2008 vs. 2013: Comparing Willy and Licata

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

Before the season I warned against regression for a young QB. Licata anchored by strong defense and the running game, has avoided a Sophomore Stats Slump.

Through 400 attempts, Joe Licata has greatly exceeded Drew Willy's output. In Willy's first 15 games he threw the ball 403 times and completed 247 of those passes, connecting on 61% and building a reputation as one of UB's most accurate passers of all time. However, Willy struggled with turnovers, throwing 13 interceptions vs 10 touchdowns.

through 400 attempts over 18 games, Licata has completed 57% of his passes, and has only 8 interceptions vs 23 touchdown passes.


Joe Licata has not had the accuracy of Willy, and many attribute this to the inconsistent receiving core. Licata however has the benefit of a power run game and a killer defense. As a result, Licata never feels the pressure to force the action, he only has to manage the game. As a result, through 400 attempts over 18 games, Licata has completed 57% of his passes, and has only 8 interceptions vs 23 touchdown passes.

When you look at Licata passes 205-400 in comparison with Willy career pass 194-403, you see Licata maturing at a faster rate than Willy did back in 2006. Licata out completes Willy 63% to 60% and Licata shines with a 14/4 TD/INT ratio vs a 6/5 ratio for Willy.

Looking at the 9 games for 2013 only, in comparison to the first 9 games of the previous 5 seasons, Licata melds the big play ability of Zach Maynard, with the sensible game management of Drew Willy.

Rank QB Year Yards Comp Att %
1 Maynard 2009 2147 175 294 59.5%
2 Willy 2008 2096 179 286 62.6%
3 Anderson 2011 1993 168 311 54%
4 Davis 2010 1753 137 293 46.8%
5 Licata 2013 1738 143 237 60.3%
6 Zordich 2012 1254 106 208 51%

Despite finishing 5th in passing yards, Licata is 1st in yards per attempt, and 3rd in yards per completion. Showing what we've seen all year, with our run game, Licata doesn't need to throw much, but he makes it count when he does.

Rank QB Year Yards/Attempt Yards/Completion
1 Licata 2013 7.333 12.154
2 Willy 2008 7.329 11.709
3 Maynard 2009 7.303 12.269
4 Anderson 2011 6.408 11.863
5 Zordich 2012 6.029 11.830
6 Davis 2010 5.983 12.796

This chart shows, why the Maynard Bulls only finished 5-7, turnovers marred the 2009 year, with Maynard throwing a touchdown once every 20 attempts, but also throwing an INT once every 27 attempts. Licata throws a TD once every 15 attempts, the best of any QB on the list, and he is second only to Willy in avoiding interceptions.

Rank QB Year TDs Attempts/TD INTs Attempts/INT
1 Willy 2008 17 17 4 72
2 Licata 2013 16 15 5 47
3 Anderson 2011 9 35 8 39
4 Zordich 2012 9 23 7 30
5 Maynard 2009 15 20 11 27
6 Davis 2010 16 18 16 18

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