clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Notre Dame Football: Brandon Wimbush Versus Past Irish Quarterbacks

New, 45 comments

How did Wimbush’s game against Michigan stack up against other recent Irish quarterbacks at this point in their careers?

Mike Miller/One Foot Down

In August, I published a piece comparing current Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush to his six of his predecessors at the position: DeShone Kizer, Everett Golson, Tommy Rees, Jimmy Clausen, Brady Quinn and Carlyle Holiday.

I anticipated the reaction to the post, which was a mixture of “Holy crap! This is a cool way to think about it!” to “Totally unfair to compare Ty Willingham-coached teams to Brian Kelly in year eight.”

I acknowledge a true statistician may be able to find a fairer comparison. I’m still going to run the data and see what emerges.

There were 69 plays runs during Saturday’s game against the Michigan Wolverines, with Wimbush under center for 67 of them.

So here’s how every Notre Dame QB did in their 736th snap through their 802nd snap, with Wimbush’s numbers representing his line for the Michigan game.

Play selection, yards and first downs

Quarterback Run Pass Yds gained from run Yds gained from pass Total 1Ds 1Ds by pass 1Ds by QB run % of 1Ds accounted for % of 1D runs accounted for by QB
Quarterback Run Pass Yds gained from run Yds gained from pass Total 1Ds 1Ds by pass 1Ds by QB run % of 1Ds accounted for % of 1D runs accounted for by QB
HOLIDAY 48 19 131 133 264 12 5 0 41.7% 0.0%
QUINN 30 37 62 277 339 14 8 1 64.3% 16.7%
CLAUSEN 35 32 160 315 475 25 15 1 64.0% 10.0%
REES 26 41 131 327 458 21 14 1 71.4% 14.3%
GOLSON 37 30 162 271 433 23 13 2 65.2% 20.0%
KIZER 41 26 172 275 447 18 11 4 83.3% 57.1%
WIMBUSH 45 22 115 170 285 14 7 3 71.4% 42.9%
These stats are for each QB’s 736th to 802nd snap. (Holiday: 51 snaps vs. Michigan, 16 snaps vs. Michigan State, 2002; Quinn: 34 snaps vs. BYU, 33 snaps vs. Michigan, 2004; Clausen: 45 snaps vs. Purdue, 22 snaps vs. Stanford, 2008; Rees: 29 snaps vs. USC, 38 snaps vs. Navy, 2011; Golson: 27 snaps vs. Rice, 40 snaps vs. Michigan, 2014; Kizer: 47 snaps vs. Texas, 20 vs. Nevada, 2014)

If these were single games, the lines would look like this:

Holiday: 9-of-19 (47.3%), 133 yards. 1 touchdown (running). 1 interception, 1 fumble lost, 6 times sacked

Quinn: 19-of-37 (51.3%), 277 yards, 2 touchdowns. 3 interceptions, 3 times sacked.

Clausen: 22-of-32 (68.8%), 315 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 1 time sacked.

Rees: 28-of-41 (68.3%), 327 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 1 fumble lost. Not sacked.

Golson: 21-of-30 (70%), 271 yards, 3 touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing), 0 interceptions. Not sacked.

Kizer: 17-of-26 (65.4%), 275 yards, 6 touchdowns (5 passing, 1 rushing), 0 interceptions. Sacked once.

Clausen has shaken off the troubled 2007 season. His arm is a major part of the offense at this point in his career. Rees’ numbers are buoyed by the Irish’s 56-14 dismantling of the Navy Midshipmen in 2011. Four of the seven quarterbacks played Michigan at this point in their careers, which is quirky more than statistically significant.

