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Football MythBusters With Bo Wallace

Is Hugh Freeze right about his quarterback?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Is this statement true? Let's find out. Let's begin with passing:

Data Set Comp. Att. Yards Pct. YPA TD INT Passing Eff. Sacks
Season 48 66 707 72.7% 10.7 5 3 178.6 4
1H Boise St. 13 21 148 61.9% 7.0 1 3 108.2 0
Remainder 35 45 559 77.8% 12.4 4 0 211.5 4

That is pretty phenomenal. The passing efficiency pace is past Russell Wilson's record of 191.78 in 2011. Other than avoiding sacks, Dr. Bo has done really well after that first half against the Broncos. What about rushing?

Data Set Carries Yards YPC
Season 12 35 2.9
1H Boise St. 2 9 4.5
Remainder 10 26 2.6

These rushing stats have sacks taken out.

Eh. Wallace hasn't done a lot with his legs, and taking out his work early against BSU hurts him some.

Of course, the first half against Boise State is a full quarter of the season so far. It's pretty remarkable what can happen when you remove the worst 25% of a season. Here's Wallace's 2013 regular season with and without the worst 25% of his stats (the games against Alabama, Missouri, and Mississippi State):

Set Comp. Att. Yards Pct. YPA TD INT Passing Eff.
Season 261 405 3090 64.4% 7.6 17 9 137.9
Worst 25% 69 113 585 61.1% 5.2 0 4 97.5
Remainder 192 292 2505 65.8% 8.6 17 5 153.6

So yeah, Wallace looks better without his worst performances included. The effect is not as large, though, because the season figures still include iffy games against last year's Vandy and Auburn. This year's remainder numbers come from one good half against Boise State and a good game against a Vandy team that seems to be angling for relegation to the SoCon.

Hugh Freeze's claim that Bo Wallace has been "phenomenal" absent his first half against Boise State rates as PLAUSIBLE. It doesn't get confirmed status, because quotes like this one usually carry the implication that what is in the past will certainly carry forward. Wallace has had stretches of brilliance against lesser opponents before—he was over 190 in passing efficiency in consecutive games against Arkansas and Troy last year—but they haven't turned into extended runs of special play. Wallace has been an inconsistent quarterback, and highs are just as much a part of being inconsistent as lows are.

Besides, Freeze said "everybody" would rate Wallace as phenomenal, and I have a feeling that Mississippi State and LSU fans have different words they'd use to describe him.