Archive for December, 2009

Peaking In The Red Zone

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

On November 13, Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly decided to bring QB Tony Pike back from a forearm injury by only putting him into the game once Cincinnati entered the West Virginia red zone.  Pike responded by throwing a touchdown pass on each of the two drives in which he entered the game.

Kelly’s novel approach to integrating Pike back into the offense shows how well he knows his starting quarterback.  Pike leads the FBS this season with the highest percentage of red zone pass attempts that have resulted in a touchdown (minimum 25 red zone pass attempts).  Here are this season’s leaders:

                                          Red Zone  Red Zone Red Zone
 Player                 Team              Pass Att.    TD      TD%
+----------------------+-----------------+---------+--------+--------+
 Tony Pike              Cincinnati           32        15     46.9%
 Joe Webb               UAB                  28        11     39.3%
 Sean Canfield          Oregon State         44        17     38.6%
 Max Hall               BYU                  55        21     38.2%
 Kellen Moore           Boise State          71        27     38.0%
 Jordan Jefferson       LSU                  29        11     37.9%
 Jonathan Crompton      Tennessee            50        18     36.0%
 Russell Wilson         N.C. State           51        18     35.3%
 Rusty Smith            Fla. Atlantic        29        10     34.5%
 Chris Todd             Auburn               27         9     33.3%
 

Before last Friday’s game against Illinois, 50 percent of Pike’s red zone pass attempts were touchdowns, but after throwing only 4 touchdowns in 10 red zone pass attempts, his percentage dropped to 46.9.

Here are the active career FBS leaders in percentage of red zone pass attempts that have resulted in a touchdown (minimum 50 red zone pass attempts):

                                          Red Zone  Red Zone Red Zone
 Player                 Team              Pass Att.    TD      TD%
+----------------------+-----------------+---------+--------+--------+
 Sam Bradford           Oklahoma            139        52     37.4%
 Max Hall               BYU                 183        65     35.5%
 Tony Pike              Cincinnati           79        27     34.2%
 Kellen Moore           Boise State         130        44     33.8%
 Russell Wilson         N.C. State           89        29     32.6%
 Colt McCoy             Texas               195        62     31.8%
 Sean Canfield          Oregon State         96        30     31.3%
 Rusty Smith            Fla. Atlantic       188        56     29.8%
 Austin Davis           Southern Miss.       72        21     29.2%
 Jerrod Johnson         Texas A&M           110        32     29.1%
 Tim Tebow              Florida             148        43     29.1%