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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breaking Down Jake Heaps' Breakout Game

The Brigham Young Cougars’ true freshman quarterback Jake Heaps had his much anticipated breakout game against UNLV last Saturday. Heaps finished the day with 19 completions on 31 attempts (61.3%) for 294 yards and 2 touchdowns. His pass efficiency rating was 162.25. In reality, this stat line represents what should be a “typical day at the office” for a BYU quarterback, but for this true freshman, it was a breakout game for several reasons.

  • Heaps had his first game with multiple touchdown passes.
  • He had a career high in passing yards.
  • He averaged 9.5 yards per attempt; his previous best was 5.73.
  • He had not had a pass efficiency rating higher than 107.2.
  • He completed over 60 percent of his passes for only the second time.
  • He had three pass completions for more than 35 yards (his previous long was 32).
  • He had led such a productive offense, he didn't play the fourth quarter.
While virtually no one will argue that this wasn’t a breakout game for Heaps, the above list does not do justice to just how well Heaps played on Saturday. The BYU passing attack had lacked any kind of downfield element. Even throwing for a first down in short yardage situations was nearly impossible. Heaps and Co. overcame both these hurdles against UNLV.

Further breakdown of Heaps' play shows that this freshman did not play like one on Saturday.

3rd Down
6-9, 128 yards, 1 TD, Pass Eff. 222.8
All 6 completions resulted in a first down or a touchdown.

Momentum Builders
12 completions resulted in a first down.
2 completions were touchdowns.
73.7% (14 of 19) of Heaps’ completions helped BYU build momentum.

2nd Quarter
8-10, 146 yards, 1 TD, Pass Eff. 235.6
--Six completions resulted in first downs or a touchdown.
--At one point Heaps completed six consecutive passes.
--Of the two that were not “momentum builders,” one was a 9 yard completion on 1st and 10, the other was a 7-yarder on 2nd and 10 that helped set up the last second field goal.
--Heaps' second quarter play helped produce 24 points in the quarter that put the game away.

Going Down Field
Nine completions went for 14 yards or more, five were for 20 or more yards, and 3 were over 35 yards.

Ineffective Short Throws
As noted, all but five completions helped BYU build momentum. Of those five, only one could be considered ineffective. It was Heaps’ first throw of the game for three yards on second and 8. BYU did not convert the ensuing third down and had to punt.

The other four non-momentum builders were still effective (see list below for throw numbers).
1. Throw 6 was a six yard completion on first down. Second and four is a very manageable down and distance. (J.J. Di Luigi picked up the first down on the next play.)
2. Throw 10 was only for four yards on second and 10, but on the very next play Heaps connected with Di Luigi for a first down.
3. Throw 17 was a nine-yard completion on first down. Second and one is a great down and distance.
4. Throw 20 was the 7-yarder on 2nd and 10 that helped set up the last second field goal to end the first half.

When it really mattered, Heaps was at his best. Getting inside the numbers shows that Heaps didn’t just break out, he excelled. He played with a maturity beyond his years. Hopefully, this was just a stepping stone for Heaps, and he will exceed this impressive performance on a regular basis.

********************
List of all 31 pass attempts.
1. 2nd and 8, pass complete to Luke Ashworth for 3 yards
2. 3rd and 10 pass incomplete
3. 3rd and 4 pass complete to McKay Jacobson for 11 yards
4. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
5. 1st and 10 pass complete to Jacobson for 19 yards
6. 1st and 10 pass complete to Ashworth for 6 yards
7. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
8. 2nd and 5 pass complete to Devin Mahina for 6 yards
9. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
10. 2nd and 10 pass complete to Jacobson for 4 yards
11. 3rd and 6 pass complete to JJ Di Luigi for 7 yards
12. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
13. 1st and 10 pass complete to Cody Hoffman for 20 yards
14. 1st and 10 pass complete to JJ Di Luigi for 21 yards
15. 1st and 10 pass complete to Cody Hoffman for 37 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
16. 2nd and 4 pass complete to Marcus Mathews for 9 yards
17. 1st and 10 pass complete to JJ Di Luigi for 9 yards
18. 3rd and 12 pass complete to McKay Jacobson for 36 yards
19. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
20. 2nd and 10 pass complete to JJ Di Luigi for 7 yards
21. 2nd and 10 pass complete to Spencer Hafoka for 11 yards
22. 2nd and 11 pass incomplete
23. 3rd and 11 pass incomplete
24. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
25. 3rd and 5 pass complete to Luke Ashworth for 42 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
26. 2nd and 5 pass incomplete
27. 3rd and 5 pass incomplete
28. 3rd and 10 pass complete to Luke Ashworth for 18 yards
29. 2nd and 7 pass complete to Bryan Kariya for 14 yards
30. 2nd and 8 pass incomplete
31. 3rd and 8 pass complete to Luke Ashworth for 14 yards
(Source: http://espn.go.com/ncf/playbyplay?gameId=303100252&period=0)

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Flashback: BYU 35, San Diego State 28 (1994)
Poll Results: Should BYU Play Another QB
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 55, UNLV Rebels 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. UNLV Rebels
Thursday Trivia: Win-Loss Record in November
Fabulous? Freshman Contributions for the Brigham Young Cougars

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