The talk last week by some college football observers was that Johnny Manziel was having such a magnificent season, he just might win a second Heisman.
They compared Manziel’s statistics with other Heisman candidates and concluded that, based on the numbers at least, Johnny Football was a shoo-in for the trophy.
But they seemed to have forgotten about Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty who, upon closer examination, might be having an even better season than Manziel.
— Petty’s 206.23 passer rating not only leads the nation, it would break the NCAA record of 191.78 set by Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson in 2011. Manziel’s rating is also stellar at 186.86.
— Petty throws for 332.4 yards per game, which is a about a yard better than Manziel’s 331.3 average. But the rub is that Petty is getting his yardage while attempting almost six fewer passes per game. Petty averages 25.9 passer per game while Manziel is at 31.5 per game. Overall, Manziel has thrown 82 more passes than Petty and has just 321 more yards on the year to show for it (he’s played 10 games, Petty has played nine).
— Manziel has 39 total touchdowns in 10 games, while Petty has 34 total touchdowns in nine games. So while Manziel averages 3.9 touchdowns per game, Petty averages 3.8. But, again, Manziel has run 139 more plays than Petty has this year. So Petty produces a touchdown every 8.4 plays that he’s involved in, while Manziel produces one every 10.8 plays. This is where Baylor’s numerous blowouts come into play, as Petty has missed a lot of second-half action as a result.
— Petty has 10 rushing touchdowns in nine games while Manziel has eight in 10 games.
— Petty has just one interception on the year while Manziel has 11.
— Manziel is superior in completion percentage (73 percent to 65.2 percent), total rushing yards (611 to 127) and touchdown passes (31 to 24).
Petty is on pace to have 3,989 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes, 168 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns by the time the Heisman vote is due, while Manziel is on pace for 3,975 yards, 37 touchdown passes, 732 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
So the two players are pretty much equal when it comes to projected passing yardage, while Manziel will likely have way more rushing yards. But when it comes to total touchdowns, Manziel’s pace is for 47 while Petty’s pace is 45.
But when you consider Petty’s passing efficiency number and his amazing lack of turnovers, plus the fact that he’s almost on par with Manziel despite being involved in far fewer plays, there’s a good argument to be made that, while both players are having amazing seasons, Petty’s is the most impressive overall.
Whatever the case, both of these special players should be in New York City come mid-December.