Ranking 2013's Most Efficient Collegiate QBs Using the QB Score

After the hiring of Sonny Dykes, we were hoping a different Bears QB would top the rankings... - Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

We use the QB Score to rank every collegiate quarterback. How did your favorite QB fare in our rankings?

Like any measure that distills a complex assemblage of information into a single number, the traditional collegiate passer efficiency rating (PER) is not perfect.  The name tells you its biggest shortcoming: passer efficiency rating.  The measure exclusively incorporates stats from the passing game: pass attempts, completions, yards, interceptions, and touchdowns.  This means that two quarterbacks with the exact same passing stats will have the same efficiency rating, even if one holds onto the ball too long and is sacked 5 times for -45 yards and a lost fumble while the other runs for 150 yards and 3 TDs.  The PER is a fine measure for passing, but the quarterback position encompasses more than mere passing.  Three of the last four Heisman Trophy winners were dual-threat QBs.  Shouldn't we have some measure that incorporates a quarterback's production on the ground?

Economist David Berri thinks so.  QB efficiency is one of the many topics Berri and his coauthors tackle in their book The Wages of Wins.  In their book they introduce a measure called the QB Score, which accounts for a quarterbacks' production through the air and on the ground.  Additionally, it places greater emphasis than the traditional PER on turnovers and removes some extraneous bits from the PER (should QBs really be rewarded for completing a 0-yard pass?).  Best of all, it's calculated using a simple, straightforward formula!

QB Score = Total Yards - (3 x Plays) - (50 x Turnovers)

Today we'll use the QB Score to rank quarterbacks from the 2013 season.  I collected data on every QB who threw more than 75 passes and calculated his QB Score.  For reference, I've also included the PER, which may lend insight into some of the differences between the two metrics.

In each of the following tables I provide the QB Score and PER for each quarterback, with his respective overall ranking in parentheses.  Let's take a look at the rankings, beginning with the top 10 QBs in the nation:

Top Ten

Name Team Conference QB Score (rank) QB Efficiency (rank)
1. Bryce Petty Baylor Big 12 2768 (1) 174.3 (2)
2. Derek Carr Fresno State MWC 2702 (2) 156.1 (19)
3. Marcus Mariota Oregon Pac-12 2584 (3) 167.7 (7)
4. Johnny Manziel Texas A&M SEC 2504 (4) 172.9 (3)
5. Teddy Bridgewater Louisville AAC 2378 (5) 171.1 (5)
6. Jordan Lynch Northern Illinois MAC 2324 (6) 138.4 (62)
7. Keith Wenning Ball State MAC 2213 (7) 154.4 (20)
8. Jameis Winston Florida State ACC 2170 (8) 184.8 (1)
9. Tajh Boyd Clemson ACC 2000 (9) 168.7 (6)
10. David Fales San Jose State MWC 1941 (10) 153.3 (24)

Baylor's Bryce Petty leads all quarterbacks and continues Baylor's proud tradition of boasting some of the most efficient QBs in the nation.  Last year QB Nick Florence finished 3rd overall and Robert Griffin III topped the QB Score rankings for the 2011 season.  Things certainly have changed from the days when Kyle Boller and the Cal Bears beat Baylor 70-22...

Finishing second is Derek Carr, whose 391 passing yards per game and 50 passing TDs were best in the nation.  He was an incredible 10 TDs ahead of Jameis Winston, who was second in the passing TDs last season.  His 659 passing attempts (2nd nationwide) help explain why he had so many TDs but no one can fault the Bulldogs for heavily utilizing a QB as productive and reliable as Carr.  Remember when Clancy Pendergast's defense held Carr to 150 yards, the second lowest in his career as a starter?  I'll take any fond memories of defense I can get, at this point.

Rounding out the overall podium is our good friend Marcus Mariota, whose score climbed by over 1000 compared to last year.  The only blemish on his resume last year was a 114 yards (4.6 ypa) performance against a stout, weather-assisted Cal passing defense.

