Mobile QBs distinguish Big 12

Lanning, Joel 15 Texas (23)

Much has been written and said about Big 12 defenses. How about a new perspective? Why are the offenses so good?

In a sentence, Big 12 quarterbacks make plays with their feet better than their peers. The mobile QB is an unaccountable player for defenses.

Here are some things to consider about Big 12 offenses…

  • The Big 12 has five of the NCAA’s current Top 20 passers in yards per game. We are in an era similar to roughly five years ago when the league featured Brandon Weeden, Landry Jones, Ryan Tannehill and Robert Griffin at QB. Each of them is still active in the NFL.
  • The Big 12 features three receivers (more than any other league) who are among the 10 semi-finalists for the 2015 Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s best receiver
  • The Big 12 has four players with at least 1,000 yards rushing (including Iowa State’s freshman Mike Warren) in 2015, which is tops in the nation (tied with the Pac-12) among conferences; and
  • The Big 12’s quarterbacks run the ball effectively and are an additional big-play threat.

Eight Big 12 schools have gained more than 300 yards rushing from the QB position this season. The average net rushing total (to this point in the year) among the schools is 418.5 yards.

Only five SEC teams have quarterback groups, who have rushed for at least 300 net yards. The average net rushing total by SEC quarterbacks is 252.8 yards.

Two Big Ten schools have QBs who have gained at least 300 yards on the ground. Teams in the Big Ten are averaging 179.4 net yards rushing by their quarterbacks. Four of the Big Ten schools have negative rushing totals by the quarterback position.

Offenses in the Big 12 are fast, boast extremely accurate quarterbacks, field-stretching receivers and a dynamic tailbacks.

Then, add in a dose of game-breaking run skills by quarterbacks like Trevon Boykin, Seth Russell (before he was injured), Patrick Mahomes, J.W. Walsh or Tyrone Swoopes/Jerrod Heard. And, don’t forget about ISU’s Joel Lanning. The sophomore has rushed for nearly 250 yards since he was named the starter three-and-a-half games ago. Interestingly, the Cyclones have outscored Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (cumulatively) 98-97 since Lanning started running the offense and adding the QB run game element.

Instead of trying to pick apart the Big 12 defenses, you might spend some time trying to stop ‘em. You might find that it’s a pretty challenging endeavor.

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