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QB Run Game: the Myth of the Frost Offense


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I've noticed quite a bit in discussions on both what the offense next year will look like and in recruiting that it's a certainty that Frost needs a "run-first" QB to make his offense work at a high l

Cool post and great research!   I would like to add a few things   1.  Most HS QB's are pretty much the best athletes at the high school (or like in the top 10) so don't look so mu

Joe Ganz would be amazing in Frost's offense.

14 minutes ago, JKinney said:

Great Post!  It forced me to think outside of my box.  In my head, I was also imagining that Frost would go after a quarterback with blazing speed, but your post made me re-consider a lot.  A good argument could be made that McKenzie Milton is closer to Joe Ganz than Taylor Martinez. 


12 minutes ago, RedDenver said:

Joe Ganz would be amazing in Frost's offense.


If you base it just off of statistics, Mariotta in '14 and Milton in '17 have been his most successful QBs, and Ganz in '08 is in their ballpark. 

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2 hours ago, Cdog923 said:

I've noticed quite a bit in discussions on both what the offense next year will look like and in recruiting that it's a certainty that Frost needs a "run-first" QB to make his offense work at a high level. Look at the stats, though, and that seems to be a bit of a fallacy. For comparison's sake, let's look at the rushing attempts and completion percentage of QBs at Oregon and UCF during Frost's tenure at both places, and how that might affect how he wants his QB room to look at Nebraska. 


Frost as WR coach:

2009: Jeremiah Masoli - 12 games/121 attempts (10 att/game) (58% completion)

2010: Darron Thomas - 12 games/93 att (7 att/g) (61.5%)

2011: Darron Thomas - 13 games/56 att (4 att/g) (62.2%)

2012: Marcus Mariota - 13 games/106 att (8 att/g) (68.5%)


Frost as OC: 

2013: Marcus Mariota - 13 games/96 att (7 att/g) (63.5%)

2014: Marcus Mariota - 15 games/135 att (9 att/g) (68.3%)

2015: Vernon Adams - 10 games/83 att (8 att/g) (64.9%)

           Jeff Locke - 5 games/61 att (12 att/g) (61.6%)


Frost as HC: 

2016: McKenzie Milton - 10 games/100 att (10 att/g) (57.7%)

2017: McKenzie Milton - 12 games/93 att (8 att/g) (69.2%)


On average, offenses that Frost has been involved with (or that have inspired his offense, if you will) have ran the QB around 8 times a game (or 2 times per quarter), with a completion percentage hovering in the mid 60s. Compare and contrast that with QBs that we have seen at Nebraska:


Tommy Armstrong - 45 games/423 att (9.4 att/g) (53.3%)

Taylor Martinez - 44 games/585 att (13 att/g) (59.8%)

Joe Ganz - 24 games/115 att (5 att/g) (65.1%) 

                  - 2008: 12 games/92 att (7 att/g) (68%)

Jammal Lord - 39 games/516 att (13 att/g) (48%)

Eric Crouch - 43 games/648 att (15 att/g) (51.5%)

Scott Frost - 24 games/302 att (13 att/g) (53.5%)

Tommie Frazier - 35 games/342 att (10 att/g) (49.5%)


My conclusion is this: I don't believe that Frost's offense absolutely needs a Taylor Martinez to be successful; I think it needs a Joe Ganz. Put someone back there with a completion percentage in the 60s while also being able to run the zone read/designed run an average of one to two times a quarter. I think that both Gebbia and POB can do this, should they be called upon next year.


Hopefully this will open people's eyes to have a open opinion about the Quarterback position this up and coming season. I totally agree with your thoughts about Gebbia and Patrick are more than capable of running Frosts high power offense even though they are not a pure dual-threat quarterback.

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Something to understand in all of this is that everyone would love a player that can have a 65% completion percentage while making great decisions in the passing game with the running ability of Eric Crouch.


Fact is, those are EXTREMELY rare....next to nonexistent.....and this offense can be very effective without that type of player.


So.....if you have to choose, it's best to choose a QB who is strong in passing and adequately talented with enough mobility to get the job done with his legs.


Nobody is saying they don't want a QB that can take it to the house....there is just more important qualities in a QB.

Edited by BigRedBuster
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12 minutes ago, Huskers44 said:

I saw Milton run a fair amount of option plays which wouldn’t factor into a rushing attempt for him but he’d still be a runner. 


This is a VERY valid point (as long as he pitches/gives to RB).  However, the bottom line is the same.  Make defenses have to account for the QB run, even if he doesn't actually keep the ball very often. It still takes at least one defender away from defending the RB/slot or makes a LB or safety commit to the QB rather than sitting in coverage or attacking the handoff.  

Edited by Husker N StL
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Idk if anyone has said anything like this yet, but we gotta take into consideration how many times the QB pitches or gives the ball on the dive and still gets popped. I think you could easily add on 3 or 4 more hits per game against the aggressive BIG defenses we see. So instead of getting hit 8 times per game, now it’s 12, and unless our Oline gets better the QB will get hit on almost every drop back. So whoever gets the job has to be tough. 


With that being said, I’m still rooting for Gebbia. Idk why but there’s something about the kid I really like

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