Matt Barkley or Andrew Luck?

College football, Matt Barkley, USC
Matt Barkley has reaped all the publicity that comes with an elite program.  Andrew Luck has quietly performed for a school more popular for academics than football.  Two freshman quarterbacks in two different environments, but which is better?

Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh believes his guy is not only the best in the conference, but also best in the country.  NFL draft analysts have already projected Barkley as the No. 1 overall draft selection when he becomes eligible.  Is the gap of opinion between a coach and scouts really that far off? The fact is, in statistical comparison, these young guns are closer than most would realize.

Andrew Luck was a 2008 redshirt and had the benefit of a year in the program, unlike the true freshman Barkley who was playing high school football at this time a year ago.  In games played through November 7th, these quarterbacks are nearly neck and neck in numbers, with the exception of one.

Matt Barkley has attempted just five more passes than Luck, for a completion rating of 56.6 percent.  Andrew Luck’s 126 completions on 216 attempts give him a rating of 58.3 percent.  Luck has thrown for a little more than 2000 yards on the season, Barkley has amassed 1,839 yards through the air.  Together they have thrown for 21 touchdowns, with Luck tossing 11, and Barkley striking for 10.  Barkley’s production comes with one fewer game played, as he did not see action in the loss to Washington.

The largest statistical difference between the two is the amount of interceptions thrown.  Andrew Luck has been picked off just 3 times this year, for a passing rating of 153.09.  Matt Barkley has thrown 10 picks in his 7 games, shrinking his rating to 135.06.

Is one really better than the other? Maybe we will get that answer on Saturday. And if we don’t,  their youth will allow us more years to compare.

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~ by Anthony on November 11, 2009.

2 Responses to “Matt Barkley or Andrew Luck?”

  1. I think Barkley is more physically gifted but Luck may have the advantage of being in a better system. I am not totally sold on Bates just yet. I fear he may be another Hue Jackson in the making…and we all know how that turned out.

  2. There are a lot of similarities between these two quarterbacks and programs. Both programs run a lot of plays from under center (vs shotgun-spread like Florida, Texas) and have a great balanced run vs pass approach. Both QB’s are big with strong arms that stand tall in the pocket, yet can still make plays with their legs.

    Both have tremendous skills and potential, and both already are pro-style QB’s. Both have won big games on last-second drives and show incredible poise for being freshmen.

    At this point they are probably the two top freshmen QB’s, but Tate Forcier (Michigan) and BJ Daniels (South Florida) are right there with em.

    I have a vote started for the top freshmen QB in the nation, and to be honest I don’t even know who to vote for at this point. It was between Barkley and Forcier in the beginning of the season, but Daniels and Luck have been superb as of late.

    This could be the best freshmen QB class of all time!

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