Texas Tech’s starting quarterback job in 2014 looked like a three-way race at the end of last season. That is, until two of the three contenders transferred, leaving soon-to-be true sophomore Davis Webb as the “Lone Survivor.”
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, a lack of depth at any position can prove disastrous, and were Webb to wind up injured before the start of the season (a-la Michael Brewer), no clear backup exists on the roster right now.
However, Webb proved during extensive action against Tech’s toughest opponents last year that he’s more than worthy. In fact, the nerds over at ESPN Stats and Info crunched the numbers and took a deeper look at what made Webb so successful against such stiff competition.
Webb handled the blitz extremely well for a true freshman. He was 38-of-68 for 521 yards with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions against the blitz. While his 55.9 completion percentage wasn’t outstanding, Webb’s ability to take care of the ball when pressured should make Kingsbury feel good about building an offense around him in 2014.
No, he wasn’t terribly efficient overall, but the fact that defenses weren’t able to force him into a single interception with the blitz is really impressive. Also, consider his last performance in the Holiday Bowl.
Arizona State clearly felt like it could disrupt the Red Raiders offense with pressure. But Webb handled it well in his best game of the season. He was 14-of-23 for 163 yards and three touchdowns when the Sun Devils blitzed. He was 14-of-18 for 240 yards and one touchdown against no blitz.
Conventional wisdom says you disrupt the passing game, and especially a young QB, by bringing pressure. Not Webb and not in this offense with these receivers. When put on the biggest stages against the best teams, Webb excelled.
Against Oklahoma, who finished No. 1 in the Big 12 in passing yards per game, Webb was better against the blitz than the Sooners base defense. He was 8-of-12 for 82 yards and one touchdown when the Sooners blitzed. He was 25-of-41 for 295 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions when OU did not blitz.
Translation: Webb has a knack for staying cool under pressure, standing in the pocket and delivering with defenders in his face. What he needs to work on is getting through his progressions and making smart decisions when he has time to think.
All-in-all, Tech fans have to be excited about Davis Webb being their guy (hopefully) going into the 2014 season. Just imagine what another full year in Kingsbury’s system will produce.