After the incredible career of Alex Neutz, UB nation wondered if the passing game would continue to excel.
It did, UB threw for 100 less yards in two fewer games and only 8 fewer pass completions with 60 less pass attempts. The 2014 Bulls finished 6th in school history in completions and passing yards, 4th in yards per game and 1st in TD passes.
Willoughby had an amazing season leading UB's passing attack, and while he was not able to break 1,000 yards, his 9 TD receptions are very impressive, tied for 7th in UB history.
Neutz will always hold a special asterisk; he was so dominant despite QB instability and ineffectiveness. Neutz had four different day 1 QBs in his four years at UB. Willoughby has only caught passes from one starting Quarterback, Joe Licata, who also happens to be his roommate.
The relationship between Willoughby and Licata helped propel the UB passing game, but also raised concerns that Licata's "struggles" were due to the QB's targeting of Willoughby at the expense of other more open receivers.
Targets By Player
Willoughby saw one of every four Licata Targets, but Hughes was close behind, with 19% of targets. Martinez developed into the #3 Wide Receiver and led by sometimes WR sometimes RB Devin Campbell, the running backs saw a greater role in the passing game than the Tight Ends. Despite only playing WR for two games, Boise Ross still received 5% of Licata's targets for the season, another strange stat in the saga of how the heir apparent at WR became a CB, then became our best CB.
Devin Campbell was the most reliable target, catching 24 of his 29 targets. Weiser caught 73% of his targets, McGill caught 72% Martinez caught 71%. Willoughby and Hughes caught 62% and 61% of their targets respectively.
Technically Jamarl Eiland was the most efficient receiver, gaining 104 yards on 5 targets. Out of receivers targeted 16 or more times, Weiser was the best, earning 301 yards on 22 targets. Martinez saw 2% more targets than Marcus McGill, however, McGill gained more than 4 yards per target more than Martinez.
Targets By Game
Willoughby was the most targeted receiver in 6 games and the second most targeted receiver in 4 games. Willoughby received 41% of Duquesne targets, and 31% against Bowling green and Akron. His least targeted game was Baylor where he received 13% of targets.
Hughes was the most targeted receiver in 4 games and the second most targeted in 3 games. He received 33% of the targets against Baylor but only 3% against Duquesne, 12% vs Miami and 4% against Akron.
Boise Ross was the most targeted receiver against Army, targeted on 20% of passes, and he was targeted on 14% of passes against Duquesne.
Martinez received 31% of targets against Miami.
The unpredictability of the UB passing game was probably an asset, as the passing game was better this year leaning on underclassman than it was the year prior with two senior wide receivers.
Targets By Class
Willoughby will be a Senior next year, and over 50% of Licata's targets this year went to receivers who will be seniors in 2015. The 2015 seniors were the most efficient receivers, they had the most receptions and 61% of this year's receiving yards.
UB will have a 5th year Quarterback with 2.5 years of starts under his belt. His core receiving group will be back as well. UB should probably break all of UB's passing records in 2015.