BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 11/11/2016

You don’t have to wait for a Jake Browning TD

Washington’s Jake Browning isn’t the Heisman Trophy favorite, but his TD pass rate of one every 6.47 throws dwarfs the rate of many Heisman winners and Pac-12 greats.

Washington’s Jake Browning has thrown 34 touchdown passes in nine games. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest file

According to those who relentlessly track the candidates, the Heisman Trophy is coming down to a two-man race between Louisville sophomore QB Lamar Jackson and Washington QB sophomore Jake Browning. If the vote were held today, it would go to Jackson in a veritable landslide. So says ESPN, whose latest poll (if we can ever again trust polls) has Jackson with 10 first-place votes to Browning’s zero and 50 overall points (perfect score) to Browning’s 34.

Jackson has accounted for 45 touchdowns – 26 passing, 19 rushing –  including seven Saturday against Boston College, and is on pace to break Colt Brennan’s record of 63 in 14 games, which he set for Hawaii in 2006.

Browning has accounted for 38 TDs – 34 passing, four rushing — and 228 points, already the No. 1 single-season mark is UW history. He is coming off a six-touchdown splurge against California, his second contest with six TD passes.

Jackson and Browning are close in other statistical respects. Jackson has thrown for 2,753 yards while completing 59 percent. He’s accounted for at least four touchdowns in seven of the Cardinals’ nine games. Browning has tossed for 2,273, but has a far higher completion percentage, 67.9. He’s accounted for four or more TDs in five of Washington’s nine games.

Browning is not nearly the running threat as Jackson is, but, as a touchdown generator in the passing game, few have been in his league. Browning broke Washington’s single-season mark with 34 and has three games, starting with USC Saturday at Husky Stadium (4:30 p.m., FOX), to add to it.

Browning also has a chance to break the single-season Pac-12 Conference record, 43 by California’s Jared Goff (who became the NFL’s No. 1 overall pick) last year. Browning is on track for 45.

Browning is also on pace to throw for 45 in far fewer attempts than Goff, who needed 529 throws to collect 43 TDs. Browning has required only 220 throws to reach 34.

Goff delivered a touchdown pass every 12.3 throws. Browning gets the ball in the end zone every 6.47. (WSU’s Luke Falk has 28 TDs, one every 15.32 passes). How remarkable is that?

The Pac-12 has featured an array of star quarterbacks, including future college and pro Hall of Famers, Heisman Trophy winners, first-team All-Americas, first-round NFL draft picks, etc. Here are the best seasons by 10 of them, ranked according to fewest passes needed to throw a touchdown (Browning included for comparison purposes):

Year Quarterback School Att. TDs TD Every Skinny
2016 Jake Browning Washington 220 34 6.47 att 2,273 yards, 3 INTs
2008 Mark Sanchez USC 241 34 7.08 3,207 yards, 6 INTs
2014 Marcus Mariota Oregon 445 42 10.59 Heisman winner
2012 Matt Barkley USC 387 36 10.75 3,273 yards, 15 INTs
1982 John Elway Stanford 262 24 10.91 Pro Hall of Fame
2011 Andrew Luck Stanford 404 37 10.91 3,517 yards, 10 INTs
1997 Ryan Leaf WSU 410 34 12.05 No. 2 overall pick
2004 Matt Leinart USC 412 33 12.48 Heisman winner
1988 Troy Aikman UCLA 354 24 14.74 Pro Hall of Fame
2002 Carson Palmer USC 489 33 14.81 Heisman winner
1992 Drew Bledsoe WSU 432 20 21.60 No. 1 overall pick

Since Browning likely will be invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation, let’s look at how his touchdown every 6.47 throws compares to the past 10 quarterbacks to win college’s football’s top prize (ranked by fewest throws needed):

Year Heisman School Att. TDs TD Every Draft
2010 Cam Newton Auburn 280 30 9.33 att 1st overall, 2011
2013 Jameis Winston Florida St. 384 40 9.60 1st overall, 2015
2008 Sam Bradford Oklahoma 483 50 9.66 1st overall, 2010
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State 311 30 10.36 174th overall, 2006
2014 Marcus Mariota Oregon 445 42 10.59 2nd overall, 2015
2011 Robert Griffin III Baylor 402 37 10.86 2nd overall, 2012
2007 Tim Tebow Florida 350 32 10.93 25th overall, 2009
2003 Jason White Oklahoma 451 40 11.27 Went undrafted
2012 Johhy Manziel Texas A&M 429 37 11.59 22nd overall, 2014
2004 Matt Leinart USC 412 33 12.48 10th overall, 2006
2016 Jake Browning Washington 220 34 6.47 67.7 comp. pct.

Given that, explain how Browning did not receive even one first-place in ESPN’s latest Heisman Trophy poll.


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YourThoughts

  • mrRef63

    its a rigged system LOL!!!!!

  • Army Vet

    I’m curious as to how many minutes they play per game as well. I see both teams have killed their opponents, but I wonder if Jackson has an advantage by staying in games until the end… kicking teams when they’re at their weakest. So while points per pass is interesting, points per minute, points per drive and how many snaps the back-up QB has taken paint a clearer picture.

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