Soon-to-be draft picks Johnny Football and Teddy Bridgewater round out the top 5.  Finishing second overall last year, Jordan Lynch finished a respectable 6th this year.  Will that be good enough for him to get drafted?   His predecessor Chandler Harnish, another incredibly productive product of the NIU offensive system, was Mr. Irrelevant in 2012.  Keith Wenning is another of the top-ten who is a lock to be drafted.

After finishing 1st overall in PER, Jameis Winston might be feeling a little crabby about finishing 8th overall in the QB Score rankings.

Tajh Boyd improved from 15th overall to 9th and joined the elusive 2000-score club.  Despite Mike MacIntyre's departure, David Fales of San Jose State continued terrorizing MWC defenses.

Now let's go through each conference, one by one.  Because we're insufferable homers, we'll start with the glorious Pac-12.

Pac-12

1. Marcus Mariota Oregon 2584 (3) 167.7 (7)
2. Brett Hundley UCLA 1782 (15) 153.7 (21)
3. Sean Mannion Oregon State 1778 (16) 146.5 (35)
4. Taylor Kelly Arizona State 1672 (18) 139.6 (58)
5. Keith Price Washington 1472 (26) 153.2 (26)
6. B.J. Denker Arizona 1429 (28) 126.8 (100)
7. Kevin Hogan Stanford 1198 (40) 151.5 (27)
8. Cody Kessler USC 1135 (43) 148.8 (32)
9. Connor Halliday Washington State 1028 (54) 126.5 (102)
10. Jared Goff California 876 (63) 123.2 (113)
11. Travis Wilson Utah 459 (99) 129.7 (88)
12. Sefo Liufau Colorado 399 (106) 128.3 (93)
13. Adam Schulz Utah 299 (116) 110 (143)
14. Connor Wood Colorado 216 (133) 120.4 (119)
15. Zach Kline California -28 (161) 100.1 (157)

With his fantastic 9.5 yards per passing attempt and stellar 31-4 TD-interception ratio, Mariota is already the best passer in the conference according to the PER.  His 7.4 yards per rushing attempt further bolster his QB score to one of the best in the nation.  Behind him are some of the names you'd expect to top the Pac-12's QB rankings: Brett Hundley, Sean Mannion, and Taylor Kelly.  Arizona's BJ Denker is the type of QB who really benefits from the QB Score metric.  His passing stats are okay: 2,516 yards (6.61 ypa), 16 TDs, and 7 interceptions; his 949 rushing yards gave his QB score a large boost thanks to his efficient 5.24 yards per carry.  Despite combining for over 8000 passing yards, Connor Halliday and Jared Goff had to throw the ball 714 and 531 times, respectively, to accumulate those yards.  As a result, the QB Score penalizes them (the PER also was not particularly kind to them).

With Cal, Utah, and Colorado populating the bottom of the rankings, is it any surprise that they were the worst teams in the conference last season?

Cal fans who were sad to see Zach Kline transfer to Oregon State Butte College may take some comfort in the fact that he was the least efficient QB in the conference according to these metrics.

Big East AAC

1. Teddy Bridgewater Louisville 2378 (5) 171.1 (5)
2. Blake Bortles UCF 1846 (12) 163.4 (10)
3. Garrett Gilbert Southern Methodist 1684 (17) 136.2 (68)
4. Brendon Kay Cincinnati 1438 (27) 148.8 (31)
5. John O'Korn Houston 1152 (42) 133 (78)
6. Tom Savage Pittsburgh 905 (62) 138.2 (64)
7. P.J. Walker Temple 746 (72) 150.8 (28)
8. Casey Cochran Connecticut 525 (93) 141.7 (47)
9. Connor Reilly Temple 226 (130) 96.9 (163)
10. Paxton Lynch Memphis 172 (139) 110.4 (141)
11. Gary Nova Rutgers 157 (140) 124.7 (108)
12. Chas Dodd Rutgers 110 (144) 108.1 (149)
13. Mike White South Florida 23 (156) 100.5 (154)
14. Chandler Whitmer Connecticut -25 (160) 116.9 (130)
15. Bobby Eveld South Florida -37 (162) 82.1 (174)
16. Neal Burcham Southern Methodist -72 (167) 100.3 (155)
17. Tim Boyle Connecticut -332 (178) 71.6 (178)

I barely even recognize this conference anymore and the name change isn't helping.  SMU, Houston, Memphis, Louisville, and UConn in a single conference?  Good thing the BCS era is over because I'm not convinced the winner of this group deserves an automatic BCS bid.

