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Gardner the top QB in the country?
Saturday, August 24, 2013 8:45 AM
But according to ESPN’s QBR metric, which measures “all of a quarterback’s plays” and accounts for game situations and defenses faced, those five starts put the Michigan quarterback at the top of the nation.
ESPN Stats & Info’s Robert Nelson points out that Gardner posted a total QBR or 90.6 in the final five games on 2012, which included starts against Ohio State and South Carolina. By comparison, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M posted a 90.5. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota posted an 87.3.
Gardner completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,219 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. But what gave him a boost in terms of total QBR was his red-zone efficiency and third-down passing.
With Gardner under center, Michigan scored on all 18 of its red-zone trips, including 15 touchdowns. Eight of Gardner’s 11 touchdown passes came on third down, and he completed 60 percent of his passes with 11.5 yards per attempt in such situations.
Ohio St.'s actions are not unlike their lower intestine: stinky and loaded with danger.