Chad Morris is entering uncharted quarterback waters at this level.
At Tulsa, he was one-and-done with fellow Texan G.J. Kinne at the helm and the nation’s fifth-best total offense (505.6 YPG).
And the last three seasons in Clemson, Tajh Boyd started all 40 games, where his final profile lists 18 different career school records owned.
Anointed after a little drama this spring, senior Cole Stoudt enters 2014 as Morris’ first, second QB.
Morris first-year QBs
Kinne - 2010: 59.8 cmp% - 3,650 passing yards (280.77 per game) – 7.9 YPA – 31 TD/10 INT – 561 rushing yards/7 TDs – 38 total TDs
Boyd - 2011: 59.7 cmp% - 3,828 passing yards (273.42 per game) – 7.7 YPA – 33 TD/12 INT – 218 rushing yards/5 TDs – 38 total TDs
First-year success is the norm through two tries, and in each case, that was the first year in the offense for the Kinne and Boyd. Stoudt is in his fourth year in Morris’ system.
A look at the numbers from then on...
Chad Morris QBs (2010-13)
So, what do we know about the Dublin Coffman (Ohio) product through three years now?
1) He’s pretty accurate.
2011: 100 snaps – 57.1 cmp% - 115 passing yards – 5.5 YPA – 0 TD/0 INT – (-6) rushing yards/5 TDs – 0 total TDs
2012: 71 snaps – 69.2 cmp% - 207 PY – 5.3 YPA – 3 TD/1 INT – 55 RY/0 TDs – 3 total TDs
2013: 116 snaps – 79.3 cmp% - 413 PY – 7.1 YPA – 5 TD/0 INT – 58 RY/2 TDs – 7 total TDs
Each season his completion percentage has gone up double-digits – obviously a trend that won’t continue due to the volume of passes he’ll throw this year, but still important to note.
On third down last season, Stoudt (6-4 210) completed 11 of 14 throws for 101 yards and a touchdown. Over three years, he has a 66.7 completion rate for 199 yards with the lone score on the crucial down.
Over the last two seasons, Stoudt has a 72 completion percentage in ACC matchups with three touchdowns.
Against S.C. State in 2013, he set the single-game completion percentage record (95, 19-of-20). He hit 10-of-11 throws later in the month against Wake Forest.
2) Effective on the run (in a small sample size)
Sure, he has 107 career rushing yards, but the yards per carry average isn't bad.
Five of his 14 rushes went for first downs in 2013, going 10 or more yards twice. Considering two of those “rushes” were sacks, a 42 percent first down rate is pretty solid (Boyd’s was 32).
In conference games (2012-13), he’s averaged 5.2 yards per carry (18 for 94) with two touchdowns. On the road in that span, he’s gone 9.1 yards per carry (7 for 64).
3) First-half action limited, but again, effective
He has a total of 12 first-half passes and zero rush attempts.
Last season, Stoudt completed all six throws for 41 yards and a touchdown.
As a sophomore, he was 4-of-6 for 40 yards.
All totaled then in the first 30 minutes, that’s a 83.3 completion percentage and 81 passing yards at 6.8 yards per pass.
In the Boyd era, Clemson had a top-11 passing offense each season – and more every year, 2011 (3952) to 2012 (4176) to 2013 (4328).
Boyd led the ACC in total offense each season as well, averaging 7.1 yards per play and a touchdown every 17.7 plays.
We have Clemson’s QBs as the second-most productive in the ACC, but what are our expectations for Stoudt this season?
Projecting Cole Stoudt
Breakout Season (regular season): 70 cmp% – 3,300 PY (275 per game) – 35 TD/7 INT – 250 RY/6 TDs – 41 total TDs
Bust: 57 cmp% – 2,400 PY (200 per game) – 21 TD/12 INT – 100 RY/1 TD – 22 total TDs
2014 Outlook: 70.8 cmp% – 2,848 PY (237 per game) – 29 TDs/7 INT – 187 RY/5 TDs – 34 total TDs
Analysis: I expect a higher percentage of short to medium passes (and more running game) which means Tiger fans should expect less of an aerial circus than in recent years, but that also means less risks taken, a higher completion percentage along with less yards, touchdowns and interceptions.
There will be long touchdowns and big gains, just not as many as Stoudt, his receivers and Clemson fans settle into life post Boyd, Watkins and Bryant.
One year as a starter means Stoudt won’t sniff many Clemson records, but there are two I expect him to own at seasons end: Highest completion percentage in a season and career.
Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com
Breakout Season (regular season): 71 cmp% – 3,500 PY (292 per game) – 35 TD/6 INT – 300 RY/7 TDs – 42 total TDs
Bust: 58 cmp% – 2,500 PY (208 per game) – 23 TD/13 INT – 125 RY/2 TD – 22 total TDs
2014 Outlook: 69 cmp% – 3,144 PY (262 per game) – 30 TDs/8 INT – 250 RY/5 TDs – 35 total TDs
Analysis: On the same track as Marty philosophically, but think there will be a little more punch to the passing offense.
Last season, 22 percent of Tajh Boyd’s completions were of 15 or more yards – 10 percent of 25 yards or more. In his more limited playing time, 17 percent of Stoudt’s completions were of 15-plus, while he had just three of 25 or more (5.2 percent). Obviously Stoudt doesn’t quite have the arm to air out as many vertical throws as Boyd without risking turnovers (not many QBs do), but he is accurate enough to throw consistently beyond the sticks for double-digit gains.
Clemson should have another top-25 passing offense regardless, going up or down with just how effective a ground game Morris and co. can establish.
Check out more Cole Stoudt analysis now up on SeldomUsedReserve.com