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Eason vs Stafford, how they ended their freshman years
Quick request/suggestion for a DawgNation article comparing how Stafford finished his freshman year vs how Eason finished his. The common thing you hear about it is Stafford was a verified stuf toward the end of his freshman year, whereas Eason playing behind a more questionable line left more questions. However, I've seen a few people here and there, including posters on this board, challenge the assumption that Stafford really was that good at the end of his freshman year. Everybody I've seen gives him solid marks on his Auburn game his freshman year. But the Auburn game wasn't the only game played at the end of his freshman year.
Analyzing a QB's passing ability is simple enough that I could probably try to go find old games on YouTube to watch myself. But that sounds like a lot of time I don't feel like investing. I feel like it's the kind of thing I seek out trusted media outlets for... like the guys at DawgNation.
It came up for me because there's some guy who's written an article posted on DawgNation right now. And I'd be willing to wager I'm not in the minority of people who read that article thinking about Stafford the whole time. The structure of that article, going over it game by game is a good guideline. But I think the importance of the comparison lies mainly in the last few games.
Ideally I'd like to see an article written by Chip Towers. There are plenty of guys around DawgNation and SEC Country who could do a fine job writing it. But Chip's really become my favorite for "simple, picture with words" type articles. E.g., the kind of article that don't need the in depth analysis Jeff Sentell offers (nobody out analyzes Jeff Sentell as far as I'm concerned). And yes I'm aware Chip and Jeff and the rest of the DawgNation guys already have plenty on their schedules without me. But I'm bored, so I'm posting this anyway.
Or if anyone on the board feels like they have solid memories of Stafford final games of his freshman career, I'd love to hear it.
I do have “vivid” memories of Stafford. He did finish pretty strong his freshman year. The one element that I feel would make the comparison almost impossible at this point is the OC’s for each QB. What do we KNOW without any question “how” the OC’s game plan and set plays affected each QB’s performances at times? That’s a tough question, imo. Chaney, imo, did seem to be much more heavily influenced by the conservative approach, but then again, would I stake my reputation that it wasn’t so much that as it was the decisions Eason made?
Here is a decent article comparing several UGA freshmen’s seasons: http://www.bulldawgillustrated.com/did-jacob-eason-have-one-of-the-best-true-freshman-seasons-at-qb-for-georgia/
Here's another with a little more info: http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/story/comparing-jacob-eason-and-matthew-stafford-after-three-months-112716
That is a good article. I believe Eason had a good first season, especially when compared to Stafford. However, that doesn't mean he will have a better sophomore season. The things Eason struggled with this year were his lack of experience and maturity, and a lack of surrounding players. Stats are just one way to look at this thing. Perhaps we should consider which was better at reading defenses and doing audibles? Of the two, which went through progressions better? Stafford had a better crew of receivers if I remember correctly, and had a better OL. He was also more mobile than Eason. All that probably trumps my questions anyway.
Well, I woke up way too early this morning and found the Georgia - Georgia Tech game from Stafford's freshman season on YouTube. It doesn't take that long to watch it if you keep clicking the buttons between every play to skip forward like 20 seconds (don't know if the web interface lets you do that, I watched in the YouTube iPad app):
The game plan was heavy run focused with a bunch of short passes. Most of Stafford's completions, the receiver was standing there with no defender within three years of him. I remember three long pass attempts, all three of which were underthrown.
I didn't go back and watch the Kentucky game at the end of Stafford's freshman season, but this is what I found on Wikipedia:
I'm currently under the impression that the dominance displayed at the end of Stafford's freshman season is overblown.
That makes sense--there was some competence around Stafford. We know the offense was already well established where ours this year was being installed. We know there were some pretty good receivers--we were breaking in a corps that had little experience. The OL for Stafford was better as well. It is hard to judge Eason against Stafford with those variables at play. The fundamentals of QB play are where Eason seems to have suffered as he trained to play under center. Still, you can't deny he has been slow to read defenses and go through progressions when he had a pocket. That is mitigated by poor OL play though. With that said, I think Eason is better than he looked and will improve drastically this season.