When Quantity Really is Better than Quality

In college, students care more about quantity than quality in just about every facet of life. Think back to the ‘good ol days’ and you’ll remember this couldn’t be any more true. We bought the cheapest beer (Natty Light please), the worst food (Taco Bell was considered gourmet), and we used the USPS method when it came to late night activities (if it fits, it ships). Quantity. Quantity, Quantity!

So, when it comes to fantasy college football, why would this be any different? We should be prioritizing quantity over quality more often than most, yet we let average to bad skill sets skew our thoughts on a player. One quarterback that should come directly to mind within this discussion is Dane Evans. Sure, the title and photo have given away who I’m breaking down today, but if he doesn’t scream Natty Light then I don’t know who does. Dane Evans is the Natty Light, Milwaukee’s Best, and/or Steel Reserve of college quarterbacks.

There’s nothing sexy about the 6’1, 218 quarterback with a career touchdown to interception ratio of 27:27 coming into this season. He’s got an above average arm at best, bad feet, and an average release. Somehow though, he managed to become one of the top passing yardage leaders in 2015.

The Nutritional Facts

Evans averaged 37.3 passing attempts per game in 2015, which ranked him 15th best of all FBS quarterbacks (9th best of all returning quarterbacks). He averaged 333.2 passing yards per game and 8.93 yards per attempt – two more statistics where he ranked inside the top 15 in the FBS. Throwing this much isn’t new to Evans, as he attempted 38.5 passes per game in 2014. What was new though is his production. While he doesn’t look like a craft beer when you see him play, you can’t deny his stats. Let’s take a deeper look into what exactly I mean…

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The Great Dane Train improved in every statistic from 2014 to 2015, most impressively his yards per attempt total. His 8.93 yards per attempt were better than Chad Kelly, Paxton Lynch, Marquise Williams, Deshaun Watson, and Greg Ward Jr. among many other talented college quarterbacks. This isn’t the portion of the article where I discuss the steady improvement of Dane Evans, because that just isn’t the case.

Evans’ junior year was a perfect mixture of all variables involved. Tulsa had an offensive guru take over as his head coach (Philip Montgomery) plus he was around a stable of receivers who were among the best. Is it possible that he improved mechanically and mentally? Sure, but it’s more likely that Coach Montgomery and star receivers Keevan Lucas (#KeevanItReal), Josh Atkinson (#AtkinsonDiet), and Keyarris Garrett (sorry, I’m just not that creative) played a bigger part.

The “worst best game ever” shows exactly what I mean when I say it was the new offense and receivers that elevated Evans’ game. Ever heard of three yards and a cloud of dust? Well, this is the passing version of it, as Tulsa took advantage of a soft defensive scheme with too many short routes to count. It’s these kinds of plays that get the ball into the hands of the team’s playmakers that pad the stats and keep the offense rolling. They don’t show off any pure talent out of Evans though.

What’s the Point?

I have seen many on Twitter hate on a quarterback because his raw ability just isn’t that good. Nate Sudfeld and Dane Evans are two that come to mind. With this kind of information at hand, it’s time to not worry about overall talent as much as opportunities in specific offensive schemes. It’s time to shed the fact that we’re going to be rostering a potential backup in the CFL to help us win money. It’s time to get about the Great Dane Train.

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