Why I have no faith in T.J. Yates

This may seem like a strange thing to post after UNC just upset Miami, but stick with me. The Tar Heels have an amazing defense and they are the only reason we win these games. Two of the touchdowns were on interception returns.

The running game is also very impressive: Ryan Houston played great today without Shaun Draughn to help out. Receivers have also gotten involved in the running game, which has been very productive.

But the quarterback, T.J. Yates, is mediocre at best. Yates will never win a game for the Tar Heels, he will only lose them. Best case scenario: he does just enough not to screw it up for Carolina.

I've spent many Saturday afternoons complaining about the awful throws Yates throws, so today I decided to keep track. I kept a list of all the bad throws Yates made today. I wasn't overly critical. If the receiver had a legitimate chance at the ball, I gave Yates the benefit.

Here's what I found. Yates threw 10 awful passes. That doesn't sound like a whole lot, but here is the key: six of those were on third down.

The key to an offense is ball control and how they convert on third downs. With a run-based offense like UNC's, you will get into third-and-mediums or third-and-longs fairly often. Yates showed over and over again that he cannot consistently make the throw to get the first down.

In most of those third downs, the receiver was either past the first down or very close to it. In the first three series, Yates overthrew one receiver, underthrew another and threw one behind a reciever on third down to force punts.

In one series, Yates overthrew his buddy Zack Pianalto twice, on second and third downs inside the 10 yard line.

In the third quarter, Yates underthrew a receiver on second down and overthrew a receiver on third down in the same series.

He did have a pretty good day today. He threw for 213 yards and no interceptions. But he completed just barely over 50 percent of his passes. And when it comes down to it, I don't want the ball in his hands if we have to make a last second drive.

Yates isn't an awful quarterback, but he's not a good quarterback. He's mediocre at best and you need better than that if you want to become a top-notch football program.


JJW said...

Do you think Cam Sexton would have done any better? He's still playing second fiddle at Catawba, after all.

Corey said...

I don't know if he would or not. I do know that last year he was playing better football while Yates was injured.

He was confident and led the team to several big wins, most notably the come from behind win at Miami.

And if I remember correctly, Sexton was injured early in the season, which has a lot to do with why he's not starting. He did throw for over 300 yards that first game.

Either way, UNC hasn't had a really great quarterback in years.