The quarterback is the most important player on the field, making quarterback rating something Rice Football must strive to improve in 2019.
It might seem too simplistic, but good offenses typically have good quarterbacks. Moving the ball doesn’t require an extremely talented quarterback, but efficiency from that position tends to impact a given football team more than any other player on the field.
Quarterback rating is a statistic meant to boil down a passer’s total production profile into one number. In general a quarterback with a high quarterback rating: throws more touchdowns than interceptions and completes a large portion of his passes. The precise formula, for those interested, is this:
(8.4 x [Passing Yards] + 330 x [Touchdowns Thrown] – 200 x [Interceptions Thrown] + 100 x [Completions] ) / [Attempts]
That pulls together five important passing statistics into one number. It’s not the most powerful number in isolation — it doesn’t mean much to the average person that Shawn Stankavage had a quarterback rating of 113.5 last season. It is powerful in the right context.
Stankavage, the Owls’ starting quarterback for the majority of the season, had the 10th best quarterback rating in Conference USA. Given the number of teams in the conference, that made his production profile near the bottom of his competitors. The overall offensive stats bore out a similar result. Rice ranked 12th in scoring offense and 13th in passing offense last season.
If you look at the conference’s top-rated passers, the hierarchy of teams begins to take shape. FIU’s James Morgan led the way with a 157.6 rating. Brent Stockstill of MTSU was second at 150.7. Following him were Mason Fine of North Texas (149.4) and Jack Abraham of Southern Miss (147.4). Those four teams combined to go 23-9 in conference play.
It’s too simplistic to equate a high quarterback rating to winning football. But the connection between the two is more meaningful than not.