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WSU by the numbers: Luke Falk on historic pace

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Luke Falk is doing good quarterback things, so let's play with the numbers.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk throws a lot of footballs. We also know that of the footballs Falk throws, most of them are caught, several of them are caught for touchdowns and very few are caught by the other team.

This clearly isn't uncharted territory for a Mike Leach quarterback, but Leach's new toy under center is on pace to do a lot of things many of his previous signal callers never accomplished — as a redshirt sophomore.

Let's first take a look at Leach's quarterbacks through the years, dating back to his time as offensive coordinator at Kentucky.

Mike Leach Quarterbacks
Year Team Class Name Games Cmp/Att Cmp % Yards Y/A TD INT Rating
1997 Kentucky So. Tim Couch 11 363/547 66.4 3,884 7.1 37 19 141.4
1998 Kentucky Jr. Tim Couch 11 400/553 72.3 4,275 7.7 36 15 153.3
1999 Oklahoma RJr. Josh Heupel 11 310/500 62 3,460 6.9 30 15 133.9
2000 Texas Tech RSo. Kliff Kingsbury 13 362/585 61.9 3,418 5.8 21 17 117
2001 Texas Tech RJr. Kliff Kingsbury 12 365/529 69 3,502 6.6 25 9 136.8
2002 Texas Tech RSr. Kliff Kingsbury 14 479/712 67.3 5,017 7 45 13 143.7
2003 Texas Tech RSr. B.J. Symons 13 470/719 65.4 5,833 8.1 52 22 151.3
2004 Texas Tech RSr. Sonny Cumbie 12 421/642 65.6 4,742 7.4 32 18 138.5
2005 Texas Tech RSr. Cody Hodges 12 353/531 66.5 4,197 7.9 31 12 147.6
2006 Texas Tech RSo. Graham Harrell 13 412/617 66.8 4,555 7.4 38 11 145.5
2007 Texas Tech RJr. Graham Harrell 13 512/713 71.8 5,705 8 48 14 153.3
2008 Texas Tech RSr. Graham Harrell 13 442/626 70.6 5,111 8.2 45 9 160
2013 WSU Jr. Connor Halliday 13 449/714 62.9 4,597 6.4 34 22 126.5
* Ommitted 2009, 2012 and 2014 due to multiple quarterbacks; injuries

(He's not listed on the table because he didn't play a full season, but prior to his leg injury in 2014, Connor Halliday was on pace to throw for 5,809 yards and 48 touchdowns on 538-of-789 passing over a 12-game schedule, which would have been the second-best passing season in NCAA history. Damn.)

Most of Leach's elite pass throwers came during his time at Texas Tech, where he developed Heisman trophy candidates Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symons and Graham Harrell. The best three seasons for a quarterback under Leach were Symons' huge year in 2003 and Harrell's 2007 and 2008 campaigns.

Symons put up stupid number in 13 games during his senior year, setting an NCAA record with 5,833 passing yards to go along with 52 touchdown passes, the third best mark in single season history.  Four years later, Harrell would throw for 5,705 yards, the second-highest single season total in NCAA history, and 48 touchdowns.

As seniors, each in their fifth season in Leach's system, Harrell and Symons finished 4th and 10th, respectively, in Heisman voting. Kingsbury finished 9th in Heisman voting his senior year, which was his third year in Leach's system.

Those are all fun numbers, but enter Falk, an under-recruited, unranked quarterback previously planning to go to Cornell, who in his third season under Leach and first as a starter is on pace to find himself in the same company as Kingsbury, Symons and Harrell.

He's just going to do it a lot quicker.

Luke Falk Stats
Year Team Class Name Games Cmp/Att Cmp % Yards Y/A TD INT Rating
2015 WSU RSo. Luke Falk 7 282/387 72.9 2,885 7.5 26 4 155.6
2015 Pace 13 523/718 72.8 5,357 7.5 48 7 155.6


Falk is on pace to set an NCAA record for completions in a season with 523, breaking Harrell's record of 512 set in 2007, and record the highest completion percentage for a Leach quarterback at 72.8%. Currently, Falk's 155.6 quarterback rating would be the second-highest for a Leach quarterback and he's on pace to throw for the third-most yards, second-most touchdowns and fewest interceptions in a single season under Leach.

Whoa.

SB Nation's Andy Hutchins took it a notch further today when discussing Falk's silly numbers in his Heisman of the Week piece, detailing Falk's ridiculousness in Pac-12 play.

Luke Falk in Pac-12 Play
Year Team Class Name Games Cmp/Att Cmp% Yards Y/A TD INT Rating
2015 WSU RSo. Luke Falk 4 171/236 72.7 1,815 7.7 18 3 159.7
Pac-12 Pace 13 555/767 72.3 5,898 7.7 59 10 159.7


If you were to extrapolate Falk's numbers in conference play over a 13-game schedule, he'd be on pace to break every major NCAA passing record. That's how well the dude is chucking the rock right now.
Obviously it's an unsustainable pace, but it shows how insanely hot this Washington State offense has been over the last four games with their former walk-on quarterback at the helm.

A big test on national television looms against No. 8 Stanford this weekend, but Falk has already proven, in just 10 starts, that no moment is too big.