Trace McSorley Passing Chart (Michigan State): Penn State Couldn't Survive McSorley's First Off Night of the Season

By Nick Polak on October 15, 2018 at 8:15 am
Oct 13, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) passes the ball against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth quarter at Beaver Stadium.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome back to the Trace McSorley passing chart. Each week we'll show you McSorley's chart from the most recent game, as well as his cumulative stats for the season. There may be a few differences here and there from the stat lines you see on ESPN, Sports Reference, or elsewhere, but I'll try to make sure to explain each of those differences below. Distances on the far left denote how many yards the ball traveled in the air.

McSorley was incredible against Ohio State before the bye week. Even bigger things were expected against Michigan State, who came into the game with one of the worst passing defenses in the country. Unfortunately for Penn State, the line surrendered constant pressure, and McSorley was never able to find a rhythm leading to arguably one of the worst performances of his career.

McSorley Passing Chart (Michigan State)
  LEFT MIDDLE RIGHT TOTALS
20+ YARDS 0/1
0 yds
-
-
2/3
46 yds
-
-
0/1
0 yds
-
-
2/5
46 yards
-
-
10-19 YARDS 2/2
25 yds
-
-
1/3
20 yds
-
-
2/2
26 yds
-
-
5/7
71 yards
-
-
-
0-9 YARDS 5/6
45 yds
-
-
2/3
10 yds
1 TD
-
2/5
13 yds
-
1 drop
1 batted pass
9/14
68 yards
1 TD
1 drop
1 batted pass
BEHIND L.O.S. 2/2
4 yds
-
-
0/1
0 yds
-
-
1/1
3 yds
-
-
3/4
7 yards
-
-
TOTALS 9/11
74 yards
-
-
-
5/10
76 yds
1 TD
-
-
5/9
42 yds
-
1 drop
1 batted pass
19/32
192 yards
1 TD
1 drop
1 batted pass
1 hail mary
1 throwaway

3-man rush: 1/3, 20 yards, 1 hail mary

4-man rush: 8/18, 88 yards, 1 TD, 1 drop, 1 batted pass

5-man rush: 9/10, 78 yards, 1 throwaway

6+ man rush: 1/1, 6 yards

**ADJUSTED COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: 68.9%

  • For the first time this year, drops were not the problem for the Penn State passing game. The only drop I registered was for Pat Freiermuth on an out-route, that may have really been more of a pass breakup than a drop, but the broadcast didn't give a closer look.
  • Instead, the issue appeared to be that no one was really able to get open, at least in the time McSorley had to throw, which was limited time for much of the day.
  • McSorley started very accurately (10/13 in the first half, albeit for very little yardage) but started to press more in the second half.
  • The only sack of the day came when McSorley lost his footing on fourth down. This was a huge moment because not only did Michigan State go down and score right after that, but this is the moment in the game where it seemed like McSorley started to press just a bit.
  • One instance of that was the third down deep ball to DeAndre Thompkins. If Thompkins had seen it sooner, he may have been able to get across to the middle to make the play, but with some green grass in front of him, as well as Sanders wide open in the flat, it was a really curious decision by McSorley on third-and-short.
  • The play calling after the Garrett Taylor interception was shockingly conservative. A run up the middle, following by a five-yard out route (that was the Freiermuth drop) and all of a sudden the Lions were in third-and-long. If there was ever a time to be aggressive in this game, that was it.
  • I have a few more notes on the receivers, but we're also going to start publishing a receivers chart, so I'll save those for that post.
McSorley Passing Chart (Season)
  LEFT MIDDLE RIGHT TOTALS
20+ YARDS 2/11
67 yds
-
2 drops
6/10
200 yds
2 TD
1 drop
4/9
111 yds
TD, INT
1 drop
12/30
378 yards
3 TD, INT
4 drops
10-19 YARDS 10/16
147 yards
TD
3 drops
1 batted pass
11/17
189 yds
3 TD
1 drop
5/10
64 yds
-
3 drops
26/43
400 yards
4 TD
7 drops
1 batted pass
0-9 YARDS 19/27
158 yds
TD, INT
2 drops
2 batted passes
11/25
157 yds
3 TD
3 drops
2 batted passes
15/23
94 yds
-
2 drops
2 batted passes
45/75
409 yards
4 TD, INT
7 drops
6 batted passes
BEHIND L.O.S. 4/7
28 yds
-
1 drop
0/1
0 yds
-
-
4/4
1 yds
-
-
8/12
29 yards
-
1 drop
TOTALS 35/60
400 yds
2 TD, INT
8 drops
3 batted passes
28/53
546 yds
8 TD
5 drops
2 batted passes
28/46
270 yds
TD, INT
6 drops
2 batted passes
91/169
1,216 yards
11 TD, 2 INT
19 drops
7 batted passes
8 throwaways
2 hail marys

3-man rush: 11/23, 150 yards, 1 TD, 1 drop, 6 throwaways/hail marys

4-man rush: 53/97, 721 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT, 12 drops, 1 throwaway, 4 batted passes

5-man rush: 18/33, 180 yards, 2 TD, 5 drops, 2 throwaways/hail marys, 2 batted passes

6+ man rush: 9/16, 165 yards, 3 TD, 1 drop, 1 throwaway/hail mary, 1 batted pass

**ADJUSTED COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: 72.4%

  • For the first time, McSorley had some success against a five-man rush, going 9/10 for 78 yards in those situations against Michigan State, making his season stat line in that area look significantly better.
  • Overall, not a ton to take away here this week. McSorley was off. When he did complete passes, they generally went for very little yardage thanks to good coverage, a lack of separation, and great tackling from the Michigan State defense. No. 9 will see better days than this. 

**Adjusted Completion Percentage Explanation

Being that the idea of this is to actually find out how accurate McSorley is, his adjusted completion percentage is calculated by removing some externals. The formula is as follows:

Adjusted Completion Percentage = (Completions + Drops) / (Pass Attempts - Spikes - Throwaways - Batted Balls - Balls disrupted by a QB hit)

I was iffy on excluding batted balls because blame for those is equally shared between the offensive line and the quarterback, in my opinion, but since we just want to see how accurate he's been in terms of hitting his receivers, we'll take it out.

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