Inside The Numbers: The Virginia Tech Passing Game

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Grant Wells started all 11 games at quarterback for Virginia Tech. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech did not have an effective passing game this season at any point, but it was especially limited later in the season. The Hokies only threw for 11 yards in the second half of Liberty this past weekend and were probably fortunate to walk away with a victory despite that. It’s not often you throw for 11 yards in one half and win, unless you’re Paul Johnson.

First, we’ll start out with the basic numbers, but this article will mostly be about numbers that most people don’t know and don’t even think about.

Grant Wells, The Basic Numbers

Here are the basic numbers for Grant Wells in terms of PFF grades and traditional stats on a year-by-year basis. First, the PFF grades…

2020 (r-Fr.): 73.8
2021 (r-So.): 74.9
2022 (r-Jr.): 66.0

And now, the traditional stats…

Clearly things didn’t go as well for him this year at Virginia Tech as they did at Marshall. It’s common for people to say that he struggled because he jumped from Conference USA to the ACC, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the issue. Maybe it’s a little bit of the issue, but I think it’s a lot more than that.

Virginia Tech only faced five teams with a winning record this season. One of those teams was Liberty, whose defense has a similar (or maybe even slightly lower) overall talent level than the defenses he faced in Conference USA. Wells struggled against that talent level last week in ways that he didn’t struggle when he played for Marshall.

Wells didn’t magically get less talented when he moved from Huntington to Blacksburg, so there has to be some other reasons, right?

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