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Postseason Meal 2015: Joe Licata, the best QB in UB's FBS history

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It was almost assured Joe Licata would become the best QB in UB history in 2015. With five wins, he'd become UB's win king. With six, he'd become the only QB to lead UB to two bowl games. With seven or eight wins he'd be the greatest among all but the most strident "championshipists" and with eight+ wins, a MAC Championship and a bowl win, he'd be the undisputed GOAT of UB QBs.

Unfortunately he underachieved and only reached one of those milestones, 5 wins, becoming UB's win king. Underachieved not regressed, because regressed implies falling back to a former state, but he was never this bad, even as a freshman in 2012.

Licata was bad in 2015 but he's still the best QB in UB's FBS history.

Statistically he is the best in UB history we'll get to that later.

He has won more games than any other player in UB history.

He did not win a MAC, but the MAC East was tougher during his career.

MAC wins per year
MAC East Team 2005-08 2012-15
#1 BGSU 4.5 BGSU 6.25
#2 Ohio 4.3 Ohio 4.3
#3 Temple 4 Kent 3.5
#4 Akron 3.5 Akron 3

During both eras BGSU and Ohio were the top dogs. In Willy's era, BGSU and Ohio averaged 8.8 MAC wins per year, UB averaged 3 MAC wins per year (5th in MAC East), and Willy was 3-5 (37.5%) against Ohio and BGSU.

In Licata's era, BGSU and Ohio averaged 10.55 MAC wins per year, UB averaged 3.75 MAC wins per year (3rd in MAC East) and Licata was 2-4 against Ohio and BGSU (33.3%).

But the numbers can't be ignored either.

Licata finished with a 21-19 record, the first UB QB of consequence to finish with a winning record. Willy finished 15-27. Licata threw 76 TDs and 37 INTs, compared to 52 TDs and 30 INTs from Willy. Licata is thought of as clumsy in the pocket while Willy is remembered for being adept at avoiding the rush, however, Licata was only sacked 67 times, Willy was sacked 50 more times than Licata.

Game Averages

  • Licata's per game averages: 21 for 34, 237 yards, 2 TDs and 1.03 Turnover
  • Willy's per game averages: 20 for 31, 208 yards, 1.4 TD and .98 Turnover

Microdata

  • Licata: 6.98 Yards per completion, 6.37 Yards per dropback, 6.25 Yards per touch
  • Willy: 6.62 Yards per completion, 5.54 Yards per dropback, 5.36 Yards per touch

Licata turned the ball over once for every 36.29 touches, scored a TD on every 18.6 touches and was sacked once for every 22.21 touches.

Willy turned the ball over once for every 38.95 touches, scored a TD on every 27.07 touches and was sacked once for every 13.65 touches.

Churning through the data, the biggest shock is that Licata still comes out on top of almost every category despite the awful 2015 season. The takeaway of his career shouldn't be how 2015 proved he was a fraud, it should be that 2015 enhances how good he was over 28 games between 2012-2014.