Not surprisingly, Teddy Bridgewater tops the rankings.  With only 73 rushing yards, Teddy is almost exclusively using his passing numbers to achieve such a high QB Score.  This is not particularly surprising, as his QB Score and PER are both ranked 5th in the nation.  Blake Bortles posted an impressive finish, as did former Texas QB Garret Gilbert.  After losing the starting job to David Ash, Gilbert found an offense in which he could thrive at SMU.  While Gilbert was 68th in the PER rankings, his QB Score benefited from his impressive lack of turnovers.  He only threw 7 interceptions on 504 passes, one of the best ratios in the nation.

The AAC has a large number of QBs who fared poorly in our rankings, including 9 in the bottom 50.  Worst of all is poor Tim Boyle of UConn, who was the worst QB in the nation under the PER and QB Score.  Tim had an abysmal 4.67 YPA and a whopping 0 TDs to balance out his 8 interceptions.  His -73 rushing yards on 27 attempts certainly didn't help.  Better luck next season, Tim!

ACC

1. Jameis Winston Florida State 2170 (8) 184.8 (1)
2. Tajh Boyd Clemson 2000 (9) 168.7 (6)
3. Stephen Morris Miami (FL) 1224 (36) 144.7 (38)
4. C.J. Brown Maryland 1052 (50) 135.9 (70)
5. Marquise Williams North Carolina 950 (57) 141.1 (48)
6. Logan Thomas Virginia Tech 759 (71) 123.9 (112)
7. Anthony Boone Duke 660 (82) 128.2 (94)
8. Bryn Renner North Carolina 641 (84) 139.9 (57)
9. Terrel Hunt Syracuse 601 (88) 117.8 (125)
10. Chase Rettig Boston College 597 (89) 140.6 (52)
11. Brandon Connette Duke 511 (94) 153.6 (23)
12. Caleb Rowe Maryland 411 (104) 120.3 (121)
13. Tanner Price Wake Forest 369 (109) 110.2 (142)
14. Brandon Mitchell North Carolina State 259 (123) 120.5 (118)
15. Vad Lee Georgia Tech 238 (127) 127.5 (99)
16. Pete Thomas North Carolina State 128 (143) 115.1 (133)
17. David Watford Virginia 67 (149) 99.6 (158)
18. Greyson Lambert Virginia -67 (166) 81.1 (176)
19. Drew Allen Syracuse -195 (176) 92.2 (169)

Heisman Trophy-winning Jameis Winston leads the pack.  Although he had the best PER in the nation, his QB Score suffered slightly due to his inefficiency when running the ball.  On his 88 rushing attempts, he only generated 128 yards and managed to fumble twice.  After Winston and Boyd is a substantial gap before the next QB.  The conference is mostly populated by QBs with scores ranging from average to moderately below average.

Big 12

1. Bryce Petty Baylor 2768 (1) 174.3 (2)
2. Davis Webb Texas Tech 1098 (45) 139.1 (60)
3. Clint Chelf Oklahoma State 1080 (46) 132.8 (80)
4. Jake Waters Kansas State 997 (55) 156.8 (17)
5. Baker Mayfield Texas Tech 771 (69) 127.7 (95)
6. Blake Bell Oklahoma 729 (73) 132.2 (82)
7. J.W. Walsh Oklahoma State 633 (85) 128.8 (90)
8. Sam B. Richardson Iowa State 488 (97) 119.9 (122)
9. David Ash Texas 458 (100) 156.3 (18)
10. Trevor Knight Oklahoma 411 (105) 125 (107)
11. Clint Trickett West Virginia 269 (121) 114.6 (134)
12. Grant Rohach Iowa State 229 (129) 117.2 (128)
13. Trevone Boykin TCU 218 (132) 122 (116)
14. Case McCoy Texas 214 (134) 109.3 (144)
16. Casey Pachall TCU 191 (137) 108.5 (148)
17. Paul Millard West Virginia 27 (153) 116 (132)
18. Jake Heaps Kansas -151 (169) 97 (162)

