Terrelle Pryor 2008 Statistics

Submitted by Clarence Beeks on January 12th, 2009 at 12:44 PM

I'm sure this is bound to attract the foreseeable "who cares", but God knows we've had many worse threads posted here. That said, if you don't care about this topic, save us all snide comments and just move on.

This isn't completely random, it's related to a discussion from another thread but because of the site's formatting I wanted to make it more presentable so I decided to put it here. I also wanted to have a discussion dedicated to this topic so that we can come back to it or add to it later as needed for comparison purposes for other similar quarterbacks since it is the widely accepted belief here that Pryor is the type of QB that Michigan needs.

I'm not really trying to make a point with this data, but rather just found it interesting. Obviously it's arbitrary without comparison to another player, so if someone can come up with a comparable player to Pryor I'll do it (just give me a few hours).

This data is presented by drive and it is limited to drives where only Pryor played QB. In other words, drives where Pryor and Boeckman split time are not included.

Total number of drives: 98
Average number of plays per drive: 4.8
Median number of plays per drive: 5
Average number of yards per drive: 31.7
Median number of yards per drive: 24
Number of drives ending in TD: 28
Number of drives ending in TD (run - non-Pryor): 10
Number of drives ending in TD (run - Pryor): 6
Number of drives ending in TD (pass): 12
Number of drives ending in TD play over 20 yards: 9
Number of drives ending in TD play over 20 yards (run): 5
Number of drives ending in TD play over 20 yards (pass): 4
Number of drives ending in FG: 12
Number of drives ending in missed FG: 2
Number of drives ending in punt: 42
Number of drives ending in turnover: 11
Number of drives ending in other (end of half/game): 3
Number of drives entering the redzone (total): 26
Number of drives entering the redzone (TD): 19
Number of drives entering the redzone (TD - run - Pryor): 5
Number of drives entering the redzone (TD - run - Non-Pryor): 6
Number of drives entering the redzone (TD - pass): 8
Number of drives entering the redzone (FG): 7

Drives starting within own 20
Number of drives: 18
Number of drives resulting in TD: 4
Average number of plays per drive: 6.2
Average number of yards per drive: 43.4

Drives starting from own 20-29
Number of drives: 34
Number of drives resulting in TD: 8
Average number of plays per drive: 5.4
Average number of yards per drive: 32.6

Drives starting from own 30-39
Number of drives: 17
Number of drives resulting in TD: 3
Average number of plays per drive: 6.4
Average number of yards per drive: 29.9

Drives starting from own 40-49
Number of drives: 17
Number of drives resulting in TD: 5
Average number of plays per drive: 5.1
Average number of yards per drive: 27.1

Drives starting at midfield or in opponent's terriotry
Number of drives: 13
Number of drives resulting in TD: 8
Average number of plays per drive: 4.4
Average number of yards per drive: 21.8

Again, this data wasn't meant to make any point (it was derived as raw data for something else I'm looking at), but I wanted to provide it in case anyone was interested.

Obviously feel free to comment or add more data.



January 12th, 2009 at 12:59 PM ^

to have an opinion on all of that. I was honestly expecting this to be another

"Terrelle Pryor iz teh best QB too bad he isn't at scUM"

type message from scUM/Rantavious/Westendorp

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 1:07 PM ^

Nope, not my intention at all, but rather I would like to be able for us all to have an informed opinion on how good he really was or was not this season. I'm sure most everyone here knows that I'm not a Pryor fan and never have been going to back to seeing him in HS (I'm from western PA), but I promise that I tried to present this data in an absolutely unbiased way. There are some good things and no so good things in that data, and other posters have provided some mixed data in other threads that hopefully they will re-post here. That's why I created the thread.


January 12th, 2009 at 1:10 PM ^

To other teams/QBs, etc., and well, most people don't aggregate data in this way.

All I know is this. Dude was a true frosh, and showed a ton of promise. While a lot say, "yeah, but that's it, it's just potential right now", I say, "if potential is a 10 win season, here's to hoping he never develops said potential."

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 1:30 PM ^

You're right, they don't. That's why I aggregated it myself. It's just to give a different look at it. Anyone can look at completion percentage, yards, etc. and make a comparison, but sometimes there is much more to it.

