Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Auburn Realist: Auburn A-Day QB Breakdown

Ok, so I have only had two total articles covering Auburn Football. The first has to do with a player who will probably never play another down at Auburn (or anywhere, for that matter). Yes, I am talking about Dyer returning to Auburn...or...Why Auburn Should Take Dyer Back. I did get some feedback on this...which is what I want.

Brandon Marcello, an al.com writer, responded to a blog post saying that a close source at Auburn said he would never play.

People commented on the blog with comments like:

"He had his chance...or should I say "chances" and he blew it. No different than honey badger.. neither one of them should get another shot in my opinion. Dyer had it made! He broke the rookie rushing record, he had Bo Jackson as a mentor, he won a NC as a freshman. GET LOST! "

Anyway...that's not what I want to talk about today. today, I want to revisit the QB conundrum.

 We have Mr. Marcello;'s thoughts on this article on al.com.

"Neither Kiehl Frazier or Jonathan Wallace stood out enough this spring for the Auburn coaches to name a starter Monday, two days following the Tigers' A-Day scrimmage. For now, it's an "either-or deal," Lashlee said."

83,000 people were in attendance. Surely you all have some thoughts. I';d sure like to hear them. Naturally, I have my own.

First things first. The numbers:

Wallace was 18 of 26 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. That's 69%.
Frazier was 10-of-16 passing for 125 yards and a touchdown. That's 62.5%.  Had 1 rushing TD, additionally.

Neither one blew the other out of the water. Even trying to work the stats a bit, we find that, despite not having the attempts, that the Yard Per Completion do favor Frazier. By about a yard. That's not much.

Al.com writer Joel Erickson offered a play-by-play article that really gives depth into the QB game play.
As far as turnovers go, each had 1. Though only Wallace tossed one. I have a feeling that, had he not thrown that one, we wouldn't be debating if this QB Competition was even close. But he did. And it was terrible. Looked like something I would throw in flag football.

Anyway, stats say it was close. Let' take a look at the vid and see what we can see. After all, my main complain with Frazier has always been that he never has looked like an SEC caliber QB in the pocket. I have been watching this video:

Highlights are highlights. It's what is in the middle that really matters. When we start looking at the individual drives, what stands out to me is who moved the chains and who did not. According to Erickson's observations, Frazier had 3 3-and-Outs and two different fumbled exchanges. Wallace accounts for 1 3-and-out. Maybe. Late in the 3rd period.

How about sacks? Frazier leads the way in this category, but I don't put much stock in it. Nor do I put much stock in his running TD.

So, I think you guys are getting the gist of what I am saying. Despite what the coaches are reporting, all of the reporters themselves said that Wallace looked like a winner. He moved the chains on critical 3rd downs. He maintained drives. He hit check down routes. He made some deep throws. Frazier, on the other hand, didn't ever seem to hit stride. Again, the stats look comparable, but I submit that they really aren't. Over 70 of Frazier's 125 yards came on 2 plays. One was a long deep ball, and it looked good. The other was a check down route that Artis-Payne hit for big yards. Good decisions, good throws. But...we have to keep things in perspective. His throwing TD was a behind the line toss to Reed for 7 yards.

Now, Wallace wasn't without faults. Again, I point to the INT he tossed. He also missed a wide open long gainer wheel route to Louis early in the game.

So, here we are, again....

Who will it be? I agree, to an extent, that the competition that could be bred by NOT naming a starter through the summer could be a good thing. The thing that I don't like is that, from where I sit in Section 39, it doesn't look that close. With Coach Malzahn's intricate and highly precise offense, the lead QB MUST take the bulk of the snaps. Practice makes perfect. And if you try to average out two QBS, you will loose every time.

So, while you could breed some good summer competition during the summer, you could introduce a novel idea....See, what says you can't name a starter right now, then yank him if the other QB comes on hot, or if you starter under performs? It happens every season at TONS of major football schools across the country. QB under performs and gets yanked. Why can't that happen in the summer and fall? Wouldn't you rather see how a backup will react in the spring/summer rather than in the short week he might have to prepare for his first start?

So, there are two possibilities here. 1 of them you already know...and that is that Nick Marshall arrives on campus this summer. Top JuCo QB with a decent resume. Sorta. Except that pesky TD/INT ratio he has...or should I say...INT/TD ratio. I'll say this about Gus. He can inflateTD/INT ratios(Todd, Aplin, Newton). But, I really question the impact that Marshall will have. He will only have fall camp under one of the most precise offenses on the planet.

Nah. I will stick to my original opinion. Frazier is getting a little help from being in Malzahn's system for a year, being a prized recruit, and being from Arkansas. But, again, all the numbers point to Wallace. Especially the one that I haven't talked about. yet.

Perhaps the simplest stat that tells us all what Malzahn thinks of Wallace is staring us all in the face. Wallace was given 26 pass attempts to Frazier's 16. That is what we at NASA call, statistically significant. Both Blue and White teams have fantastic RBs. So it isn't like Wallace was playing on a team with a weaker running game. And since Wallace and Frazier played with both teams, it isn't a function of the offensive line, or skill positions, or the defense faced.

Whether it was faith in the young kid or a desire to see how he would handle that many pass attempts, or just that he needed more work, Wallace performed as I expected and how he needed to perform to prove that he is the next starting QB.

I guess time will tell. I will certainly support any QB of Auburn. But if I were a betting man, I would bet on #12.