Atop the Big 12 is the nation's best QB according to the QB Score, Baylor's Bryce Petty.  He was exceptionally efficient through the air and on the ground.  His 209 rushing yards on 94 attempts may not seem too impressive until you noticed he had 14 rushing TDs.  After Petty is a sizeable drop off.  Texas Tech was fortunate enough to have two of its QBs finish in the Big 12's top five.  West Virginia and TCU's QB production has certainly declined in recent years.

I have no idea what's going on at Kansas.  From the looks of it, neither does Jake Heaps.

Big Twelven

1. Braxton Miller Ohio State 1284 (33) 158.1 (15)
2. Nathan Scheelhaase Illinois 1264 (35) 140.7 (51)
3. Christian Hackenberg Penn State 1064 (47) 134 (76)
4. Devin Gardner Michigan 1063 (48) 146.1 (36)
5. Connor Cook Michigan State 1034 (52) 135.5 (71)
6. Nate Sudfeld Indiana 959 (56) 142 (45)
7. Jake Rudock Iowa 712 (75) 126.5 (103)
8. Joel Stave Wisconsin 703 (77) 138.1 (66)
9. Trevor Siemian Northwestern 694 (79) 126.4 (104)
10. Tre Roberson Indiana 682 (80) 158.9 (13)
11. Philip Nelson Minnesota 533 (91) 119 (123)
12. Kenny Guiton Ohio State 532 (92) 165.2 (9)
13. Mitch Leidner Minnesota 436 (102) 131.9 (85)
14. Kain Colter Northwestern 331 (113) 148.3 (33)
15. Ron Kellogg III Nebraska 287 (118) 127.6 (97)
16. Danny Etling Purdue 275 (119) 116.1 (131)
17. Taylor Martinez Nebraska 234 (128) 140 (55)
18. Tommy Armstrong Jr. Nebraska 174 (138) 124.3 (110)
19. Rob Henry Purdue 25 (154) 100.1 (156)

Ohio State's Braxton Miller torched several defenses this season, but he didn't throw a single touchdown against our Bears!  Sure, he sat out that game with injury as his backup Kenny Guiton tallied 350+ yards and 4 TDs, but let's not let facts get in the way of some sunshine pumping.  Although Braxton Miller's PER is 15th overall, his QB Score suffered due to his 5 fumbles.  Otherwise his 1068 rushing yards on 171 attempts were quite impressive.  Because he only started two games, Kenny Guiton's QB Score wasn't great due to lack of playing time.  His PER tells a different story, however.

Our good friend Trevor Siemian was merely an average quarterback last year.  Of course, you may not remember this as he seemed to get a first down on every pass attempt against Andy Buh's "defense."

SEC

1. Johnny Manziel Texas A&M 2504 (4) 172.9 (3)
2. Aaron Murray Georgia 1611 (20) 158.8 (14)
3. AJ McCarron Alabama 1581 (21) 167.2 (8)
4. Zach Mettenberger LSU 1559 (22) 171.4 (4)
5. Connor Shaw South Carolina 1391 (29) 162.9 (11)
6. Bo Wallace Ole Miss 1347 (30) 138.1 (65)
7. James Franklin Missouri 1316 (31) 141.9 (46)
8. Dak Prescott Mississippi State 1216 (38) 126.6 (101)
9. Nick Marshall Auburn 1211 (39) 143.2 (41)
10. Austyn Carta-Samuels Vanderbilt 865 (64) 143 (43)
11. Maty Mauk Missouri 678 (81) 143.1 (42)
12. Jalen Whitlow Kentucky 442 (101) 120.3 (120)
13. Hutson Mason Georgia 417 (103) 144.4 (39)
14. Dylan Thompson South Carolina 345 (111) 140.4 (53)
15. Maxwell Smith Kentucky 345 (110) 131.1 (87)
16. Tyler Russell Mississippi State 335 (112) 142.2 (44)
17. Justin Worley Tennessee 250 (124) 117.4 (127)
18. Brandon Allen Arkansas 220 (131) 109 (146)
19. Tyler Murphy Florida 139 (141) 121.1 (117)
20. Patton Robinette Vanderbilt 129 (142) 117.2 (129)
21. Joshua Dobbs Tennessee 107 (145) 103.3 (153)