To your point about the 10 win season I would argue that OSU's defense did much more to make that happen than Pryor did. I can't dumb the raw data here (it wouldn't fit or make sense), but having gone through it I can tell you that their defense left him with awesome field position to work pretty often.


January 12th, 2009 at 1:13 PM ^

I may not agree with you about Pryor, but I respect the hell out of the fact you've come up with a research based argument for your view. Good work. And I'm not being sarcastic.

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 1:31 PM ^

Thanks, I appreciate that. I could care less if we all agree (frankly, I'd rather we didn't or it would be pretty boring), but what I do care about is being able to have educated disagreements.

chitownblue (not verified)

January 12th, 2009 at 1:16 PM ^

Yes, having arguments based on data is A+ for these parts.

Unfortunately, I'm having issue wrapping my head around it.

chitownblue (not verified)

January 12th, 2009 at 1:18 PM ^

So - 9 of 28 drives ended with "big plays" - 32%. Obviously, I have no idea if that's oddly high or low. From where did you get the data? I'm wondering if we could get it for a few other QB's (I'm not asking you to get it, I'd be happy to do it)...

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 1:36 PM ^

I admit fully that I don't know if these numbers are high or low either. That's what I meant when I said I was just putting it out there for all of us to consider.

I derived the data by going through each drive for entire season for OSU. They can be found (for example) going to OSU's page on espn, clicking on the final score of the game, then clicking on play-by-play. It wasn't hard, just sort of time consuming. I don't really think there is another way to get this data, at least not that I know of. I too would be curious to see how it compares to other quarterbacks. I can try to do another one later tonight, but I'll need some suggestions as to which player to look at. If you're interested in doing one I could do another as well and that would give us even more data to compare.

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 1:47 PM ^

I think Clark makes sense because of the common competition, both inside the Big Ten and outside (i.e. USC). I'm not sure about Weber because he threw the ball A LOT more than Pryor did (although so did Clark, but not as much as Weber). That's kind of the problem I was having when thinking about who to compare because, really, no good quarterback on another team threw the ball as seldomly as Pryor did this year.

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 2:20 PM ^

That's a good point with Taylor, I had forgotten about him too. I think that if we had to choose between comparing Pryor to Clark, Taylor, and Masoli that Taylor and Masoli would probably be the more apt comparison. But then again I like the Clark comparison too because of common opponents and playing style. Those are the three most comparable skillset QBs that I can think of, but then again I am sure I'm missing someone else...

chitownblue (not verified)

January 12th, 2009 at 1:27 PM ^

Repost of Pryor's stats:

People like to claim that Pryor is "inaccurate", but a universally accepted way of measuring accuracy - not to eye-ball him a few games and call him "inaccurate" - but to actually measure it, is completion percentage. Is the percent of passes he throws that are completed. Pryor completed 60.2% of his passes. That is second in the Big 10 behind Adam Weber.

You can claim that a passer can have an inflated completion percentage because the passes he attempts are exceedingly easy - like screens or flares. So, you'd expect his yards per completion to be lower is this were the case - the passes he completes are easy. Well, out of 15 QB's in the Big 10 with over 100 attempts, Pryor was 5th, at 13.1 ypc - it should be noted that 3 of 4 QB's above him only beat him by two-tenths of a yard or less - so effectively he was tied for second behind Juice.

OK, so he completes a large amount of his passes, and the ones he completes aren't demonstrably simple. Does he turn it over? Well, he threw a pick every 42 attempts - 3rd in the Big 10 behing Adam Weber and Darryl Clark, and exceedingly better than the 4th place player. So, no, he doesn't turn it over particularly.

Finally, he was 2nd in the Big 10 in total rushing yards from a QB, and 3rd in ypc behind Kellen Lewis and Mike Kafka - neither of whom were remotely as effective passing the ball.

So, if you stick to measurable things, and not obsess about the asthetics of his delivery, he was the 3rd best QB in the Big 10, behind Darryl Clark and Juice Williams. As a true Freshman. That's good.


