Trevor Siemian vs. Cal - A Metrics Breakdown

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

When I wrote the piece ( on Trevor/Kain’s 2012 seasons and statistics many of the comments focused on their substitutions and how that could affect their play. With the unfortunate injury to Colter, we get a full game of Siemian’s to evaluate and break down statistically. Will the stats necessarily project throughout the entire season? Nah probably not, but they’ll give a good feeling for how Siemian played during the Cal game and how his game may have improved since last year.

Unlike my last post where I was pulling season long stats charted by other people, I charted this game of Trevor’s myself so I have a good feeling for what is considered a "pressure" or blitz. Yeah there’s a lot of small sample sizes here, but you have to start somewhere. Let’s get to it.

Throw Location


  • In 2012 Trevor relied heavily on the short passes, particularly in the 1-5 yard range with over 32% of his passes going there. That clearly wasn’t the case against Cal where 62% of his passes were thrown deeper than 10 yards. This is very impressive and highly unsustainable.
  • With that said, Siemian’s completion percentage of ~54% in the 11-20 yard range is really solid and would be very beneficial to the Cats if he could keep it up. Being able to threaten a defense with intermediate throws would presumably open up both short and deep throws.
  • In our very small sample size Trevor was better at throwing deep with a solid 40% completion percentage past 20 yards. It won’t be leading the NCAA any time soon, but much better than the 27% he was throwing last year. You’d like to see him keep that up throughout the entirety of the season.

Decision Making

While Trevor’s accuracy and throw difficulty was nice, we have to be a bit concerned about decision making. This was clear from the two interceptions, but we can delve a bit deeper into it.

  • Including the interceptions, 5 out of his 29 total attempts were defensed by Cal’s D. That’s to say that 17% of his total attempts were thrown into some tight coverage where a DB could get their hands on it. From my experience, QBs typically need to keep this number below 10% to sustain success.
  • Looking at 3rd and 8+ situations can also give us a little insight into decision making. By my count Siemian was put into 6 of these situations (many more than other QBs this past weekend of games) and only completed 2. It’s nothing to freak out about, but just to keep in mind.
  • If we’re looking for positive things, Siemian completed 4/5 passes or 80% against the blitz. Now Cal wasn’t sending the blitz often, but it’s positive to see him making good decisions in those situations.
  • Outside of the sacks, I counted 4 separate pressures let up by the offensive line (actually pretty solid for a game against good competition). One those 4 pressures Siemian completed 2 passes. Again we’re talking small sample size, but it’s good that he didn’t go 1 of 9 or anything.

And those are the metrics I have for you this week. It’ll be nice to get stats from the ‘Cuse game to increase the sample size and look out for any aberrations in this past game. Below you’ll find a cutup of all of Siemian’s passes (it’s a little choppy, I don’t know why my video editor did that). Hope y’all enjoyed!

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