A Metrics Breakdown of Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter's passing against Syracuse

Jonathan Daniel

Breaking down Colter and Siemian's passing stats against Syracuse

In this week’s installment of Better Know a Metric we’ll take a look at Trevor and Kain’s superb performances against Syracuse. It almost seems silly to include the completion percentage section, but I’ll leave it in for future comparisons. Like last week, I’ve hand charted these passes and looked at things like blitzes, pressures, etc. Let’s get to it.

Charting Stats @ Syracuse

  • First off, the difference between Kain and Trevor’s targets is pretty striking. Kain, probably by design, threw approx. 84% of his passes within 10 yards of the LOS. These are easy, high percentage passes as evidenced by his 85.7% completion percentage in the 6-10 yard range.
  • On his extremely limited attempts, Kain wasn’t so hot in the 11-20 yard range. However, we know from last year’s stats that he can be accurate in that zone consistently. Against better teams he’ll have to threaten deeper parts of the field to keep the defense from stacking the box against the run and screen game.
  • Trevor on the other hand was the model of a big-armed QB this past week. He completed 7/8 passes past 10 yards which is ridiculous. I’m not sure if this is a product of facing bad defenses, good WRs, excellent throws, or all of the above. Regardless, Trevor’s drastic increase in deep completion percentage shows what an offseason with a good coaching staff can do for a QB’s development.

Misc QB Stats


Last week I focused on completion percentages against the blitz and pressures. Well, because both QBs were so accurate, it’s really not worth telling you that they completed every pass against the blitz. I have a few things worth mentioning though.

  • When I look at draftable QBs I like to look at ball placement on 3rd downs. Is the QB hitting short completions on 3rd down that stall the drive or throwing past the sticks? Good QBs should be finding their WRs past the sticks instead of looking to their checkdown. In 13 third down passes Siemian threw to his WR past the sticks 12 times and Colter 3/5 times. That’s excellent and that mentality/ route concepts will benefit NU in future games.
  • The offense has done a good job not putting the QBs in bad third and long situations. Against Syracuse the NU offense only passed on 3rd and long twice. On 37 passes that's just good execution by the offense on first and second down.
  • Trevor still needs to work on throwing into traffic. Against ‘Cuse I have 2 pass deflections meaning opposing defenses have defensed 14.5% of his passes. That needs to be below 10% or else the likes of Bradley Roby and Darqueze Dennard will take advantage of those throws.
  • The O-line deserves a lot of credit in pass-blocking thus far. I have them allowing pressures/sacks on 15% of all pass plays. Clemson, a good team this year, is allowing pressures on approx. 23% of pass snaps. It will be interesting to see how the young lineman fare against better pass rushers.

Bonus Stats!


I went through and figured out the yards after the catch for each WR so far. Of course we’re sitting on a small sample size so take some of them with a gratuitous amount of salt. As a baseline, ‘elite’ WRs in college tend to average >5.5 yards/catch and TEs tend to average between 3 yds – 5 yds.

  • ToJo: 4.79 yards after the catch
  • Christian Jones: 5.88 yards
  • Dan Vitale: 8.67 yards*
  • Cam Dickerson: 3 yards**
  • Kyle Prater: 3.33 yards**

*Clearly Dan Vitale doesn’t care that he’s supposed to be a TE/Superback

**Only on 3 catches

Anyway, that’s all I have. If you have any questions on any other data I might have or what I’ve written let me know. Next week I'm hoping to include defense as well and chart Ibraheim Campbell's play (as I'm driving the IC first round draft pick bandwagon). Attached below are all of Kain and Trevor's passes (now with better quality and less Kafka interceptions!)


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