Inside The Numbers: Christian Moss And The Virginia Tech Passing Game

Christian Moss, Virginia Tech
Christian Moss has been productive for Virginia Tech when he’s gotten on the field. (Ivan Morozov)

After not playing against Old Dominion and only seeing seven offensive snaps vs. Boston College, Virginia Tech wide receiver Christian Moss has seen his playing time increase over the last two games. He was on the field for 20 snaps against Wofford, and 12 against West Virginia.

On his 26 passing snaps this season, he’s been a productive player for the Hokies; arguably the most productive player on the team on a per-snap basis.

Here are the game-by-game grades for Moss…

Those are nice grades, though a small sample size. What does stand out is that the more snaps Moss has played, the better his performances have been.

I want to zero-in on those 26 snaps on passing plays, however. He has six catches for 71 yards on those snaps, which comes out to 4.33 snaps per catch and 2.73 yards per snap. How do those numbers compare to Virginia Tech’s other wide receivers? Let’s find out…

Jadan Blue: 10.8 snaps per catch, 1.07 yards per snap
Connor Blumrick: 8.4 snaps per catch, 1.25 yards per snap
Stephen Gosnell: 12.1 snaps per catch, 1.16 yards per snap
Da’Wain Lofton: 15 snaps per catch, 0.51 yards per snap
Christian Moss: 4.33 snaps per catch, 2.73 yards per snap
Kaleb Smith: 5.0 snaps per catch, 3.09 yards per snap

(In other words, Moss catches a pass on every 4.33 passing snaps that he’s on the field for, and he gains an average of 2.73 yards for every passing snap that he plays.)

I bolded the leader in each category.

Moss has the team lead in snaps per catch, and he’s second in yards per snap. Conversely, despite being banged up, Kaleb Smith is first in yards per snap and second in snaps per catch. Obviously it’s quite a small sample size for Moss, but he’s been a productive player when he’s played. He was also running wide open behind the WVU defense on one play, but Grant Wells slightly overthrew him as he was getting nailed by the WVU defense. Had that ball been completed, his numbers would be even better.

Kaleb Smith hyped up Moss to me back in July at ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte, and I’m inclined to agree that Moss looks like he’s going to be a good player. He also deserves more playing time, I think, based on on-field performance. If it were me, I’d have both him and Smith on the field together against North Carolina this weekend. Statistically, that would seem to increase Virginia Tech’s chances of doing something good in the passing game.