Considering the fits and starts of our offense and Connor over the last 1.25 seasons I thought this was cool and wanted to share. I think most agree that he gives us our best chance at winning, but it's fun to see one of our players really grow.
First, this is a pretty cool article from Golden Blogs where all these GIFs came from and where there is much better analysis than what you'll find below: link
First play, 2 and 7, Stanford is showing blitz and will drop into a cover 2.
At the snap Stanford drops 8, trying to take away the short pass. Connor stays calm, goes through his progressions and hits Mason for a first down. Actually had pretty good blocking on this play from Forbes (who had a really rough second half IMO).
In the past, we probably would have seen something get forced here due to the look of the defense making Connor think he would get killed if he didn't get rid of it quick.
Next play, not sure of down and distance, but I specifically remember this play live at the Clink.
We are in a Pro Set again, Stanford is showing blitz and brings 4.
Pretty much everyone is open on this play except for Marks. Could have hit the wheel route at the top of the screen too. Not sure if this is a busted coverage or what, but it does look like Connor keeps the safety honest before throwing to Kristoff. I don't think this is cover 3, so it's probably not his responsibility, but he still nearly gets there to break up the pass. If Connor locks on to Kristoff out of the gate, maybe this play gets broken up.
They also outline how if put under pressure, Connor still really struggles. On the pick-6, he had an open check down in the flat, but hucked it. Here is the gif. Man did Dahl get smoked on this play.
It really looks like Connor is making progress in the Air Raid and I'm excited to see how he does against a Pac-12 level defense, but one that isn't in the upper-echelon of the conference. I think if we can protect him, he should have a good day and we should see a Cougar victory.
Thanks go Golden Blogs for providing the GIFs.