Advanced Stats Party: Receivers

Ain’t no party like an advanced stats party because an advanced stats party don’t stop.

There’s nothing better and more fun than advanced stats so we’re calling it a party. Anyway, they’ll sometimes not tell you enough and sometimes they’ll tell you more than you’ll ever want to know.

The “Catch Rate” should be self-explanatory, it is the percentage of receptions caught over times targeted, the “Target Rate” is the times targeted by the quarterback and the “Success Rate” is generally the times that the receiver was successful gaining the yards needed. All of these advanced stats come from the Football Study Hall statistical profile for Texas Tech.

The best thing about this chart is that the top four receivers return and they all had pretty good numbers. The coaches have mentioned that there is a group of eight that’s really good and I think that’s probably pretty accurate.

Giles: We’ve mentioned before how Giles faded late in the year and that’s true. Teams adjusted to him, probably bracketed him and made life difficult and he needs to show how he can adjust as well. That’s part of the process and I’m totally fine with Giles figuring things out on the go, especially since he hasn’t played receiver all that much. I think Giles can improve, especially on the Success Rate. He led the team, but I think he can be even better.

Cantrell: Last year, Cantrell was finally healthy and it showed. Cantrell had a terrific season after redshirting 2015. To put up those types of numbers while as an outside receiver is pretty terrific. S&C coach Rusty Whitt said that he wanted to make Cantrell faster and if that happened, then look out.

Coutee: Coutee finished the year on an absolute tear and I think we see an increase in his target rate as well as his success rate. So much of learning how to play receiver is nuance and I think that’s where Coutee had to figure things out. Although the other part of it was effort early in the year. Show the coaches that he cares and he’ll get more playing time.

Batson: Coutee’s emergence came at the expense of Batson to an extent. I love Batson’s toughness and had Coutee not arrived, I think Batson is a star. Both Batson and Coutee need to improve that success rate, and I think that they will. Figure out where the first down markers are and get there.

Willies: Willies had a rough year, from breaking his hand to other nagging injuries, his junior year wasn’t what he wanted, but Kingsbury has said that Willies doesn’t complain, works hard and sticks to it. I wonder if we’ll see a resurgence here since Willies and Shimonek are roommates. Not that Shimonek is going to favor Willies, but maybe there’s a comfort level there and Willies gets to be the target that he was when he was at JUCO.

Brown: Brown being moved to inside receiver and the heir apparent to Giles is a good move. Brown probably didn’t have the requisite height to play outside, “only” 6’1″, and he gives Texas Tech the opportunity to run both Giles and Brown out there at the same time with bigger receivers.

Shorts: Shorts didn’t get a ton of burn last year, but I have always loved his athletic ability. He’ll get the opportunities behind Willies and between the two of them, I think they’ll produce. He had a very small sample size, but at least he produced when the ball was thrown to him.

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