January 12th, 2009 at 1:37 PM ^

I haven't researched this enough on my own, but I did do that last season regarding Pat White. People kept claiming he could throw if he wanted to, and pointed to his season stats as proof. But what the aggregate numbers didn't tell you was that he was 19/21 against both Kent State and West Carolina, and 4/9 against Rutgers or Pitt.

I just took the time to check, and the disparity in his numbers aren't quite that deceiving. But he was only asked to throw 20 times in a game once this season and completed more than 10 passes just 4 times, meaning that if he connects on one or two 20-30 yard pass plays he can artificially boost his YPC with ease.

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 1:42 PM ^

This is my recollection as well from going through the data this morning and the same holds true for his running as well. Lots of short completions/runs and a few much longer ones. Unfortunately I don't have it in front of my right now, so I'll have to get back to you on this. Regardless, you can't take these plays away from the entire body of work, but it's at least a valid point to be made. The problem is, I honestly don't know who to compare him to in order to do another analysis that would be fair.


January 12th, 2009 at 1:56 PM ^

but when you go back and review his 20+ yard completions the evidence suggests the "he can too throw the ball" arguments should be more like "he can hit Brian Robiskie down the field on a blown coverage against MSU", rather than "lets run a skinny post from the 30 yard line".

so he can throw better than Nick Sheridan.

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 6:23 PM ^

Yes, the stats from this season pretty well support that conclusion. The reason why I started looking at this data to begin with was because I wanted to see Pryor's redzone numbers. They are ok, mainly because or rushing TDs (both his and others). However, what became very evident (and I already knew this from watching the games) is that Pryor has almost no accuracy on passing plays near the goalline when the field is at its shortest. Pryor never once this year completed a touchdown pass like the one that Boeckman threw to him against Texas. Every time he had the chance he either threw it into the seats or into the dirt. It is really important, in the context of this argument, to realize that the shortest touchdown pass that Pryor threw all season was 6 yards. OSU also kicked 8 redzone field goals on Pryor drives, 4 of which were with the ball inside the 10. In other words, 26% of the tiem that OSU got the ball inside of the 20 with Pryor at QB they kicked a FG and 29% of the time that OSU got the ball inside the 10 with Pryor at QB they kicked a FG. Again, without anything to compare this to, this seems odd to me; it seems that the percentage of FGs should go down the closer you get. I'll be curious to see how this compares to the other QBs when we get them done. At least on the surface it seems to support my prior hypothesis that his effectiveness decreases as the field shortens.

Enjoy Life

January 12th, 2009 at 5:36 PM ^

Yes, CMP% is a good indicator.

And, TPs 60.2% is listed as 47th out of all FBS.


Do Big10 QBs suck this much? Is the Bi10 D that much better?

PS, apparently TP is a few attempts short of making the cut in all the data bases -- he is not listed at all in the one above or in:


PPS, Tebow CMP% (64.4%) for 2008 is listed as 23rd. Not exactly in the "great" range.

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 5:55 PM ^

This is something that I was kind of getting it some of my prior comments on this topic in another thread. Pryor's numbers were OK this year, and the fact that he was a true freshman probably pushes them from OK to good. That said, being just "good" is nowhere near worthy of the attention that he has received.

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 8:11 PM ^

Obviously they will respond with "Beanie didn't play most of the season" but the fact of the matter is that OSU was a completely different team with Beanie in the lineup than without and it showed statistically, on the scoreboard, and on the field.

chitownblue (not verified)

January 12th, 2009 at 11:32 PM ^

Yes, he had a very good running back for much of the season. Juice had the best receiver in the Big 10, Darryl Clark had a RB who probably had the best season in the Big 10 (I don't think Royster is better than Wells, but due to Wells' injury, I think Royster had a better year). No successful quarterback plays in a vacuum where everyone else sucks - it just doesn't happen.

Tom Brady had Randy Moss and Wes Welker, Peyton had Harrison and Wayne, both had awesome o-lines...


