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"Two-armed" Jake
If you're not into stats, take a pass, pun intended
Richard Linde, 12 February 2008

Although Jake Lockerís passing has been criticized, his numbers from last season offer a glimmer of hope for next season. Obviously, Locker needs to continue to work on his passing proficiency over the next six months. Heíll only get better. Yet, young Locker is not as poor a passer as his passing efficiency rating might indicate.

In fact, I called him "Two-armed" Jake in this article because of his twelve individual PE's from last season. On the one arm -- I mean hand -- his efficiency (PE) was 134.36 in six of his twelve games. And on the other hand, for the other six games, his efficiency rating was 82.55. Which arm  -- or throwing hand -- will step to the fore next season? 

Based on twelve games last season, he posted a final passing efficiency rating of 105, which ranked him eighth in the conference. Dennis Dixon of Oregon led the Pac-10 with a passing efficiency of 162, which was third best in the nation. Lockerís number didnít rank him among the nationís 100 top passers.

In the past, a high release point and improper footwork, among other reasons, have been cited for his poor completion percentage (47.3% last season). But...embedded in the stats is the notion that his mediocre numbers are not altogether his fault.

From a statistical standpoint, his poor passing efficiency can be explained by strength of schedule, while an injury he suffered in the Oregon State game likely affected his sour stats in the WSU game. Considering Locker was a redshirt freshman, his passing efficiency can be viewed as acceptable in 6 games, while being below average in 6 others.

He played six games with a P. E. of 82.55, which ranged from a low of 52.46 to a high of 86.05.

-- Three of the six teams Ė Ohio State, USC, and ASU -- had an average national ranking of 8.3 in pass-efficiency defense. Stats aside, a running quarterback who refuses to slide, has to pick up some bumps and bruises that negatively affect his passing, especially against a hard-hitting team like USC -- a horse-collaring of Locker looking particularly debilitating in the game last year.

As for the other three games:

-- Locker's PE (83.39) against Stanford was affected by the Huskies' dominating running game. (See the Table below). Simply put, the young quarterbackís arm was not needed against the Tree -- so why take any risks with your arm.?

-- He left the Oregon State game after taking an ugly helmet-to-helmet collision, posting his worst PE of the season, 52.46.

-- Locker also underachieved in the WSU game, carding an 86.05. Uncertainty may have been a factor against the Cougars, as he'd just returned from injury, having missed the Cal game. 

In the Table below, Locker's PE is 82.55 for all six games; for those games, he completed 46% of his passes.

Team PE Comment
tOSU 79.25 Ranked 4th in nation in Pass Efficiency Defense
USC 66.29 Ranked 6th in nation in PED
ASU 82.96 Ranked 15th in nation in PED
Tree 83.39 Didn't need Locker's arm (PED=84)
OSU 52.46 Injured in game (PED=37)
WSU 86.05 Coming off injury (PED=81)

Locker played six games with a PE of 134.38, which would have ranked him fifth in the Pac-10 and thirty-ninth nationally if that had been his final number. In this six-game, non-contiguous segment, he completed 52% of his passes. PED (Pass efficiency defense) is shown for each team below.

Team PE PED
Syracuse 136.46 109
BSU 122.05 24 *
UCLA 123.18 32
Oregon 144.48 29
Arizona 159.41 33
Hawaii 111.34 21 *

* The Boise State and Hawaii PEDs should be taken with a grain of salt.

This season, back-up QB Carl Bonnell finished with a PE of 118.5. RB Louis Rankin, out-ranked all the passers with an efficiency of 197.6, and has a career number of 158.1. Locker rushed for 986 yards, averaging 82.2 yards per game.

To improve on his passing proficiency next season, Jake by the Lake will need to get by the likes of Oklahoma, USC and Notre Dame; otherwise, if last seasonís numbers are any indication, his PE will be sputtering near 105 again -- throttled down like my high-torque golf cart and bocce ball game. His pass receivers will need to get open in those games and, to help him complete some throws, the offensive line will need to buy him some time.

Since they call Don Heinrich the "Arm" in Husky lore, will they call Locker "Two-armed" Jake, one on and one off, like in Wild-brats on and Toe-jams off, for which arm will it be in 2K8?

Of course, Jake needs to work hard on his throwing motion in preparation for 2008. However, statistics and happenstance indicate that his disappointing throwing in 2007 was not all his fault. 

In the table below, Locker's passing efficiency is shown game by game, along with his cumulative statistics as the season progressed. Nomenclature: C=completions; A=attempts; Y=yards, T=touchdowns, I=interceptions, and PE=passing efficiency.

Team C A Y T I PE C A Y T I PE
Syracuse 14 19 142 0 0 136.46 14 19 142 0 0 136.46
BSU 13 25 193 1 1 122.05 27 44 335 1 1 128.27
tOSU 16 33 153 1 3 79.25 43 77 488 2 4 107.26
UCLA 17 36 216 4 2 123.18 60 113 704 6 6 112.33
USC 13 28 90 0 1 66.29 73 141 794 6 7 103.19
ASU 10 28 142 1 1 82.96 83 169 936 7 8 99.84
UO 12 31 257 4 1 144.48 95 200 1193 11 9 106.76
UA 17 30 336 2 2 159.41 112 230 1529 13 11 113.62
Tree 16 32 151 0 1 83.39 128 262 1680 13 12 109.93
OSU 6 14 16 0 0 52.46 134 276 1696 13 12 107.02
WSU 12 35 224 1 2 86.05 146 311 1920 14 14 104.06
Hawaii 9 17 142 0 1 111.34 155 328 2062 14 15 105

Career stats for Washington's last few quarterbacks.

Name G C A Y P I TD Eff
Cody Pickett 38 792 1373 9916 58.0 42 53 124.9
Isaiah Stanback 37 269 523 3868 51.4 12 22 122.9
M. Tuiasosopo 42 418 761 5501 54.9 28 31 121.7
Jake Locker 12 155 328 2062 47.3 14 15 105
Carl Bonnell 19 112 271 1536 41.3 15 10 90
Casey Paus 17 126 297 1627 42.4 18 7 84.10

  

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