The play of Brady Quinn has been greatly discussed at great length so far this year. The general consensus is that Quinn is not the same player as he was a year ago. If you look at his stats through four games however, Quinn’s not that far off from last year despite playing better defenses in the first four games this year than he did a year ago.
Here’s how Quinn’s stats look in 2005 compared to what he’s done so far this year.
Brady Quinn Stats (Thru 4 Games)
|ND Rushing Yds/game||179.5||74.8|
For arguments sake I threw in Notre Dame’s team rushing average through four games as well. If you look at Quinn’s stats, he is about on pace to duplicate his stats from a year ago. Meanwhile, the Irish offense is averaging over 100 yards LESS a game through four games this year which begs the question, is Quinn’s “poor” performance due in part to Notre Dame’s inability to run the ball and its over reliance on the passing game?
Opposing defenses are taking the running game away from Notre Dame and making them one dimensional, which in turn is making things harder on Brady Quinn and the Irish passing game. With some weaker defenses coming up for the Irish, it is very conceivable that Quinn’s stats will continue to improve.
Could Quinn’s “poor” start also be the result of raised expectations across the board at Notre Dame? Flashback two years ago and think how giddy most fans would have been with 11 touchdowns through 4 games.
I think those stats speaks volumes. We have had stiffer competition so far this year than last year and that does make a difference. That Georgia Tech win isn’t looking too shabby!
I think (and certainly hope) that there are some outrageous numbers yet to come for Brady. No doubt, when the running game is hummin’ Brady can turn it loose! He plays more relaxed. When under a highly pressured situation and playing from severely behind against a very good squad (as in the Michigan game) Brady did look flustered and out of sync. I would agree that this separates the good from the great quarterback. At the same time, I think his relatively poor play had more to do with our offensive line than with him individually. He still takes smart sacks when he can’t get the ball downfield or simply dump it off and throws the ball away when he has to in order to protect the football. Even the great ones can at times look flustered and hurried.
If all goes as planned, after the USC game we should truly know where he stands as a quarterback. Until then, I expect “highlight-reel” stuff from him against less talented squads.
The one thing your stats does not take into account is poise. Quinn has not looked like the QB of last year. He hasn’t had one productive first quarter all year – how many times last year did ND come out swinging? A lot. I don’t remember Quinn overthrowing open receivers like he is this year. Stats are well and good, but the fact is, Quinn has not looked at polished as he did last year.
I am not sure if this is due to the running game (or lack thereof), the hype of the Heisman, or ND being overrated as a preseason #2 – but the pressure has gotten to him.