There’s been a lot of interesting discussion on facebook due to some recent articles of what kind of a quarterback Connor Halliday is and will become (or won’t become). It’s been infused with thoughts and stats on Jeff Tuel and Alex Brink, including discussion on some interesting, recent comments from Brink relating to Halliday. Of course Brink holds many WSU passing records but was 17-23 in his career as a Coug. Thought I’d throw out some stats on the 3 for comparison.
To be clear, I’m not trying to point at Connor Halliday as a clear cut choice as anything, whether that be starter in 2013 or most talented of these three or anything. This is simply giving you some basic stat lines and relaying my thinking out loud.
Jeff Tuel: 212-333 / 2091 yards / 63.7% / 8 td / 8 int
Connor Halliday: 151-290 / 1874 yards / 52.1% / 15 td / 13 int
There are those of us that think Jeff Tuel was the clear cut choice as starter last season and that Leach may have screwed up by not playing him more. As you can see by the stats above, Tuel was precisely what Brink says the Cougars need, “managing the game”. However the problem comes in the TD/INT ratio. The fact is that Tuel threw for 1 more yard per game and 7 less touchdowns while completing 43 more balls. The interceptions are great (1 in 32 attempts) but it didn’t translate to points on the board like you may have thought, just more punts.
Jeff Tuel Sophomore season (2010): 219-366 / 2780 yards / 59.8% / 18 td / 12 int
Alex Brink Sophomore season (2005): 205-358 / 2891 yards / 57.3% / 24 td / 13 int
Alex Brink senior season (2007): 305-503 / 3818 yards / 60.6% / 26 td / 15 int
There’s nothing baffling about these numbers, but it does make you think about how much better Halliday will get with more experience. It’s too tough to say that any of these guys were clearly better their sophomore seasons. Tuel and Brink each played at least 4 games their freshmen seasons then started their entire sophomore year. Halliday played 2 games his freshman year and then appeared in 9 games as a part-time starter his sophomore year.
Bigger risk means bigger opportunity for a big play, but also means that the opportunity increases for the defense to make a play of their own. Honestly and truthfully I just think Halliday needs to take the underneath dump more often and look for better one-on-0ne matchups when going downfield and he’ll be fine. 1 int every 16 passes is not going to cut it.