A lot of hubbub has been going around about Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and how great of a season he had in 2011 and will have in 2012. We all know Louisville fans tend to exaggerate, but I thought I’d compare ole Teddy to a fellow freshman in Kentucky’s Maxwell Smith.
Maxwell Smith came in and spelled Morgan Newton in a couple of early games, but really didn’t see significant time until deep into the SEC schedule and that was only until his an injury ended his season prematurely. In all, Smith participated in only eight regular season games. Teddy Bridgewater on the other hand, participated in all 13 games, really picking up playing time against Kentucky when starter Will Stein was injured.
Completions/Attempts: Maxwell Smith chucked 153 passes in his eight games, completing 84 passes for a completion percentage of 54.9.With the ridiculous number of drops by Kentucky’s receivers (unfortunately, UK does not keep drops as a statistic), he and Morgan Newton both would have had significantly more completions had their receivers done their jobs, but nonetheless, 54.9% isn’t terrible for a true freshman. Teddy Bridgewater threw just under twice as many passes at 293 attempts and completed over twice as many as Smith with 191 catches for a completion percentage of 64.5%. Those are very good numbers for a true freshman.
TD-INT: Maxwell Smith threw for 4 touchdowns in his eight games and 4 interceptions. Bridgewater threw for 13 touchdowns in his thirteen games, but also threw 12 interceptions. While Bridgewater threw over three times as many touchdowns as Smith, he also had three times as many interceptions. Bridgewater’s propensity for turning the ball over negates his higher number of scores.
Yardage: Maxwell Smith threw for a pedestrian 819 yards in 8 games played for an average of 102.4 yards per game. Teddy Bridgwater blew those numbers out of the water this past year. He threw for 2,129 yards in 13 games for an average of 163.8 yards per game.
Efficiency: Smith’s efficiency rating came out to 103.3 at season’s end and Bridgewater’s came out at 132.4. This one isn’t even close.
So, if we look at the raw statistics, Louisville fans have a lot more to be excited about than UK fans do this year, right? I mean, the statistics don’t lie. Bridgewater surpassed Smith in every single category as a freshman, thus having the superior freshman season.
In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”
The statistics may not actually lie, but they do not even come close to telling the whole truth. I decided to take a closer look at the numbers and see if there was more to this and sure enough, there was.