Texas State's offense is dependent on Damian Williams for most of their offensive production. His ability to extend plays is both a weapon and necessity. Texas State's offensive line is an open gate through which opposing defense get free access. If not for Williams' ability to escape and make plays, Texas State's offense would be in dire straights. We wanted to look at Williams' season thus far regarding his percentile rank when compared to other quarterbacks with ten or more attempts per game.
Here's our usual disclaimer, we're suckers for radar graphs and all other demonstratives, we have excel, and we use it at times ineffectively, but whatever. We track quarterbacks through 8-10 criteria the most important of which (and we stole this from Bill Connelly over at Football Study Hall) are completion percentage, interception rate, sack rate, yards per attempt, and yards per play (taking into account passing, sack, and rushing yardage). We take those five indicators and every quarterback with 100 or attempts and give each quarterback a percentile rank amongst his peers. Is it flawless? Nope. Does it give us a pretty good indicator of how efficient a quarterback is? You bet. If you rank in the top 75 regarding percentile, you're really good, probably elite. If you rank in the top 50% that's a decent number. Below that and we've got some work to do. From a visual perspective, we'd like to see a big, broad coverage. The wider the area graph, the more efficient a quarterback is at a number of efficiency measurables.
Here's Damian Williams radar graph, thru five games.
Let's do a little good news/bad news. The good news is Williams has been good an interception avoidance. His interception rate is in the 67th percentile, near elite levels. Compare that percentile rank to Ben Hicks, Mason Fine, and Kellen Bond who are all in the bottom third, and it's a solid number.
The bad news is everything else, but with a caveat. A big caveat. In Williams other percentile numbers you cannot ignore the interconnectedness of Texas State's offensive line play and the struggle to protect the quarterback and run block. So when we look at things like sack rate, where Williams' is at in the 17th percentile. Opponents sack Williams on over 10% of dropbacks. When we charted Williams earlier this year against Appalachian State, he was hit on 54% of his dropbacks, not counting designed runs. That's about 30 points too high.
The pass rush issues affect everything else to some degree from completion percentage to yards per attempt to yards per play. Looking specifically at completion percentage, in two of Williams five starts, he completed 64% or more of his attempts. Against UTSA and Colorado, he completed less than 40%of his passes. He split the difference against Wyoming.
Fixing the protection issues won't be easy, though Texas State's offensive line is young with more upside than a more experienced unit. The Bobcats also move into Sun Belt play and away from less than advantageous matchups. Think of this weekend as a litmus test, Louisiana Monroe's defense is middle of the road at best. The Warhawks' run defense is flat out bad. We're interested to see how Williams performs if he has a viable running game.
Still, his real value will probably be his ability to improvise when it all breaks down.