Originally posted on Pitt Blather  |  Last updated 9/24/12

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 06: The NFL Today's Dan Marino attends the grand opening of the CBS Scene Restaurant & Bar on September 6, 2008 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mary Schwalm/Getty Images)

It’s a long time until we next have actual football to talk about given the bye week.  That is good as we need the R&R and the staff can fine tune those stupid penalty mistakes.  In lieu of poignant discussions I thought it would be fun to do something else… look at everybody’s favorite QB and how he’s been doing statistically.

After another productive, and impressive, outing against Gardner-Webb Saturday so let’s take a look at what sort of statistical season and career Tino Sunseri is having so far.

Last game Sunseri completed 18 of 24 attempts for 344 yards with three TDs and no interceptions.  Obviously that was a good outing against a lower quality program.  Cumulatively he’s playing very well (statistically remember) going 80 of 119 (67%) for 1144 yards with eight TDs and two INTs.  This equates to a 166.80 QB rating which puts him 15th in the nation in Passing Efficiency.

Breaking that down further that is 9.6 yards per attempt and 14.3 yards per completion which is also very good.

Here is a little twist when looking at how the NCAA rates QB play nationally.  For “Passing” they use completions per game where Sunseri is an average 45th with 20 per game.  However they also list “Passing Yards Per Game” in which Sunseri’s good 9.6 yards per attempt jacks him up to 19th with 286 ypg.

OK, pretty good season so far on paper for him.  What does this pace of play project out to as far as historical PITT QBs and their statistical achievements?

Sunseri’s 2012’s 1144 yards so far is on track, at 280 per game, to beat the all-time single season passing yardage record held by Rod Rutherford (2003 with 3679 yards).  That is projected over 13 games assuming we get to a bowl game.

Passing yards in a season

Name                          Season            Yards

1. Rod Rutherford       2003               3,679

2. Alex Van Pelt         1992               3,163

3. Tyler Palko             2004               3,067

4. Alex Van Pelt         1989               2,881

5. Dan Marino            1981               2,876

6. Tyler Palko             2006               2,871

7. Pete Gonzalez         1997               2,829

8. Alex Van Pelt         1991               2,796

9. Rod Rutherford       2002               2,783

10. Bill Stull               2009               2,633

His all-time passing yardage to date (6446) puts him at #6 behind #5 John Congemi (6467) and #4 Rutherford (6724).  He’ll pass both of those guys with the next two games to land at #4 behind #1 Alex Van Pelt (11,267!), #2 Dan Marino (8597)and #3 Tyler Palko (8343).

At his current 280 ypg pace Sunseri would end up with a total career yardage mark of 8943 surpassing both Palko and Marino and listing him at #2 historically.  Yikes!  This is a projection crudely based on simple stats we know but still it is rather eye opening to see what could happen in the record books if he keeps up this pace.

Passing yards in a career (as of the start of 2012)

1. Alex Van Pelt         1989-92          11,267

2. Dan Marino            1979-82          8,597

3. Tyler Palko             2002-06          8,343

4. Rod Rutherford       2000-03          6,724

5. John Congemi         1983-86          6,467

6. Tino Sunseri           2009               5,302 (currently 6446)

7. Bill Stull                 2005-09          5,252

8. David Priestley       1999-2001      4,533

9. John Ryan               1992-95          4,334

10. Rick Trocano        1977-80          4,219

To put things in a bit more perspective I looked at Sunseri’s numbers and compared then to John Congemi’s as those two are somewhat comparable talents in my eyes.  Here what I found.

Congemi         550/994     55%      6467 yards        6.4 ypa         11.75 ypc

Sunseri            560/867     65%      6446 yards        7.4 ypa         11.50 ypc

You can see that Sunseri’s 2012 9.6 ypa is a pretty big jump over his historical 7.4.  That translates into a lot more yardage and keeping drives alive.

As far as rushing goes Sunseri has 170 yards so far in his career which, added to his passing yardage, give him 6616 in total yardage surpassing…(drum roll please)…. #5 Tony Dorsett at 6526 total yards.  Damn!  That is too weird but it is interesting that Dorsett is the only non-QB on the list and that Palko tops Marino.  That’s mainly because Marino was a statue back there.

Top Total Offense Careers

Name                     Seasons                      Rushing                   Passing              Total

1. Alex Van Pelt      1988-92                      -119                          11,267                11,148

2. Tyler Palko          2002-06                      86                            8,343                  8,429

3. Dan Marino         1979-82                      -277                         8,597                  8,320

4. Rod Rutherford    2000-03                      885                          6,724                  7,609

5. Tony Dorsett        1973-76                      6,526                       0                        6,526

6. John Congemi      1983-86                      -116                         6,467                  6,351

7. Tino Sunseri        2009-                           170                           5,302                  5.494 (6616)

8. Bill Stull              2005-09                      -188                         5,252                  5,064

9. Rick Trocano       1977-80                      673                          4,219                  4,892

10. David Priestley 1999-2001                   -88                           4,533                  4,445

I find those all those interesting statistics and comparisons.  Not just in regard to Sunseri’s production but to see all the other QBs in context to each other also.  Remember, this article isn’t debating the merits, talents or worth to the team but pure statistical projections alone.  Nobody in their right mind would equate Sunseri with Dan Marino or even Tyler Palko as far as being an effective QB over the life of his career.

Sunseri could easily fall back off of his 280 ypg pace but given Chryst’s offense so far, and the progress it has made over the first four games, Sunseri could also maintain that level.  We’ll see how that plays out.  Hopefully it will get even better as that would lead to more wins this season.  But you have to admit – the record books will change by the end of the 2102 season.

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