Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Luke Goes Live on ESPN and Some QB Thoughts Too

Today on ESPN Live Chat, Luke stopped in to answer some fans questions. He did a real nice job of keeping things PC for the most part and answered the questions in full. We like that he didn't dodge questions like "who would you want to beat most this season from the WAC?" (answer was BSU) and "can you win one of the big 12 games" (answer was a short and sweet YES).

Perhaps Luke should consider majoring in communications, although psychology probably isn't a bad choice considering his father, Brian, is said to be a pretty good psychologist himself.

10 Days to Kick Off and No Official Announcement on Quarterback

Perhaps coach Ault is playing the silent game vs. BSU's coach Peterson here. Let's see who will be the first to make an official announcement? Everyone seems to be writing about the Pack's quarterbacks (ESPN had a lengthy article today on the matter: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/preview08/news/story?id=3540706). It's a good problem to have and it's interesting to see every one's perspective on the matter. Each writer seems to have their own opinion and thoughts.

Well anyway lets take a look at some important numbers and occurrences over the past seasons and camps:

Spring of 2007:

Scrimmage 1, Graz 5-14 for 71. Kaep 4-8 for 85

Scrimmage 2, Graz 5-15 for 96. Kaep 3-9 for 47

Scrimmage 3, Graz 10-13 for 150. Kaep 5-9 for 67

Spring 2007 totals, Graz 20-42 (48%) for 317. Kaep 12-26 (46%) for 199.

Fall of 2007:

Scrimmage 1, Graz 13-25 for 162. Kaep 4-8 for 41

Scrimmage 2, Graz 16-20 for 216. Kaep 8-13 for 133

Fall 2007 totals, Graz 29-45 (64%) for 378. Kaep 12-21 (57%) for 174

Just 4 days before the first game in Lincoln, coach Ault announced Nick Graziano as the starter for the 2007 season. He also said that Kaepernick would be playing in "situational" spots to utilize his abilities. What stands out to us is a few things. Graziano had almost double the pass attempts as Kaepernick during camps. Percentage wise, stats were similar. Neither player was allowed to show their running abilities too much as protecting the two players takes priority over showing off in a scrimmage. We also know that Ault has stated in the past that he does not prefer a two quarterback system. And before Graziano was injured, Kaepernick had only seen a very limited amount of time at the ends of the Nebraska and Nichols St games. Two blowout games. That tends to disagree with the comments before the season about one playing situationaly. Another reason to believe coach when he says he does not prefer a two qb system.

Now here we are just 10 days away and in a similar situation.

Fall of 2008:

Scrimmage 1, Kaep 8-12 for 73. Graz 3-12 for 39.

Scrimmage 2, Kaep 10-23 for 88. Graz 6-15 for 143.

Scrimmage totals: Kaep 18-35 (51%) for 161. Graz 9-27 (33%) for 181.

What can we make of this based on previous history? It will be interesting to hear about this last scrimmage that's coming up. Right now, Kaepernick is running with the "ones" as Nick was at this time last year. You can see that Kaep has had more attempts, but not to the extent that Graz did last season. Kaepernick's completion percentage is much better, but Graziano has made his connections count for greater yardage, leaving many fans forgetting the actual numbers and remembering the big hitters. And again, neither player has been allowed to show off their running abilities for injury reasons. However this season is probably different from last as we've now seen what Kaepernick is capable of in game situations.

The one thing that we here at PWtW do feel fairly confident in is that when coach does make the announcement one of these players is going to be disappointed. And if trends remain the same, we will not be seeing a split role at the position. One player will take the reigns. We just hope that the other player will remain with the Pack and be ready to play just in case something happens like last season did.

1 comment:

fbnut said...

My guess is you will not get any announcement out of the Wolf Pack camp. Kap will quietly be the starter and Graz will get some playing time. Ault will not make a big deal out of this. Only some media types have kept this a QB battle. Gives them something to write about. Ault said earlier Kap would run with the #1's and he has kept true to his word. Kap will be the starter.
Now, it will be interesting to see how Boise's new 1-5-5 defense does against Kap and Lip.