There are a few articles out there right now comparing Virginia Tech’s starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor with Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt. Many comparisons can be made, as the two have very similar characteristics.
However, to mix things up a bit, I thought it would be interesting to compare Tyrod Taylor instead with Georgia Tech’s backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw.
To be fair, I wanted to follow up this article with another comparing Josh Nesbitt with Virginia Tech’s backup quarterback Ju-Ju Clayton; however, he is a freshmen this year, and has had no college experience for which to compare.
There are some major differences between the two quarterbacks. Tyrod will be a junior this year while Jaybo is starting on his sophomore season.
In his first two years, Tyrod has started fifteen games with Virginia Tech, winning 13 of them. He has played in a total of 23 games.
In Jaybo’s first year with Georgia Tech, he started just one game and played in a total of seven, so Tyrod has started fourteen more games then Jaybo and played in over three times as many.
The data I will be looking at for each quarterback is from last season and includes; estimated quarters played, passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, total yards, and total touchdowns.
Twelve quarters are what I estimated Jaybo to have played in last season, and this will be used to estimate yards per quarter.
Jaybo started only one game (against Duke), but in addition played nearly the entire game against Mississippi State, half of the Florida State game, and parts of the Miami, UNC and Jacksonville St games. He also came in for three snaps against UGA. Of these seven games, Georgia Tech was 6-1 losing only to UNC.
Thirty-six quarters are what I estimate Tyrod to have played in last season.
He started ten games last season against Georgia Tech, UNC, Nebraska, Western Kentucky, Boston College, FSU (injured on first play), Duke (pulled after first half), Virginia, the ACC Championship and the Orange Bowl. He also played parts of the Furman and Miami games. Of the eleven games Tyrod played in (I am not counting FSU), Virginia Tech was 8-2 losing to Boston College and Miami.
Tyrod Taylor’s completion percentage last season was 57.2 percent, with a total of 1,036 passing yards, seven interceptions, and two touchdowns. Tyrod averaged six yards per attempt and 29 yards per quarter, which yields about five pass attempts per quarter.
Jaybo Shaw’s completion percentage last season was 60 percent, with a total of 321 passing yards, one interception, and two touchdowns. Jaybo also averaged 12.8 yards per attempt and 27 yards per quarter, which yields about two pass attempts per quarter.
First off, we can see that while both quarterbacks averaged very similar passing yards per quarter, Tyrod made many shorter passes. Jaybo passed much less, but when he did, threw the ball much farther. This is, of course, indicative of each team’s offensive style, Georgia Tech relying more heavily on the running game, but passing deep whenever they did throw.
While the data shows that Tyrod achieved many more passing yards than Jaybo last season, it seems that this was primarily due to the additional twenty-four quarters of playing time Tyrod received, and not passing ability (again refer to their averages per attempt, per quarter, and completion percentage).
Next, it is even more interesting to see that Tyrod achieved no more passing touchdowns on the season than Jaybo did, even though he played so much more time. Now this doesn’t mean Virginia Tech didn’t capitalize on those additional yards in one form or another (be it possession time or a rushing score) but it does make the case that Tyrod is less efficient in converting those yards gained into points.
On average, Tyrod scored a passing touchdown for every 518 passing yards gained or, put differently, for every 887 total yards gained (he had 1,774 total yards on the season).
On the other hand, Jaybo scored a passing touchdown every 161 passing yards gained or every 261 total yards gained (he had 521 total yards on the season).
So those are some major differences.
Finally, one should note that while Tyrod played three times as many quarters as Jaybo last season, he had seven times as many interceptions. No further analysis required on this one.
Passing goes to Jaybo Shaw.
Tyrod Taylor rushed for 738 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging five yards per attempt and 21 yards per quarter, which yields about four rush attempts per quarter.
Jaybo Shaw rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns, averaging three yards per attempt and 17 yards per quarter which yields about six rush attempts per quarter.
First off, we can note that Jaybo attempted to run the ball slightly more often than Tyrod. Again, this reflects Georgia Tech’s offense; the quarterback keeps the ball more often.
Next, we can see that once again Tyrod’s additional play time contributed toward much higher rush yards on the season, but also again Jaybo seemed to capitalize on his rush yards more efficiently.
Tyrod averaged a rushing touchdown every 105 rushing yards gained or every 253 total yards gained or every 5.1 quarters.
Jaybo averaged a rushing touchdown every 67 rushing yards gained or every 173 total yards gained or every 4 quarters.
Rushing is too close to call. While Tyrod averaged more rush yards per carry and more rush yards per quarter, Jaybo was better at converting his yards into points on the scoreboard; after all, points win games, not yards.
1,774 total yards (49 total yards per quarter)
9 touchdowns (averaged a touchdown every 4 quarters played)
7 interceptions (averaged an interception every 5.1 quarters played)
On average Tyrod scored a touchdown every time he moved the ball 197 yards by either passing or rushing.
521 total yards (43 total yards per quarter)
5 touchdowns (averaged a touchdown every 2.4 quarters played)
1 interception (averaged an interception every 12 quarters played)
On average Jaybo scored a touchdown every time he moved the ball 104 yards by either passing or rushing.
So Tyrod was able to gain six more yards per quarter than Jaybo but it took him an additional 93 yards between touchdowns. In every other category Jaybo has the edge so while Tyrod did gain more yards and scores than Jaybo last season this seems to be simply due to the additional play time he received.
Total offense goes to Jaybo Shaw.
In summary, Jaybo appears to be a better passer and a more efficient quarterback at converting yards into points. Tyrod likely gets the edge in rushing, but in Georgia Tech’s run-heavy offense Jaybo doesn’t lag too far behind.
Does this mean Frank Beamer would trade Tyrod Taylor for Georgia Tech’s backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw if he could?
Certainly not, after all Tyrod is the face of Virginia Tech right now, and much of the hopes and dreams (and consequently pressure) of VT fans ride on his shoulders.
But for a Georgia Tech fan, looking over these numbers sure does make you sleep well at night. Oh, and did I mention Ju-Ju Clayton has no college experience?