorite, and best, passing down
Seems every time I tune in to a Penn State game this year, they're throwing deep passes on 1st down, and completing several for touchdowns. That can't be the norm, of course, but I figured there was something to that.
So, I did some digging and came up with these numbers. FWIW. I have no idea how they compare against any other Penn State team, or any other 2010 team, or any other team that ever has suited up in a football uniform at any level.
With that backdrop, here are Robert Bolden's passing stats so far:
* On first down, Bolden has a 15.4 YPC (and 8.2 YPA), while on other downs combined he has an 11.5 YPC (6.8 YPA).
* McGloin's first playing time of the year came Saturday at Minnesota, in relief of the apparently concussed Bolden. McGloin's positive stats were even more heavily weighted to 1st downs than Bolden's. On 1st downs he was 4/7 for 66 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT, and on other downs combined he was 2/6 for 10 yards and 1 TD and 0 INT. Check out McGloin's long TD pass on the Tube. Very Sheridanian in the throwing effort and motion -- and appeared to be his throwing-distance max. Several of his incompletions were ugly, and the pick was a ridiculously bad decision. Shades of Utah.
* Oh. And Kevin Newsome has played only in garbage time, except Saturday at Minnesota, when he was in for one drive and wasn't asked to throw. On the year he is 2/4 for 15 yards on 1st down, and 3/9 for 34 yards on other downs. He has thrown neither a TD nor a pick. That is, Newsome has not been called on to throw one important pass all year. Smile, M fans.
* By my numbers, 44% of Penn State's passing yards (606 of 1,363) have come on 1st down. As have the majority (4/7) of its passing touchdowns.
* Based on these stats, occasional watching of PSU games, and poring over their play-by-play sheets this year, this Penn State team throws deep almost exclusively on first down, and has found success that way for TDs in three of the past four games (1 vs Temple, 0 vs Iowa, 1 vs Illinois, 2 vs Minn [Bolden and McGloin].
* The last time -- and the only time all season -- Bolden has thrown a TD NOT on 1st down was in the opener against I-AA Youngstown State, when he tossed two.
* Throwing on 1st down gives Penn State the best chance to protect its green QBs. And its best chance to move the ball through the air.
* PSU generally throws only short or very short passes on 2nd down. Hello, Ben Chappell.
* Good things generally don't happen when Penn State passes on 2nd or 3rd down, especially 3rd down: ergo the <40% 3rd-down conversion rate.
* NOTE TO GERG AND STAFF, AND ESPECIALY CAM GORDON: This is just a hunch -- but I suspect they've been passing more on 1st down against those defenses that cheat against the run on 1st down. Iowa doesn't, of course, so it's no surprise Bolden was highly ineffective passing on 1st down against the Hawkeyes (less than 50%). For UM this Saturday night, it might be wisest to either rush only 3 on 1st down, or bring the house occasionally on a suspected 1st-down pass, while always keeping Gordon deep -- eg, after a sudden change, or after two successive 1st downs on the ground, etc. Bolden isn't slow, but he's about as unsavvy/unaware in the pocket as any other true frosh. Sacks are there to be had, especially on long passing downs.
Agree? Disagree? Does this all amount to two-thirds of four-fifths of Eff-all?
Great, so know we have to worry about first and third down...
With all joking aside, good work and thanks.
Without any statistics to back up my theory I would think this is not uncommon. On second and third down the defense is better able to "guess" what you might try based on the yardage needed for a first down. Offensively, on 2nd and 3rd down you might be more interested in getting the first down so the deep ball is not as good of an option. Of course if you have third and long you might be more likely to go deep. At times a very long pass that results in an interception would be as good or better than a punt. Not that interceptions should be the objective.
we're all sitting there going ugh on first down next Saturday, we'll know your analysis never reached him. Am I right in thinking that such a strategy is a) mildly clever, b) born of some little desperation and c) a good way to get your QB some confidence?
P.S. Dear GERG, please hear my plea--just one pick next Saturday would sure be nice.
hopefully he'll put on a jersey and finally prove to the naysayers that experience is the only thing holding back our defense!
I assume the coaches know this, but I like knowing it now too
I would like to think our defensive coaches are aware this aswell, I wish I could be confident in their abilities. I guess we'll find out Saturday
I also think our coaches know this. I have thought all along that the coaches are preparing the players correctly. They aren't executing as well as we would like. Did anyone else think that when Kovacs knocked down that pass against Iowa that he knew it was coming and jumped it because of preparation? That's what popped into my mind. I have no problem with how Kovacs played that by the way.
I like the research and it will be fun to watch for this trend during the game, so thanks.
Teams throw long on first down basically because they don't have a good quarterback. Thus, teams are stacking the line of scrimmage to stop the run, and the coaches don't have the confidence in the QB to execute a passing attack that involves anything close to a sophisticated read. That usually leaves one-on-one coverage on the outside. The long pass is the easiest, and safest to make, but the most difficult to complete. I am sure we will be prepared for this.
I wouldn't quite say that. First down is as good as any time to throw deep. A lot of coaches won't call a long pass play then when they don't have faith in their QB, because they fear getting in 2nd and long. I'll give PSU some credit for being willing to let their QBs (even a third-stringer!) throw then.
...has convinced me that first down is the best down to pass, no matter who you are or what limitations you are working with.
will be first, second, third, and fourth.
can you please email this to the secondary and necessary coaches.
Throwing deep against us makes me nervous