Many who don’t follow Clemson nationally may believe Stoudt’s 2013 completion rate was an anomaly and in some ways it probably was. After all, 47.5% of Stoudt’s 59 passes never crossed the line of scrimmage.
Yet, in 2012 Stoudt completed 69.2% of his passes (27 of 39), as a true freshman in 2011 it was 57.1% (12 of 21), and for his career Stoudt’s completion percentage (119 passes) sits at 72.2%. Stoudt is not a one year wonder.
The rub is that there will be no Sammy Watkins, Nuke Hopkins or Martavis Bryant on the receiving end and that will lead to a smaller yard per attempt metric.
That 14 yard pass over the middle that Watkins turned into a SportsCenter highlight against Georgia might end up as a 20 yard gain in 2014. The catch over the top of a defense by Bryant for a 39 yard TD in 2013 may end up as a back shoulder throw for a 22 yard gain in 2014.
The Tigers still have very good wide receivers, though some are unproven at this level. But they’re not Watkins, Hopkins or Bryant at this point.
Things will be different. Not necessarily worse, just different.
Breakout Season: 70 cmp% – 3,300 PY (275 per game) – 35 TD/7 INT – 250 RY/6 TDs – 41 total TDs
Bust: 57 cmp% – 2,400 PY (200 per game) – 21 TD/12 INT – 100 RY/1 TD – 22 total TDs
2014 Outlook: 70.8 cmp% – 2,848 PY (237 per game) – 29 TDs/7 INT – 187 RY/5 TDs – 34 total TDs
I expect a higher percentage of short to medium passes (and more running game) which means Tiger fans should expect less of an aerial circus than in recent years, but that also means less risks taken, a higher completion percentage along with less yards, touchdowns and interceptions.
There will be long touchdowns and big gains, just not as many as Stoudt, his receivers and Clemson fans settle into life post Boyd, Watkins and Bryant.
One year as a starter means Stoudt won’t sniff many Clemson records, but there are two I expect him to own at seasons end: Highest completion % in a season and career.