OVERALL OFFENSIVE PROWESS

For those curious to compare offenses from different years and offensive styles:

Notre Dame Offensive Rankings

Year Quarterback(s) Rushing Offense Rank Passing Offense Rank Total Offense Rank Offensive S&P+ Rank
Year Quarterback(s) Rushing Offense Rank Passing Offense Rank Total Offense Rank Offensive S&P+ Rank
2000 Battle, Godsey, Lovecchio 213.55 15 132.18 109 345.73 76 n/a n/a
2001 LoVecchio, Holiday 188.18 30 101.55 114 289.73 110 n/a n/a
2002 Holiday, Dillingham 139.38 68 174.15 91 313.54 108 n/a n/a
2003 Quinn, Holiday 157.25 56 179.08 92 336.33 90 n/a n/a
2004 Quinn, Dillingham 127.42 85 218.08 54 345.5 81 n/a n/a
2007 Clausen, Sharpley, Jones 75.25 115 167 110 242.25 119 15.8 117
2008 Clausen, Sharpley 109.69 100 245.38 34 355.08 65 23.2 83
2010 Crist, Rees, Montana 126.62 92 253.08 34 379.69 61 35.6 16
2011 Rees, Hendrix, Crist 160.38 54 252.62 40 413 35 36.3 14
2012 Golson, Rees 189.38 38 222.77 71 412.15 54 35.2 21
2014 Golson, Zaire 159.5 68 285.5 18 444.9 32 36.8 21
2015 Zaire, Kizer, Wimbush 207.6 28 258.8 35 466.4 27 41.2 11
2016 Kizer, Zaire 163.3 80 254.3 48 417.6 62 34.4 36
2017 Wimbush, Book 269.3 7 178.9 102 448.2 27 33.6 24
2018 Wimbush, Book 194.8 47 246 59 441.7 45 34.8 32

EVERY QB SINCE 2000 THROUGH 802 SNAPS

And finally, here are the updated stats for each of the seven quarterbacks who have reached at least 802 snaps at Notre Dame:

Notre Dame Quarterback Statistics, First 802 Snaps

Quarterback HOLIDAY QUINN CLAUSEN REES GOLSON KIZER WIMBUSH
Quarterback HOLIDAY QUINN CLAUSEN REES GOLSON KIZER WIMBUSH
Run 587 411 413 371 440 437 500
Pass 215 391 389 431 362 365 302
Yds gained from run 2361 1737 1040 1876 2144 2323 3161
Yds gained from pass 1239 2219 2301 3019 2845 3179 2057
Total 3600 3956 3341 4895 4989 5502 5218
First downs 172 174 171 236 245 241 211
First downs by pass 56 94 100 145 134 135 87
First downs by QB run 40 16 11 6 27 38 43
% of 1Ds accounted for 55.8% 63.2% 64.9% 64.0% 65.7% 71.8% 61.6%
% of 1D runs accounted for by QB 34.5% 20.0% 15.5% 6.6% 24.3% 35.8% 34.7%
Touchdowns 21 24 24 45 36 53 46
Touchdowns thrown 3 11 17 27 14 27 17
Touchdowns thrown % of all TDs 14.3% 45.8% 70.8% 60.0% 38.9% 50.9% 37.0%
Touchdowns run 18 13 7 18 22 26 29
Touchdowns run by QB 3 0 2 0 9 11 14
% of total TDs that were run by QB 14.3% 0.0% 8.3% 0.0% 25.0% 20.8% 30.4%
TDs by QB (arm or legs) 6 11 19 27 23 38 31
TDs by QB as % of total TDs 28.6% 45.8% 79.2% 60.0% 63.9% 71.7% 67.4%
Interceptions 8 18 12 15 6 10 7
Interceptions per attempt 3.7% 4.6% 3.1% 3.5% 1.7% 2.7% 2.3%
Fumbles 21 12 23 14 14 15 7
Fumbles lost 12 3 12 7 7 8 5
Fumbles by QB 13 5 7 7 8 5 7
Fumbles lost by QB 6 2 3 5 4 2 5
QB carries (including sacks) 189 54 76 28 107 151 167
Fumbles lost per QB carry 3.2% 3.7% 3.9% 17.9% 3.7% 1.3% 3.0%
Sacks 31 15 38 7 16 23 25
Sacked per pass attempt 14.4% 3.8% 9.8% 1.6% 4.4% 6.3% 8.3%
Completions 108 189 223 277 218 231 151
Completion % 50.2% 48.3% 57.3% 64.3% 60.2% 63.3% 50.0%
Yards per comp 11.47 11.74 10.32 10.90 13.05 13.76 13.62
Yards per attempt 5.76 5.68 5.92 7.00 7.86 8.71 6.81