The SEC was full of lousy QB Scores last year. The conference has made an impressive turnaround this season.  With 9 QBs in the top 40, the SEC may have been the Conference of Quarterbacks last season. They may not have 4 QBs in the top 20 like the Pac-12, but having the most in the top 40 is an equally impressive feat.  Not surprisingly, Johnny Football leads the way thanks to his excellent production on the ground and in the air.  He didn't break 5000 yards like he did last season, but he was very impressive last year.  Behind Manziel are the SEC's household names: Aaron Murray, AJ McCarron, Zach Mettenberger, and Connor Shaw.  Dak Prescott's 829 rushing yards on 6.19 yards per carry offset his mediocre passing stats.

At the bottom of the SEC West, Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky had some bad quarterbacking.  Florida's Tyler Murphy started the season strongly, but only threw one touchdown in his final four games before sustaining injury.

Independents

1. Taysom Hill Brigham Young 1530 (23) 118.2 (124)
2. Tommy Rees Notre Dame 1276 (34) 135.4 (72)
3. Keenan Reynolds Navy 819 (66) 140 (54)
4. Andrew McDonald New Mexico State 589 (90) 134.4 (75)
5. Taylor Davis Idaho 245 (125) 104.5 (152)
6. Chad Chalich Idaho 241 (126) 123 (114)
7. Angel Santiago Army 93 (147) 105.7 (151)

Long ago, being an independent school used to mean something.  We had Army, Navy, and not Air Force, for whatever reason.  Notre Dame was also among them, for some other reason.  Okay, maybe being an independent didn't mean much.  But with newcomers New Mexico State and Idaho, it's beginning to look like the island of misfit toys.  Fortunately for the Aggies and Vandals, they will join the Sun Belt in 2014.  That makes sense, because when I think of plentiful sunshine, I usually think of Idaho.

BYU QB Taysom Hill's productive ground game makes up for his substandard, turnover-prone passing game.  Our Cal defense will have its hand full with him this Thanksgiving weekend.  Tommy Rees' low turnover rate gives his QB Score a boost over his PER.  Unfortunately for Army's Angel Santiago, rushing yards don't help your QB Score much if you only average 3 yards per carry.

Now let's have a look at the non-AQ conferences.

Conference USA

1. Shane Carden East Carolina 1825 (13) 150 (29)
2. Rakeem Cato Marshall 1816 (14) 147.8 (34)
3. Derek Thompson North Texas 1041 (51) 133.6 (77)
4. Jaquez Johnson Florida Atlantic 799 (67) 128.6 (91)
5. Taylor McHargue Rice 716 (74) 125.3 (106)
6. Logan Kilgore Middle Tennessee 707 (76) 127.7 (96)
7. Jonathan Perry UAB 509 (95) 131.5 (86)
8. Jameill Showers UTEP 508 (96) 128.4 (92)
9. Austin Brown UAB 383 (108) 122.1 (115)
10. Cody Green Tulsa 271 (120) 112.1 (138)
11. Nick Montana Tulane 198 (136) 111 (139)
12. Scotty Young Louisiana Tech 104 (146) 95.6 (166)
13. Greg Hankerson Florida Atlantic 44 (150) 95.9 (165)
14. Mack Leftwich UTEP 35 (151) 113.4 (136)
15. Devin Powell Tulane 31 (152) 112.5 (137)
16. Nick Mullens Southern Miss 25 (155) 108.7 (147)
17. Jake Medlock Florida International -16 (158) 96.6 (164)
18. E.J. Hilliard Florida International -51 (164) 109.1 (145)
19. Ryan Higgins Louisiana Tech -95 (168) 108.1 (150)
20. Allan Bridgford Southern Miss -158 (171) 99 (161)
21. Dane Evans Tulsa -207 (177) 78.3 (177)

