Clayton Tune’s spray charts are not terribly different from last year at this point in the season, but there are some noticeable changes. Tune continues to be very effective in short throws across the middle but has struggled deeper and wider across the field.
First, we are comparing the first four this year to the first four games vs. FBS teams last year. Tune played in the Grambling game briefly before leaving with an injury. Because he was not in long and because they are an FCS team, we omitted them.
Here is Clayton’s 2022 spray chart and a comparison to last year. As always, we chart the length of the throw, not the length of the play.
The most significant difference is completions and completion rate outside of the numbers: last year, Clayton had 37 completions to the outside for a 72.5% rate, while this year, he has just 24 completions and a 55.8% rate. He has eight more completions across the middle this season in six fewer attempts than last year.
This season, Tune is among the best in the country throwing screens. Among players with 18 or more attempts, he’s second nationally in NFL rating on screen passes and shares the lead for most screen pass touchdowns (3). In addition, UH is second in the country in first downs resulting from screen throws (13), and Tune is T-3rd in the number of screen pass completions (31), second in screen pass yards, and 4th in yards per attempt (9.1).
The UH offense had just 18 first downs from screen throws for the year in 2021.
Tune’s numbers are relatively similar to last year’s through four FBS games:
Clayton’s performance is also down on throws beyond 10 yards. On those, he was 22/45 last season (48.9%) vs. 17/41 (41.5%) this year. UH has thrown 17 balls 20+ yards in the air in four games this year, with eight coming against Rice. The Owls played man coverage quite a bit, and UH attacked it. You have to expect the deep ball to be thrown more against the lesser defenses coming up on the schedule.
Against Kansas, the Cougars threw one deep ball (some of this was the weather, some not).
Tune is tied for sixth-most sacks in the country and eighth in total pressures (58). He is one of 16 quarterbacks pressured on eight or more of his deep throws. Eight pressures on 17 deep throws – that’s not great.
There are just a few QBs nationally that throw for 40 percentage points higher when kept clean vs. under pressure. Clayton is one of them. He is 14/38 under pressure (36.8%) and 69/90 when kept clean (76.7%). Spencer (31% pressured, 77.1% clean) and James Blackman at Arkansas State (36.1%, 80.5%) have the widest gaps nationally.
The point is, it is imperative to keep this QB clean.
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