clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Opponents and SEC Quarterbacks Passing Efficiency - Week Two

Patrick Towles dropped from 16th last week to 38th thanks to losing his top two receivers to injury, conservative play- calling, and very poor offensive line play after the first quarter ended.

Andy Lyons

While Kentucky won the game against Ohio and has a 2-0 record for the first time since 2011, and Kentucky ran 83 plays (the most in Kentucky history), I did not come away with a good taste in my mouth when the game ended. And, while I agree with Mark Stoops when he, " Our program is in no position to over-critique wins." Yet, Kentucky's offense went down hill after the first quarter. I wanted filet mignon and felt like Kentucky's offense provided oatmeal instead.

The offensive line gave up 5 sacks which cost Towles minus 37 yards in the ground game. His total on the ground was 22 rushes for a net gain of 59 yards. So, five of the 22 rushes were sacks. Without those sacks his rushing yards would be 96 yards on 17 carries or 5.65 yards per carry which isn't bad.

Of the 83 plays the Wildcats ran, 52 plays were on the ground for 4.5 yards per rush and 31 were in the air for 5.5 yards per attempt and 10.0 yards per completion. One of the things that hurt Patrick's pass efficiency was the drop in the end zone by Steven Borden. That one drop robbed Towles of a touchdown pass for 18 yards which affected his efficiency. Using the formula below, had Borden caught that single pass, Towles QB rating would be 158.93 which would be good enough for the eighth spot in the SEC instead of ninth.

I don't want to lay all of Towles' drop in efficiency on Borden because there were others who dropped passes or ran the wrong routes. Ohio's defense isn't SEC caliber, so I think there is cause for concern and it cannot be laid on the shoulders of Patrick Towles. You have to wonder how we'll fare against Florida's defense at The Swamp? Can this offensive line keep Towles from getting hurt? Just for the record, Florida's defense is ranked #1 after giving up 45 yards against the pass and only 80 yards against the run.

Passing Efficiency - The Top Guns

As I built this spread sheet, I used the weekly stats provided by the NCAA. Oddly enough, they left off Auburn's Jeremy Johnson. So, I had to calculate his efficiency rating myself. If he had been included, he would've been ranked #2 in the nation.

As usual, click on the spreadsheet to make it larger.


What I find interesting is Florida's Jeff Driskell's numbers. It is clear that Kurt Roper's passing offense is based on the short passing game. I noticed last night that the Gators ran more than a few tunnel screens. Everyone knows that Kurt Roper was hired away from Duke, but he was also the quarterbacks coach at Kentucky in 2005, and was the running backs coach at Tennessee in 2006 and 2007 when David Cutcliffe was the OC under Phillip Fulmer. Roper later became Cutcliffe's OC in 2008 at Duke. Roper knows his stuff and he's a good QB coach and OC. With that short game, Driskell is completing 68.9%.

In the first quarter against Eastern Michigan, Driskell's longest pass went for 17 yards. In the second quarter, Driskell hit on a 42 yarder for a TD. In the third quarter, Driskell longest pass was 14 yards. Freshman Treon Harris replaced Driskell on the last drive of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Harris threw a 70 yard TD pass and a 78 yard TD pass. If Kentucky's defense can contain Driskell, Roper may insert Treon Harris who is very mobile and is obviously a good passer: two passes for two touchdowns.

You can make up your own mind who is the best QB in the SEC, but right now, I'll take Texas A&M's Kenny Hill.