October 15, 2013

Taysom Hill vs. The Legend

By readership demand, our look at Taysom Hill will be rounded out by a comparison to The Legend. While not fair, and not strictly following the established format of noting Hill's strength's, it remains a needed comparison for BYU's current signal caller.

Taysom Hill was born in Pocatello, ID, the fifth most populated city in the 39th most populated state. Little is known about Pocatello or who it may (or may not) be named after. Edd Prince was born in Houston, TX, the most populated city in the second most populated state. It is named after Sam Houston, who arguably did more for the United States than any other man, through his role in bringing Texas into the Union. While Taysom has gained notoriety on the ground and through the air, Edd is a legend of the skies--a Blue Angel. Google's first search result for "Hill" is a 'congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session.' The first google entry for "Prince" is "Prince Rogers Nelson," a noted musician.
Figure 1. Prince Rogers Nelson, known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. He has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career.
While debate has surrounded whether Hill or Prince would better lead the Cougars through the remainder of the Cougars' uncertain season, there is growing consensus that Prince should get the nod. By all relevant measures Edd Prince has the edge on Taysom Hill. Key QB attributes are compared for Edd and Taysom below. The improvement from attribute to attribute is clear (for Taysom), but it remains that Edd is the better overall player.
Figure 2. Edd Prince versus Taysom Hill on key quarterback attributes. Clearly Taysom is trending up, but Edd is the obvious choice.
Some have questioned whether Edd may be too old to lead the Cougars to victory. These critics have forgotten that Edd still retains four years of collegiate eligibility, while Taysom is already midway through his second, leaving him only two. Asked about the prospects of Edd taking over under center, Taysom said, "Bronco will make the call. I just have to trust Bronco...but I would be honored to back [Edd] up." When asked about returning to BYU, Edd said, "I love the mountains. I'll serve my Alma Mater if I'm called, but let's get one thing straight. If I come back, it's to win." Cougar Nation has a lot to look forward to, no matter who's receiving the snap.

Hill vs. Wilson and Petty

Following suggestions to look at Taysom Hill versus other quarterbacks, I've compared Taysom Hill to two other notable quarterbacks: the best and the rival. Bryce Petty is currently the best college QB based on adjusted QBR. Travis Wilson just led the Utes to a victory against no. 5 ranked Stanford on Saturday. So how does Taysom stack up against them? We'll look at the same three stats from the last post plus the adjusted quarterback rating, which rates a QB's overall performance (passing, running, quality of defense, etc.). The other statistics focus entirely on his passing, for which he has been highly doubted. In fact, BYU's passing legacy has seemingly been in question because he was perceived to pass so poorly, but run so well. For the first three games he looks like, well, the quarterback of a team putting together a radically new offense. Cougar fans should feel encouraged about the direction the offense is going. All things considered, Hill has the potential to compete with the best.
Figure 1. Hill is dismal in the first  three games, but since then he's done as well or better than the competition.
Figure 2. Hill is producing yards from his passing games, especially in the last two games, where he and Wilson nearly match each other. Hill's stats here are quite erratic. 
Figure 3. Hill's passer rating is dismal in the first three games, but in the last two is better than Wilson's, while still trailing Petty, of Baylor.
Figure 4. As an overall quarterback, Hill trails Wilson and Petty in the first three games, but is very competitive in the last three.

October 12, 2013

Time to Give QB Hill at BYU a Break

Taysom Hill has received a lot of positive attention for his record-breaking run game, but has been scrutinized and criticized as a passer. A deeper look into the statistics shows that his passing game has dramatically improved (although his average stats are still pulled down by his slow start). I looked at his completion percentage, passing yards and passer (QB) rating from ESPN to gauge how he has developed his throwing game from his admittedly sour start. Normalizing by his own personal best this year, his stats as a passer have dramatically improved. His bests for each statistic were 278 yards passing, 73.7% completion and a 158.5 passer rating. Taysom can look forward to a bright future as a passing QB, not to mention his run game.