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2014 Advanced Rushing Stats: Some Information on Rushing QBs

Some interesting numbers for the quarterbacks as well, plus a few surprises

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, so before you start staring at tables at least do yourself the favor of reading up on the primer. I will also say that the tables you are looking at are a bit slanted. I pulled the team opportunity rates from Bill's running backs post, and not every quarterback's team had a back who carried the ball 100+ times (see: SMU and Matt Davis) so I could not tabulate an ORM for them. Though I did flub and not include Tanner McEvoy's team rate of 44.1%, so bear that in mind.


So one thing that is interesting, both here in the Top 10 Q-Rush quarterbacks as well as the Top 10 in ORM - some massive gaps in opportunity rate throughout the table. I mean, Tyler Murphy, who you see second on that list, didn't even make the top 10 with an ORM of 20.3%.

So there were literally a couple dozen quarterbacks last season who generated highlight yardage plays at a significantly greater clip than the team's overall rushing offense. I think that volume of opportunity, paired with many of them also producing a substantial number of highlight yards - many of them had at least half their yards of the highlight variety.

I think it's safe to say that the days of the rushing quarterback are a long, long way from over.

Top 10 ORM

  1. Ohio Derrius Vick 31.40%
  2. Ohio JD Sprague 30.10%
  3. BYU Taysom Hill 29.60%
  4. WMU Zach Terrell 26.80%
  5. Iowa State Sam Richardson 26.10%
  6. Oregon Marcus Mariota 24.30%
  7. Wisconsin Tanner McEvoy 24.20%
  8. Central Florida Justin Holman 22.00%
  9. Oklahoma Trevor Knight 20.70%
  10. Tennessee Joshua Dobbs 20.50%
Well, I would argue that's a nice thing for Ohio to see, two quarterbacks that both generated big plays far more frequently than the remainder of the offense. They even both come back. Also interesting to notice Justin Holman there. He was most definitely not the best passer in the world (or the American Conference, or even his own team necessarily). But if he can keep producing substantial running plays at that rate, even a modest improvement as a passer could go a long way. Right?


Dear football world, did you know that Pete Thomas was less than spectacular at running the ball? Fortunately, he made up for that with his ability to throw the ball. As did Dane Evans, which is good, since unlike Thomas he will return.

Oh, and it looks like I was just kidding about Justin Holman. He had far more opportunities than any other UCF Knight who ran the ball, but he didn't exactly do much with those chances. And oh lookie, new Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel is right there with him! Something else to get excited about, Bulldog fans (and he can't exactly throw good either).

I was originally going to include a bottom 10 for ORM, but then I noticed there, in dead last place, was Keenan Reynolds of Navy. I find it interesting that the running back and quarterback with the lowest ORM are on the same team, though their option-rushing-by-massive-committee (they had 20 players carry the ball at least once per game, and Reynolds YPC was 9th in that group) is probably primarily responsible for that.

That would also explain why Army's Angel Santiago is not far behind Reynolds on the list - they both are the "dive rush" bait for the attack in large part, and Army is just a slightly less successful Navy (by YPC).

Watch out for future posts, where we tackle the pile that is receiving statistics!