January 12th, 2009 at 3:13 PM ^

Great job with the stats. I do think a distinction needs to be made about the Pryor argument. Nobody, I don't think, is saying this kid isn't a good college QB/player - he is a freak of nature, with great feet, top-end speed, and an above-average arm. The guy will dominate college for as long as he suits up, and I'm sure he'll torment UM. But being a good college QB is not synonymous with being an accurate college QB. In fact, Pryor's other-worldly skills may actual hinder his maturation as a solid all-around QB unless the staff at OSU, as well as Pryor, make a point of improving his abilities between the tackles.

I remember looking at Pryor's numbers a few weeks ago when discussing if he was ever going to be an accurate QB, and I noticed a similar trend to the one you showed (of course, I didn't go to such a fine degree). The kid is a supremely-talented athlete, and most games I've seen him play in, he is one of the 2 or 3 fastest guys on the field. So there is always a threat of taking off, especially when he is out of the pocket, and that is a weapon that always makes one dangerous in college. At the same time, though, it also inflates your completion percentage and YPC (also because he averages about 15 PA a game), since Pryor out on the fringe pulls the linebackers and safeties a little closer, meaning his receivers have more room to roam and more gaps in the coverage.

The best player I can think of is Vince Young - the guy had a 65% completion percentage in college, yet watching some of those games you definitely felt many of his completions were because he looked like he was about to take off, coverage fell to pieces. and he just flicked a 5-10 yard pass to an open receiver on a comebacker. Of course, Young also won a MNC, so in terms of college QBs Pryor will probably be unstoppable against bad to mediocre defenses and a nightmare for everyone else. That said, I don't see him learning how to read defenses, how to check down, how to go through his receiver progression, etc., because he can win running around, passing to the RBs out of the backfield, and lobbing bombs every once and a while.


January 12th, 2009 at 3:30 PM ^

As a soph, he will most likely be better than then Juice or Clark. Neither has his combination mobility & passing talent. O$U will be a heavy favorite to win the Big 11 in no small part because of TP. They are loaded and have the top frosh class coming in.


January 12th, 2009 at 4:23 PM ^

First of all, great job compiling data in a very tedious fashion. This isn't data that we would otherwise have easy access to, so thanks.

One thing I am very curious about, though, is in regard to 3rd down conversions. Such as, how many 3rd down conversions total, average 3rd down conversions per drive, average 3rd down conversions per scoring drive, and heck, however else one can spin it. If it's easy for you to extract this info please do but if not, I'll do it over the weekend when I have more time (memory permitting).

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 6:12 PM ^

One interesting thing that I see in these stats is that of Pryor's 12 TD passes this year 8 of them came on possessions where he got the ball in the opponent's territory. That seems like an awfully high percentage of his total passing touchdowns.


January 12th, 2009 at 9:27 PM ^

Awesome job compiling the stats. My breakdown was a little more elementary in an attempt to show that, yes, Pryor had a good season. But nothing extraordinary. Last night I compared him against none other than Chad Henne. This was based strictly on stats because, of course, they are nowhere near the same type of player. I just used offensive production.

In a nutshell: In 2004 Henne completed 60.2% of his passes while the offense put up 4638 yds in 12 games for the year. In 2008 Pryor completed 60.6% of his passes while UOS put up 4455 yds in 13 games for the year.

(Brief) Summary: Henne was a good/solid qb recruit who had a good receiving corp and a freshman TB. Michigan lost an OOC game, a conference game, and a BCS bowl. (If they would have played a 13 game OOC [e.g. Ohio/Troy] I would like to assume they would have won while compiling even more yardage but alas we'll never know.) Pryor was the #1 recruit in the country with a good receiving corp, a Jr TB, lost an OOC game, a conference game, and a BCS bowl.

All in all they both had good, productive freshman seasons. I've maintained over an over again Pryor is a tremendous athlete. But I agree, all the praise heaped on him is a bit much considering how average his season seems compared to another Big 10 true freshman starter (whose team wasn't even coming off a MNC run the year before).

I'll be interested to see any comparisons from this year if you get around to it. Again, awesome job.

Clarence Beeks

January 12th, 2009 at 10:17 PM ^

Hey, I just wanted to apologize that I won't be able to get to going through any of the stats for the other QBs tonight. I just have too many cases to get through still tonight. I'll try to do one tomorrow, but it might be tomorrow night. Sorry about that.