Last week, on a Fizz Podcast, we sent out a poll asking fans what their expectations were for Tommy DeVito heading into the season. Clearly, fans have lofty goals for DeVito.
FIZZ FEEDBACK: How good will Tommy Devito be next season?
— Orange Fizz (@OrangeFizz) April 18, 2019
Throwing for 2,750 yards and 26 or more touchdowns is a little rich for my taste. Could he accomplish those goals? Sure. But by comparison only three ACC quarterbacks threw for more than 2,750 yards. One of those was former SU quarterback Eric Dungey, and fans may be thinking that in a Dino Babers offense, the sky is the limit for QB stats. Besides Dungey, NC State’s Ryan Finley and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence surpassed the lofty mark.
As for the touchdown total, that’s an even more selective group than the yards barrier. Only Trevor Lawrence threw for over 26 touchdowns in Clemson’s high powered offense. He ended the year with 30 passing touchdowns, which he accomplished in 15 games. Dungey threw for just 18 TD’s but he ran for 15 to give him a total mark of 33 touchdowns. So, it’s fair to expect DeVito to end the year with more passing touchdowns than Dungey, but he won’t find the end zone on as many runs.
If we multiply DeVito’s stats from last season to mirror the stats of a full time quarterback (by giving him the same pass attempts as Dungey had), he finishes with 17 touchdowns and almost 2,250 yards through the air. I fully expect him to exceed those numbers, simply because he’s had more time in the system and his rapport with receivers has surely grown. Besides that he’s a better quarterback now than he was six months ago, and he’s already entrenched as the starting QB. That means first-team reps, and he won’t be shoved into games from the sideline like he was last season.
It also wouldn’t be surprising if he exceeds Dungey’s total pass attempts from a year ago either. He doesn’t have Dungey’s injury history and he’s a pocket-passer rather than a dual-threat QB. Clearly there’s flaws to these calculations, but it’s the best we can do for now.
Anyway, there’s going to be growing pains with any first time starter. DeVito has a cannon of an arm and only threw two incompletions in the Spring Game. One was an interception and the other was a dropped pass. Granted, Babers said that the defense was very “vanilla” but still, the accuracy is there. DeVito is working with a young O-line so he won’t have the protection Dungey did. But with the talent he possesses, mixed with Babers’ offense, he could put up gaudy numbers. Maybe just not All-ACC statistics.