NC State's Russell Wilson is the reigning ACC rookie of the year, first-team All-ACC quarterback and king of turnover efficiency. Wilson fumbled eight times in ACC play in 2008, but lost only one of them. That, combined with only interception made him responsible for two interceptions in league games.
Wilson was head and shoulders ahead of any other returning ACC quarterback in turnover efficiency categories last year. He turned the ball over twice, tied with North Carolina's TJ Yates for fewest in league play, and was involved in the second-most plays (throwing and passing) with 308 behind Virginia's Marc Verica at 318.
But Verica was at the opposite end of the spectrum in ball security. He was responsible for 16 turnovers (13 INTs and three fumbles) in his 318 plays. After the jump, you'll see how the returning ACC quarterbacks fared taking care of the ball.
Remember, all of these tables are for league games only. First, we'll look at plays per turnover.
(Plays - number of pass attempts and rushing attempts; TO - number of interceptions and fumbles lost; PPTO - plays per turnover)
Wilson blows everyone else out of the water in this stat. It's not fair, really. He destroys the curve and the league average. The Hokies' Tyrod Taylor was just below the league average in plays per turnover but didn't fair nearly as well in yards per turnover. Once again, Russell makes everyone look bad in this category.
(Yds - Total yards, passing plus rushing; TO - interceptions and fumbles lost; YPTO - yards per turnover)
Tyrod dips all the way to eighth among the returning quarterbacks in yards per turnover. It gets even worse when we look at touchdown to turnover ratio. Again, Wilson. Again, he was kind of good in this category.
(TD - number or passing and rushing touchdowns; TO - interceptions and fumbles lost; Rat - number of touchdowns for each turnover)
Tyrod was only better than Verica, who just wasn't very good at keep the ball away from the other team in 2008. We can only hope these number are indicative of a sophomore slump for Tyrod. As you'll see in our final table, his numbers were actually pretty good in 2007.
Tyrod's 2008 turnover efficiency numbers shouldn't be indicative of how good or bad a quarterback he is. He had a bad year when it came to ball security last year, but it isn't a trend.
If you plug Tyrod's 2007 efficiency numbers into the 2008 tables, he would be third in plays per turnover, sixth in yards per turnover and second in touchdown to turnover ratio. The Hokies will obviously need his 2009 numbers to mirror those of his freshman year. I don't think Tech's defense will be as good as it was the last two seasons and it will be up to Tyrod and the offense to win more than its share of games this year.
Looking at the other ACC quarterbacks, the turnover efficiency numbers are more evidence that Wilson is the best quarterback in the league. However, they could also mean Turner is a better quarterback than I give him credit for. They also show Jacory Harris to be a high-risk, high-reward quarterback. His touchdown to turnover ratio and yards to turnover ratio are fairly explosive. But he turned the ball over on at a high rate on a per play basis.
If Wilson had lost a few more of those eight fumbles, his numbers wouldn't look nearly as gaudy. But as it is he's like the one kid who made a 98 on the (What's a class people with a real major would have taken? Chemistry? We'll go with chemistry.) chemistry exam and destroyed the curve. Everyone else looks bad in comparison.