Joe Moorhead’s benchmark for quarterback completion is around 65 percent, and he thinks Nick Fitzgerald can get there this season.
That would be a sizable jump, though, because the last two seasons, Fitzgerald has completed 55.6 percent and 54.3 percent of his passes. The road map to get to 65 percent includes completing more shorter and intermediate passes to get the percentage higher.
When Moorhead was told by a reporter Wednesday evening that only two SEC quarterbacks completed 65 percent of their passes last year, he was surprised, “Really?” (Really, only Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham finished over 65 percent last season in the SEC. South Carolina’s Jake Bentley and Georgia’s Jake Fromm finished over 62 percent each).
“That number of 65 has kind of been the completion percentage that’s been our benchmark, for lack of a better term. … I think we did it just about every year at Fordham. I think Trace (McSorley) was about 57 the first year and 66 this year (at Penn State). If you get above 60, you’re doing a good job, but we like to set the bar a little bit higher.”
When asked how Fitzgerald is progressing in intermediate throws, Moorhead was very complementary.
“He’s getting work in the short game, long game and intermediate game, and I think, you know, the drop back, intermediate and longer range throws — footwork, timing, pre- and post-snap reads, we’re seeing a lot of growth there.”
That’s great news for MSU and Fitzgerald, because if he has a strong year and shows growth in the passing game, he could really jump up NFL Draft boards, not to mention help the Bulldogs win more games.
You can watch Moorhead’s full presser below: