The difference in the Gator offense has been noticeable with the absence of Jeff Driskel and the insertion of Tyler Murphy. Why is that? Is it because Murphy has a better arm or is more accurate than Driskel? No, Jeff can make the throws as he was the 2nd best QB at Peyton Manning’s Passing Camp this off season behind Miami’s Stephen Morris.
It is simply because Murphy is cool under pressure. In Jeff’s 3 games in 2013 he compiled a 135.52 passer rating, but on 3rd downs he was a woeful 79.09. For those unfamiliar with passer rating, a rating above 130 is consider decent, but anything under 120 is average to downright bad, and over 155 is getting into Heisman and NFL efficiency. What’s worse for Jeff is that he actually was his worst on 3rd and short or 3rd and long. In fact all 3 of the interceptions he threw came on 3rd down, 2 on 3rd and less than 3 yards to go.
Here are his numbers on 3rd down (taken from http://www.cfbstats.com/2013/player/235/1039436/passing/situational.html)
1-3 yards to go: 1-5 32 yards 0-2 -6.24
4-6 yards to go: 2-9 yards 1-0 151.40
7-9 yards to go: 4-5 34 yards 0-0 137.12
10+ yards to go: 3-5 17 yards 0-1 48.56
But Jeff improved from last season right? Well his overall rating went up a whopping 3.34 points (132.18) but he actually regressed from being efficient on 3rd down.
3rd down 2012
Total: 41-77 539 yards 8-1 143.74
1-3 yards to go: 10-13 50 yards 2-0 160.00
4-6 yards to go: 9-22 121 yards 3-0 132.11
7-9 yards to go: 14-26 224 yards 2-1 143.91
10+ yards to go: 8-16 144 yards 1-0 146.23
What Tyler Murphy has improved the most for Florida is the third down passing. So far this year he is rating in at 166.71 on 3rd downs, which is actually better than his 1st down passer rating (152.97). Compared to A.J. McCarron, Murphy is even better than nations #1 team’s starting QB on third downs (McCarron is 135.74). And in case you are wondering LSU’s Zach Mettenberger has posted a 216.06 on 3rd downs.
Murphy is not all roses on 3rd down. He has thrown a pick, which is the reason for his ghastly 67.20 with 4 to 6 yards to go. What is most astounding is his 202.96 when it is 3rd and 10 or more, obvious passing downs. Mettenberger checks in at 138.66, McCarron at 171.85, and even Manziel checks in at 102.00. I use Mettenberger and McCarron as measuring sticks because those are the offenses Florida’s coach Will Muschamp wants to run or are most similar, as far as schematics.
Total: 13-18 187 yards 1-1 166.71
1-3 yards to go: 3-4 34 yards 0-0 146.40
4-6 yards to go: 2-3 24 yards 0-1 67.20
7-9 yards to go: 1-1 10 yards 0-0 184.00
10+ yards to go: 7-10 119 yards 1-0 202.96
If there ever was one stat more telling for Gator fans it his ability to come through when everyone knows he is throwing. Murphy’s rating on 3rd and 10 or more would actually be the best at Florida from 2007 to present (because that’s all my stats would give me) and as we all know that includes the illustrious and award winning Tim Tebow who owns the career passer rating record in the SEC.
Of course Murphy hasn’t played a team like LSU, yet.