3. Trey Lance’s numbers are eerily similar to those of Carson Wentz.
Joe Burrow’s record-shattering year was the top headline of the most recent college football season. Because of that, most people didn’t even notice the mind-boggling stat line that Trey Lance had at NDSU. Lance started all 16 games in 2019, completing 192 of his 287 pass attempts (66.9 percent) for 2,786 yards (9.7 yards per attempt). If those stats aren’t eye-opening enough, he also threw 28 touchdowns versus zero interceptions. Yes, you read that correctly. The man didn’t throw one pick in all 16 games.
On the ground, he was just as successful, running 169 times for 1,100 yards and 14 more touchdowns. While there was plenty of talent on that NDSU team, Lance carried most of the load in the undefeated season. He had two receivers tally over 500 yards but one of them was barely above 500 yards at 541 and the other topped out at 732 yards. That’s not bad at all but it goes to show that Lance can spread the ball around. He threw touchdowns to nine different targets.
For comparison, let’s look at Wentz’s best college season, which was 2014. Under head coach Chris Klieman in 2014, NDSU passed the ball more than current head coach Matt Entz does, and “11” took advantage of that. In 16 games, Wentz completed 228 of his 358 pass attempts (63.7 completion percentage) for 3,111 yards (8.7 yards per attempt). He threw 25 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and also added 642 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 138 attempts.
He even caught a 16-yard touchdown on a trick play. It’s striking how similar those numbers are to those of Lance and it puts how special Lance’s first full year was into perspective.
Wentz is no stranger to throwing to different targets. We all saw that in 2019. During that 2014 campaign, he threw touchdown strikes to 11 different targets. Only two of his receivers topped 600 yards, but Wentz led the Bison to a 15-1, not too far off from Lance’s perfect mark of 16-0.
While most will argue that Lance’s numbers won’t translate to the NFL, it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s a different breed. Throwing zero interceptions over a full 16 games is unheard of, and even though Lance’s first season has already eclipsed anything that “11” did at NDSU, make no mistake about it. He has a long way to go. He’s proven he has the potential to reach that level though.