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Stats of the Week - Northwestern vs. Michigan (Bonus Edition)

Bonus edition of stats of the week featuring Colter & Siemian vs. the blitz.

How do Colter & Siemian stack up against the blitz?
How do Colter & Siemian stack up against the blitz?

After plowing through charting all of Northwestern's 2013 contests through the second bye, let's have a look at how QBs Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian stack up when facing the blitz (5 or more rushers) versus 3 or 4 man rushes. All stats are through 11/02/13 and are on called passing plays (based on my charting).

Kain Colter

Rushers Dropbacks Yds/Play Scrambles Yds/Car Sacks (Rate) Yds/Sack Cmp % Yds/Att TD INT
3-4 80 6.8 16 7.2 9 (11.3%) -4.7 83.6% 8.5 4 1
5+ 29 3.7 5 17.0 6 (20.7%) -7.2 61.1% 3.7 0 2
All 109 6.0 21 9.5 15 (13.8%) -5.7 78.1% 7.3 4 3

Takeaways: Colter's sack rate is relatively high, including against 3 or 4 pass rushers. Some of that may be due to his aversion to throwing incompletions (his overall completion rate is extremely high at 78.1%) and due to trying to making plays with his feet. When he does get past the line of scrimmage he can be very dangerous, averaging almost 10 yards per scramble. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to throw the ball against the blitz, averaging only 3.7 yards/attempt versus 5+ rushers and sporting a 0:2 TD:INT ratio.

Trevor Siemian

Rushers Dropbacks Yds/Play Scrambles Yds/Car Sacks (Rate) Yds/Sack Cmp % Yds/Att TD INT
3-4 153 6.4 9 5.2 12 (7.8%) -4.7 57.3% 7.5 4 5
5+ 58 6.4 4 4.8 4 (6.9%) -6.3 54.0% 7.5 3 1
All 211 6.4 13 5.1 16 (7.6%) -5.1 56.4% 7.5 7 6

Takeaways: Siemian is more consistent when looking at 3-4 man rush stats vs. blitz numbers. His yards per play and yards per attempt numbers are identical, and his completion rate is close to the same. He actually has a better TD:INT ratio vs. the blitz than vs. 3-4 man rushes. And, his sack rates are relatively low (much lower than Colter's), though it is interesting that it is lower (by 0.9%) vs. the blitz than 3-4 man rushes (he's only been sacked 4 times all year on blitzes!). While his overall numbers aren't very good (completion rate of 56.4% and 7:6 TD:INT ratio), he has been relatively consistent even when facing blitzes.


When Colter drops back to pass he usually doesn't let the ball hit the ground, but he takes a lot of sacks, and against the blitz things usually don't go well (unless he can run with the ball and get beyond the line of scrimmage). Don't get angry when he tucks and runs when facing a blitz, as that certainly looks like the best option against that many pass rushers (this is particularly effective since it usually clears out the second level and allows him to work his running magic).

Siemian, meanwhile, is rather consistent even when facing the blitz. Now, that isn't that great (especially when his overall completion rate is below 60% and he's thrown 5 INTs versus 3-4 man rushes), but when you compare overall yards per play numbers on dropbacks he's ahead of Colter (6.4 versus 6.0). And despite how it looks his sack rate is relatively consistent and lower than Colter (although I'm sure there are times when pressure translates to an incompletion). As long as he stays out there in mostly passing situations, look for similar results, though if he can improve his accuracy a little then NU could reap significant benefits.