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Just The Sports: Calvin Johnson and Jeff Samardzija

Just The Sports

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Calvin Johnson and Jeff Samardzija

The much-anticipated Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game also featured two of the country's best wide receivers, Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech and Jeff Samardzija of Notre Dame. Since I had nothing better to do with my time, I decided to chart their performances to see how they matched up with each other.

Calvin Johnson was the intended target for eleven passes in the game; of those eleven passes, he caught seven for 111 yards and one touchdown. The incompletions were not entirely his fault as he was overthrown on two of them and one was low and away, but one pass that he did have in his hands was jarred loose by a Notre Dame defender. That is probably the only criticism one can make of Johnson in the game as each of his seven receptions gained the necessary down-dependent yardage to help the Georgia Tech offense move down the field, helped along by the fact his receptions averaged 10.9 yards more than the minimum amount needed for a successful play.

Jeff Samardzija had a similar game as he was also throw eleven passes, including two in the end zone. He managed to catch six of those balls for 88 yards. Like Johnson, the missed passes were more about the passes being uncatchable than any deficiency on his part. Samardzija also had a high success rate, with five of his receptions gaining meaningful yardage while he averaged 10.5 extra yards per reception, although the vast majority (96.1%) of those extra yards came on two catches. Had his 24-yard catch not come on the same play as a holding penalty, his night would have been even more helpful to the Irish's cause.

Note: I went by the play-by-play data for the yardage and not the box score. If the play-by-play data changes, I will change the yardage totals accordingly.


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