Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chris Leak's Progress

This year I've decided to scrutinize Chris Leak since it's the first time in his career that he gets to work with the same offensive coordinator for a second season. Also, we were told that we could expect big offensive improvements in Coach Meyer's second season with the Gators.

I'll be comparing the last three seasons of Leak's career. I decided to start with his sophomore year because he split some time his freshman year and besides his Sophomore year is probably the high water mark thus far.

So before we get to the stats let's look at the opponents Leak faced through the first six games in each of the last three seasons.

2004: Eastern Michigan, at Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU and Middle Tennessee.

2005: Wyoming, Louisiana Tech, Tennessee, at Kentucky, at Alabama, and Mississippi State

2006: Southern Miss, Central Florida, at Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and LSU

It's pretty easy to tell that 2006 enjoys the distinction of being the toughest schedule the Gators have had in the last three seasons. With all due respect to Eastern Michigan and Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss and Central Florida are much more respectable opponents. The one saving grace for the Gators is that 5 of the first 6 games have been been played within the friendy confines of The Swamp. Tennessee and Kentucky are the only opponents common to all three seasons (we did play LSU in 2005 but not until the 7th game).

So now let's look at the most important statistical categories for a QB:

Attempts - Completions - %
2004: 194-116-60%
2005: 184-115-63%
2006: 157-101-64%

Even though the number of attempts and completions is trending downward Leak is becoming a more efficient passer.

Passing Yards

Here we see that yards are also trending downward.

2004: 15-5

The TD numbers in 2006 are pretty good vs. 2004. In 2005 the TD stat didn't look so hot but Leak had 3 rushing TDs (none in 2004 or 2006) brining his total count to 13.


Obviously the number that really jumps out at you is 17. That's a big number for 2005. This year the changes in scheme and Leak's smarter play (throwing the ball away) have reduced the sacks dramatically but they are still higher than in 2004.

My conclusion thus far is that Leak is having as good a year as he did in 2004. Of course the one stat that all Gators care most about is 6-0. By this point last year the Gators had already lost one game to Alabama and in 2004 the Gators were 4-2 with losses to Tennessee and LSU.

I haven't talked about the elephant sitting in the room with the initials of TT. This is the first time since Chris Leak became the starting QB that he has shared any real playing time with another QB. This past week Tim Tebow rushed for one TD and threw for two more. Of course these are scoring opportunities that Chris Leak didn't get but since I'm not Mike Freeman I'm not going to criticize those decisions, because as I said 6-0 is the most important stat right now and individual stats and accolades don't mean jack if the Orange and Blue isn't represented in Atlanta at the end of the season.

No comments: