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Yards Per Points and Texas Tech Quarterbacks

Big hat-tip to Michigan State blog, The Only Colors, for inspiration for this post. I loved checking out the yards-per-point statistic (YPP), first fashioned by college football maven Phil Steele, I wanted to check out the what the YPP was for the Big 12. But first, a bit of an explanation of YPP from The Only Colors:

What does it mean though? Well, a team with lower yards per point is more efficient. Those teams typically have better red zone scoring percentages, field goal percentages, and commit less turnovers. The inverse is also true - teams with higher yards per point typically have lower red zone scoring and field goal percentage, and turn the ball over repeatedly. Think of it as a kind of luck factor - teams with a low YPP might have gotten luckier than teams with a high YPP. After the jump, you'll see the YPP for the Big Ten. Note - YPP for all BCS conference teams and Notre Dame (NBC will sue us if we don't include them) can be found in a FanPost on the right side of the front page.

The FanPost in question can be found here.

If nothing else, I was really curious about how YPP played out with recent Texas Tech teams as I'm generally fairly curious about how these statistics play out with a new quarterback.

*Honestly, I started kicking these numbers around before vacation, and so this is a half-ace attempt to get some new content on DTN.

Following the same methodology:

QB Year YPP Red Zone % FG % TO 4th Down % Wins
Harrell 2008 12.13 86.67% 53.80% 21 65.38% 11
Harrell 2007 12.94 82.35% 61.90% 26 61.29% 9
Harrell 2006 13.82 86.21% 71.40% 24 47.83% 8
Hodges 2005 12.57 89.39% 72.20% 19 77.78% 9
Cumbie 2004* 13.49 - 50.00% 24 42.85% 8
Symons 2003 13.64 - 63.63% 19 53.12% 8


*2005 is the last year that these stats are available at College Football Stats, which is why there are "-" during Cumbie's 2004 year and Symons' 2003 year, not to mention I had already added the two rows, so you're stuck with incomplete numbers.

Perhaps the most striking year is Graham Harrell's 2006 year where he has the highest YPP, the lowest Red Zone percentage and the worst 4th down percentage. Not to mention the 71.40 field goal percentage, which ended up saving Texas Tech's ace in at least two games in 2006 (who remembers UTEP and Minnesota?). To say that having a clutch field goal kicker meant the difference in not losing at least two games is probably another reason why Leach hired Eric Russell in 2009, not to mention that finding a reliable field goal kicker would mean that you'll probably have a very grateful first-year quarterback.

Harrell certainly progressed from year to year and I think the relatively low YPP for Hodges perhaps speaks to his approach to the game at the quarterback position, not to mention the low number turnovers.  You also think that Hodges' legs had something to do with the fact that he helped that 2005 team to over 77.78% on 4th down?  And the Red Zone offense . . . he performed better than Harrell after Harrell had 2 years to learn the system.

But back to YPP, the exception to the rule was Hodges, at least when compared to Cumbie and Harrell.  I know that Hodges wasn't the absolute best quarterback ever, but when looking at these sort of efficiency statistics, it certainly makes me pause a bit as to what Taylor Potts needs to focus on in order quickly succeed.  Not to mention, I've always thought that Symons 2003 year was the year of years, but in terms of efficiency, Hodges' 2004 year was the best of the first-year starters.