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College QB Stats Visualizations

As a former Texas A&M athlete, I’m a bit biased towards Johnny Manziel and his ability to make plays. I believe he is the best player on the field, and I’ve always looked forward to seeing him play. Besides that, everyday in my professional life, I look at data for my clients and try to generate charts, graphs, and visualizations that allow my clients to make better decisions. I thought it would be fun to translate this skill over to the NCAA stats – and show that JFF is a good QB – ok, actually, a great QB.   Data as of 11/21/2013: NOTE: I am using TexAgs group data when displaying PPPA (Post Pick Point Average) and offensive stats for the rest. PPPA is a calculation shared with TexAgs by Daniel Galvan of how a quarterback responds after throwing an interception. It is the total points over opportunities where opportunities are the amount of time the quarterback can attempt to score immediately after an interception (less end of quarter/game). PPPA can only range from

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0-7 and higher is better. There are 7 points for a touchdown on drive after an interception. Below, I am using the PPPA of 15 QBs that had data > 0. I crossed this with the top 30 QB passer rating from I figured that if you’re a good QB, you’d be in the Top 30. I only get 9 data points, because the top 30 QB based on passer rating don’t all show up in the PPPA results. Viz 1: PPPA v Passer Rating Manziel looks pretty good. Aaron Murray clearly has a higher PPPA score, but his passer rating is about 30 points below Johnny’s points. Metternberger has a passer rating close to Johnny, but his PPPA score is 2 points lower. Keith Price is the next closest with a higher PPPA score but lower passer rating.

Viz 2: YPG v Rating Again, Manziel is pretty darn good. Gilbert has generated more YPG, but has a lower rating. Petty has a rating 40 points higher but produces less yardage per game (though not by much). Mariota and Mannion are closest but lack in one category or the other.

Viz 3: Number of Offensive Plays vs Total Yardage You could easily divide Total Yards by Plays, but that doesn’t show you the relationship between how many plays the QBs are passing/running compared to their yardage. This helps visualize who throws a lot (or runs) and how that corresponds to yardage.

Johnny is still at the top (or towards the top) depending on how you look at it. Gilbert has over 100 more plays than Manziel but doesn’t generate the yardage. Mariota is lacking in both plays and yardage. Sean Mannion is close in yardage but needed about 70 more plays to get there.   If you look at any site with NCAA stats, you will see that Johnny Manziel isn’t #1 in any statistical category (unless I’ve missed one). These visuals I’ve put together show that Johnny is at the top (or really close) when compared to the other QBs. Many people already know Manziel is a good QB and is still in the hunt for another Heisman. I’m not sure if he’ll get it this year because other people are doing well, and the votes aren’t based solely on stats, but you don’t have to look at rows and rows of data to make a decision. Using visualizations to display your data can improve your ability to see which data point(s) stand out. And in this case, Johnny’s on top.    

Justin Taylor

Justin Taylor

Justin Taylor has been architecting, building and managing business intelligence projects since 1999, including solutions for several Fortune 500 companies. When Justin joined StatSlice, he was looking for an opportunity to make a major contribution to the company and utilize his technology experience to help clients solve their business problems. Justin has broad experience in data warehousing, business analytics, reporting and dashboards, and data architectures. He enjoys opportunities to speak at technology events, conferences and training. He holds several Microsoft certifications include MCT (trainer), MCTS and MCITP certifications in SQL Server BI, and Certified Scrum Master through


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