Wow.  14 of this conference's 21 QBs are in the bottom half of the national rankings.  9 of them are in the bottom 30.  North Texas, Marshall, and Tulane had decent defenses, but this is not a conference full of defensive stalwarts.

Shane Carden narrowly edges Rakeem Cato as the conference's most efficient QB.  Although Cato has more total yards and more TDs (not that the QB Score counts TDs), his three fumbles were the difference.  Without those fumbles, Cato would have cracked the nationwide top-10.

The Louisiana Tech offense ground to a halt after the departure of Sonny Dykes and QB Colby Cameron.  Cameron was a top-5 QB last year, but Scotty Young and Ryan Higgins both struggled this season.

Our old friend Allan Bridgford had a disappointing year at Southern Miss, where he lost the starting job midway through the season to Nick Mullens who wasn't much better.

MAC

1. Jordan Lynch Northern Illinois 2324 (6) 138.4 (62)
2. Keith Wenning Ball State 2213 (7) 154.4 (20)
3. Matt Johnson Bowling Green 1897 (11) 161.7 (12)
4. Joe Licata Buffalo 1052 (49) 132.7 (81)
5. Tyler Tettleton Ohio 1033 (53) 138.8 (61)
6. Terrance Owens Toledo 696 (78) 132 (84)
7. Colin Reardon Kent State 631 (86) 117.7 (126)
8. Kyle Pohl Akron 462 (98) 113.4 (135)
9. Cooper Rush Central Michigan 315 (115) 126.2 (105)
10. Tyler Benz Eastern Michigan 268 (122) 124.3 (109)
11. Zach Terrell Western Michigan 73 (148) 110.7 (140)
12. Brogan Roback Eastern Michigan -12 (157) 91.3 (170)
13. Mike Wegzyn Massachusetts -40 (163) 94.6 (167)
14. Tyler Van Tubbergen Western Michigan -152 (170) 83.8 (173)
15. Austin Boucher Miami (OH) -161 (172) 99.5 (159)
16. A.J. Doyle Massachusetts -175 (174) 99.1 (160)

The MAC usually boasts several elite QBs in our annual QB Score rankings.  This year was no different as Jordan Lynch, Keith Wenning, and Matt Johnson finished in the top-15 overall.  Jordan Lynch regressed about 100 points and dropped from no. 2 overall in 2012 to 6th in 2013.  Still, he had a year we Cal fans can only dream about.  For the second year in a row, he singlehandedly outrushed the entire Cal offense.  He ran for 1920 yards on a ridiculous 6.58 yards per carry.  His 7.2 yards per passing attempt and 24-8 TD-Int ratio were down from 8.0 and 25-6; that accounts for his decline from last year.  I'm quite interested in seeing how Lynch fares in the NFL Draft.  Lynch worked out as a QB, RB, and even DB for scouts at NIU's Pro Day earlier this year.  The last NIU QB Chandler Harnish was the final draft pick in 2012 and earned the title Mr. Irrelevant before eventually earning a spot on the Colts.

Behind Lynch are Keith Wenning and Matt Johnson, two QBs who relied more heavily on their passing for their QB Scores.  Wenning was more productive (4,148 yds, 8.33 ypa) while Johnson was more efficient (3,467 yds, 9.40 ypa).  Both had the same number of turnovers, but Matt Johnson had 117 rushing attempts with a paltry 2.03 yards per attempt.  That made a big difference between the two.  Once again, running the ball doesn't necessarily help a QB's QB Score.

Ohio's Tyler Tettleton and Toledo's Terrance Owens both failed to live up to the tremendous potential they showed in the 2011 season.  They had respectable years, however.

The MAC's quarterbacks may not have been the nation's best in 2013, but they certainly had the best names.  Brogan Roback, Tyler Van Tubbergen, and Cooper Rush are all excellent names.  Brogan may have the best name of all collegiate QBs in 2013.

Mountain West

1. Derek Carr Fresno State 2702 (2) 156.1 (19)
2. David Fales San Jose State 1941 (10) 153.3 (24)
3. Garrett Grayson Colorado State 1624 (19) 138.4 (63)
4. Cody Fajardo Nevada 1492 (25) 140.8 (50)
5. Caleb Herring UNLV 1218 (37) 136.7 (67)
6. Brett Smith Wyoming 1123 (44) 139.2 (59)
7. Quinn Kaehler San Diego State 934 (58) 136.1 (69)
8. Grant Hedrick Boise State 922 (59) 150 (30)
9. Sean Schroeder Hawaii 922 (60) 145.2 (37)
10. Chuckie Keeton Utah State 776 (68) 157.1 (16)
11. Joe Southwick Boise State 765 (70) 153.6 (22)
12. Cole Gautsche New Mexico 628 (87) 133 (79)
13. Darell Garretson Utah State 322 (114) 127.5 (98)
14. Nate Romine Air Force 290 (117) 134.8 (74)
15. Clayton Mitchem New Mexico 209 (135) 129.4 (89)
16. Nick Sherry UNLV -171 (173) 92.3 (168)
17. Taylor Graham Hawaii -183 (175) 81.4 (175)

Derek Carr leads the Mountain West Conference and only trails Bryce Petty in the national rankings.  It's clear why Carr is likely to be taken in the first round of this weekend's NFL Draft.  He threw an incredible 5,082 yards but only managed to toss 8 interceptions.  Some argue that an offense can't thrive when its starting QB throws the ball 50 times per game.  Derek Carr and the Bulldogs are a great counterexample to that line of thought.  Despite having a lopsided offense, the 'dogs were productive when they ran the ball.  They picked up 4.76 yards per carry and scored 21 TDs.  With a ground game like that, the Cal offense would have taken some pressure off Goff and, perhaps, allowed him to perform better.

Our good friend Cody Fajardo wasn't nearly as productive under Brian Polian as he was under Chris Ault's tutelage. I'd make a joke about how they should have played us this year instead but, well, nevermind...

Chuckie Keeton also took a step back this year.  He was one of our top-10 QBs in last year's rankings.  At least he still has a good name.

Sun Belt

1. Ross Metheny South Alabama 1508 (24) 141 (49)
2. Corey Robinson Troy 1290 (32) 143.3 (40)
3. Adam Kennedy Arkansas State 1183 (41) 139.9 (56)
4. Terrance Broadway Louisiana-Lafayette 920 (61) 153.3 (25)
5. Brandon Doughty Western Kentucky 824 (65) 134.8 (73)
6. Kolton Browning Louisiana-Monroe 658 (83) 124 (111)
7. Tyler Jones Texas State 390 (107) 132.1 (83)
8. Brayle Brown Louisiana-Monroe -22 (159) 91 (171)
9. Tyler Arndt Texas State -58 (165) 88.3 (172)

I don't blame you if you haven't heard of Ross Metheny, let alone South Alabama.  The FBS newcomers boast the Sun Belt's most productive QB.  This helped them build on last year's two-win season by finishing 6-6 (ineligible for a bowl due to the new FBS status).

Although he finished 11th in the nation last season, Terrance Broadway suffered a large regression this year.  He was less productive on the ground and through the air and turned the ball over more frequently.  His yards per carry dropped from 6.46 to 3.47 which, coupled with his turnovers, tanked his QB Score.  We'll have to wait and see if he bounces back during his senior year.

Well, that wraps things up.  The QB Score is a great complement to the PER, as it incorporates rushing statistics and has a different reward/punishment structure compared to the PER.  It's not perfect, but it's a useful metric to help us evaluate the entirety of a QB's performance, not simply his passing.

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