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September 1, 2015

More Lambert4QB

I'm staying on the record that the full time starting qb race is far from done. But I've heard/seen some quibbles about Lambert's days as a qb at UVA. I've given some thought about that this summer, especially thinking about him graduating from UVA in three years with a degree in anthropology. He's certainly smart enough to pick up the playbook in three months.

One other thing I was thinking about, something Blutarsky hit on in several of his posts, is the difference in coaching Lambert is seeing in Athens vs. Charlottesville.
As the chart Hale linked illustrates, Lambert threw a lot of passes to the wrong guys. But when you consider the stat Blutarsky shows about Lambert's 3rd and middle yardage situations last year, I can't help but think that is illustrative of 1) a qb who isn't getting time to make reads, 2) an offensive system that is set up to get folks open quickly, as opposed to at the right distance, or 3) a qb who is not good at making the right reads/doesn't have options at those reads.

Or a combo of all three. Yes, Lambert looked brutal at times. But when you consider that two of UVA's top four receivers last season were RBs, there is context to consider about the offense they run and the philosophy of the coaches. For reference sake, none of those running backs were named TJ Yeldon.

Now, I'm not ready to make a complete comparison, but I can think of one very good example of the difference coaching and philosophy can make. Russell Wilson:

Year School Conf Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
*2008 North Carolina State ACC FR QB 11 150 275 54.5 1955 7.1 8.2 17 1 133.9
2009 North Carolina State ACC SO QB 12 224 378 59.3 3027 8.0 8.3 31 11 147.8
*2010 North Carolina State ACC JR QB 13 308 527 58.4 3563 6.8 6.6 28 14 127.5
*2011 Wisconsin B1G SR QB 14 225 309 72.8 3175 10.3 11.8 33 4 191.8
Career Overall 907 1489 60.9 11720 7.9 8.4 109 30 147.2
North Carolina State 682 1180 57.8 8545 7.2 7.5 76 26 135.5
Wisconsin 225 309 72.8 3175 10.3 11.8 33 4 191.8
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 9/1/2015.

Wilson was a good, not great, college QB at NC State. He had no run support, with the Wolfpack averaging 3.5-3.6 ypc in his time there; he had substantively better offensive line and receiving options than Lambert did last year. Then he goes to Wisconsin and gets an offense that averaged 5.5ypc. And wins the B!G championship under Bret Beliema. For my money, UGA is far better off in the QB coaching area than either staff Wilson played for.  Insert your own NotoriusTOB/paleoball coaching snark here.

One last thing. I've heard a lot of 'he only got an offer at UVA' so he can't be that good. Take a look at Lambert's offer list:
SchoolInterestOfferVisitRecruited by
VirginiaCOMMITTED (08/06/2011)Offered11/11/2011
AuburnNoneNoneJeff Grimes
Boston Coll.NoneOfferedNone
ClemsonNoneOfferedNoneJeff Scott
GeorgiaNoneOfferedNoneMike Bobo
Miami (FL)NoneOfferedNone
Mississippi St.NoneOfferedNone
N.C. StateNoneOfferedNoneJim Bridge
South CarolinaNoneOfferedNone

FWIW, I believe his 2014 season is what Dak Prescott, minus running the ball, is facing in 2015. That is the talent level Mississippi State has vis-à-vis the competition Lambert had at UVA at OLine, receiver, and running back. To boot, Prescott has better coaching than Lambert did last year.

All this is to say that if Lambert is the full time starter from here on out, it is because he now has the coaching and offense to go with the talent to support that decision. In other words, let's let the house catch fire before we are ready to call the insurance company.


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