Checking in on DeShone Kizer
We’re six games into the DeShone Kizer era at Notre Dame, and the Irish are in the think of the playoff hunt. So let’s dive into some of Kizer’s stats.
There’s a lot of good and bad in Kizer’s performance under pressure.
On the bright side, Kizer is completing 60 percent of his passes when facing pressure (18-30) with another four passes dropped. He’s also thrown just one interception in his 30 attempts.
Those are elite numbers, far better than any other quarterback we’ve charted this season, including Everett Golson and Trevone Boykin.
However, Kizer has also been sacked on 12 of the 51 snaps on which he has been pressured—a disturbing 23.5 percent sack rate.
Among all quarterbacks we’ve charted, the average sack rate under pressure is 16.7 percent.
Intermediate Level Passing
Like most young quarterbacks, Kizer has struggled at times while throwing at the intermediate level, which is the most difficult area of the field to read the defense.
Between 10 and 20 yards downfield, Kizer is completing 57 percent of his passes, but also has three interceptions on just 40 attempts.
Chris Brown has been Kizer’s go-to target at this level, on the receiving end of 15 of his 40 targets, with nine receptions (and two drops).
Kizer has fared reasonably well with the deep ball, completing 13 of 28 passes beyond 20 yards with six touchdowns and one interception.
However, it’s likely these stats are inflated due to Will Fuller.
When targeting Fuller downfield, Kizer is 8-14 for 311 yards and five touchdowns. When throwing to all other receivers, he’s just 5-14 for 178 yards and one touchdown.
If Fuller turns pro this offseason, the deep passing game may take a significant hit for Kizer and/or Malik Zaire in 2016.