I like many others have been calling for Spurrier to give Shaw a chance to show what he can do. Shaw has received limited playing time and often in unusual situations. Often times it has been later in the game, but with the East Carolina game he started the season under center before being replaced by Stephen Garcia in the second quarter.
So, let's see what we are working with here with a little statistical analysis of Connor Shaw and Stephen Garcia. In case anyone is wondering I used stats from ESPN mostly, for the fumbles I used TeamRankings.com.
Stats after the jump
|completion % '10||64.2||69.7|
|completion % '11||51.7||36.4|
|Completion % Career||57.69||61.36|
|Avg QB Rating 2011||109.5||68.25|
|Attempts per INT 2011||13.1||N/A|
|Attempts per INT 2010||24.92||16.5|
|Attempts per INT career||24.9||22|
|Fumbles Total career||14||1|
|Rush Att per Fumble career||23.5||41|
|Attempts per Fumble||N/A||9|
|Turnover Total Career||55||3|
|Rush + Pass Total Attempts||1350||85|
A couple of things really stick out to me, Garcia improved in year 2 and year 3. I think we are all just shocked by this regression this year. With this year's 51.7% completions, he has regressed to worse than his 2008 stats. But Shaw isn't exactly lighting it up this year when he gets the chances, in 2011 he is completing 36.4% of his passes. This is down from last year when he completed 69.7%, and those only two Interceptions occurred against Auburn in his real SEC game. Going back through the numbers you see a lot of Shaw's stat lines for 4 of 5 or so in 2010. It is hard to really feel confident about the categories in which Shaw holds an edge over Garcia, because the sample size is so much smaller. Who really know what we'll see if Shaw gets the job for the next game or even the next three games. He has a better career completion percentage, fewer turnovers per pass+rushing attempt, a higher rushing avg. yards/attempt. All of this is even harder to judge, because most of the time he was playing when the game was decided. The Auburn game and the ECU game this year both make me a little nervous that he can't handle the pressure well, but we'll see.
The other thing about this is the regression of both players. The fact that both players are not able to match, or even come close to what they produced last year is particularly troubling. If either of these guys could get to 60% or better regularly, we would be so much better on offense. And we are all reaching for reasons to explain this downturn. It's the play-calling, the coaches, our head case players or the offensive line's inability to block. With numbers like these I seem to think that it is more of a coaching issue. I can't believe both of these players would have regressed this much.
I think we were ready for Garcia to really take off, maybe Spurrier was, too. And maybe that's why he's been trying to just throw the ball around the park, but nothing has really been working. We do need to shake things up, and as a fan I am excited about the opportunity to see what Shaw can do in a complete game. I don't have unrealistic expectations, on the year Shaw has a 36.4 completion percentage, which is actually worse than Garcia's 39.1% performance against Auburn. I hope Spurrier is ready to shake up more than the player that is under center, because if these numbers hold true, just putting in Shaw may not be enough. Although, with Shaw's 28.3 plays per turnover, I like our chances to commit less than 4 offensive turnovers on Saturday.