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Obviously one of the biggest topics on the TSL message boards since the conclusion of the Chick-fil-A Bowl has been the play of first-year starting quarterback Sean Glennon. After gradually winning over much of the fan base down the stretch in the regular season, Glennon now finds himself back in the doghouse amongst many Tech fans following his four turnovers in the fourth quarter against Georgia.
When the season began, everyone knew the offense would struggle. The offensive line was not going to be very good, and Glennon would be a downgrade from Marcus Vick. Glennon looked good at times (Wake Forest) and very bad at times (Georgia).
Glennon is the ninth first-year, full-time starter under Frank Beamer. How does he stack up to the previous eight?
Interesting stats, and in some cases, surprising. For example, Sean Glennon threw 302 passes, the most of any other first-year starter. Granted only Randall and Marcus Vick also played in 13 games in their first year as a starter (bowl games were not counted in final stats until the 2002 season), but Maurice DeShazo, Al Clark and Michael Mick wouldnít have reached that number with a couple of extra games, and Grant Noel probably wouldnít have either.
Glennonís completion percentage is also slightly higher than the average for first-year starters. But that average is held down by Will Furrer, Maurice DeShazo and Jim Druckenmiller, who had very low completion percentages in their first seasons starting. Glennonís 56.3% completion percentage is the lowest since Jim Druckenmillerís 51.4% in 1995.
It appears that amongst VTís first-year starters, 11 is the magic number. Five of the nine players on the list above have thrown 11 interceptions in their first year as a starter. From that standpoint, Glennon actually did a pretty good job. 11 picks is not an extremely high number, and he threw more passes than any other player on the list above. So from an interception standpoint, Glennon did a pretty good job this season, except for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
One thing Glennon did not do is generate a lot of touchdowns. His 11 touchdown passes were the fewest since Al Clark in 1997, and Clark spent a good portion of that season hurt. Clark also countered his low number of touchdowns by throwing just three interceptions.
Itís a matter of opinion as to how to rank these quarterbacks as first-year starters. In case youíre having trouble deciding, hereís a mathematical formula that could help you decide. Each quarterback is ranked in completion percentage, yards per attempt, attempts per touchdown, attempts per interception, winning percentage and touchdown to interception ration. Players are not ranked based on total passing yards, total touchdowns and total interceptions because not all players played in the same amount of games.
As expected, Michael Vick finds himself at the top of the list. Vick had the top yards per attempt, as well as attempts per touchdown and winning percentage. He ranked in at least the top three in every category. His brother Marcus, who finished second, also ranked in the top three in each category, but didnít finish first in anything.
Perhaps the two biggest surprises of the group are Al Clark and Jim Druckenmiller. Clark wasnít the most talented guy in the world, but he didnít turn the ball over and had a pretty solid yards per attempt average. Druckenmiller helped Tech to a Sugar Bowl win in his first season as a starter, but he barely completed 50% of his passes, which gave him a low yards per attempt average. His attempts per touchdown average was also low. The main thing that he had going for him, from a statistical standpoint, is winning percentage.
Grant Noelís ranking
could also be somewhat of a surprise for those who only remember the
five-turnover 2001 Miami game, but Noel held the Tech record for most touchdown
passes by a first-year starter until Marcus Vick broke it by one touchdown in
2005. And Marcus Vick had 13 games counting towards his stats, while Noel had
just 11. Noel threw for a touchdown and 269 yards against Florida State in the
2001 Gator Bowl, which do not count towards his final statistics.
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