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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

Penn State QB Trace McSorley getting killed by drops

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley entered 2018 as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, but he is on pace for his worst statistical season in his three years as a starter. If his wide receivers started catching some passes, that might all change.

According to advanced stats put together by Pro Football Focus, McSorley has had his passes dropped more frequently this season than any quarterback in the country. The 17 drops on catchable balls thrown by McSorley are tied for the most in the nation among Power-5 teams and fourth-most among all teams. Skill players have dropped 12.4 percent of the catchable passes thrown by McSorley, which is the highest rate among Power-5 quarterbacks with at least 65 pass attempts.

McSorley is completing just 52.9 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,049 yards, 10 touchdowns and two interceptions on the year. PFF determined that he has missed out on 270 passing yards if you factor in dropped passes, and his adjusted completion percentage is 71.8 percent when accounting for drops, throwaways, spiked balls, passes thrown as he was being hit and batted balls.

Of course, you can look at the numbers any way you want. Every quarterback would have significantly better numbers if you adjusted for all those factors, but dropped passes come back to haunt teams in close games. If Penn State wants to keep its playoff hopes alive, there will have to be improvement in that area going forward.

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