Teddy Bridgewater and Will Stein: Potential vs. Momentum

Immediately following the Murray State game there was an out pouring of criticism for Will Stein, and a clamoring for Teddy Bridgewater to replace him as the starter. At this point in the season the two signal callers have thrown nearly the same amount of passes, and the numbers don't lie. At least in terms of who gives us the better chance to win games  for right now.

  • Teddy has completed 51 passes on 80 attempts. Will has completed 49 passes on 79 attempts. Their completion percentages are almost identical making this statistic a push.
  • Teddy has thrown 4 Touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Will has thrown 5 Touchdowns and 1 interception. That's a pretty big difference for an offense that has all kinds of problems running the ball and moving the chains. This statistic speaks to the youth and inexperience of TB-5 more than anything else, but it also illustrates that Sunny Will has the experience needed to be a better decision maker than Teddy, for now anyway.
  • Teddy has taken 10 sacks to Will's 8; this is more indicative of poor play on the offensive line than anything else.

I realize that Teddy is the future, I realize that Teddy played lights out at Kentucky, I realize that Teddy is taller (silly argument IMO), but I also realize that he is a true freshman playing behind an offensive line that is struggling mightily. I will put it to you in the poll below; but, I've come to the conclusion that the majority of the snaps should go to Will unless it becomes a mathematical impossibility for us to return to a bowl game this year.

I believe that Teddy should continue to see the field, but in a limited capacity. This situation reminds me Brian Brohm's freshman year. I know-I know,... Will Stein is not Stefan LeFlors; but, he is the more experienced QB with a better grasp on the offense than the freshman incumbent. In 2004 Brian played as a true freshman, and he played because it was clear that he was the future; but, it was also crystal clear that Stefan was the starter and for good reason. Why?  Because he gave us the best chance to win, and continuing the momentum that had been built up until that point was important. Bobby Petrino realized that. Which is exactly why the more experienced signal caller put the ball up 257 times in 2004 while the true freshman was limited to a mere 98 attempts.

  • That's 72% of the throws for the shorter/ more experienced QB with the lower ceiling, to 28% for the taller/ less experienced QB with the NFL ceiling.

I think it's pretty obvious that the (fancy?) gap between Will and Teddy isn't nearly as dramatic as it was between Stefan and Brian; but, the fact remains that experience and sound judgment are more important than height and potential. I'm Willing to bet that Charlie Strong feels the same way, and that Stein will soon be taking the bulk of the snaps just like he was before the injury. It won't be a popular decision among some, especially if we don't start winning games; but, it will be the right decision for the future of this program. Especially if we do start winning games and get back to a bowl this year.

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