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.@DavidHaleESPN Lambert's most amazing stat from '14: 3rd Down, 4-6 To Go, 21-27 passing... and only 11 first downs.— Senator Blutarsky (@MummePoll) September 1, 2015
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:
|*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|
|North Carolina State||682||1180||57.8||8545||7.2||7.5||76||26||135.5|
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:
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.