In West Virginia’s 24-6 win over TCU Saturday, Mountaineer quarterback Jarret Doege broke his four-game streak of throwing for more than 300 yards but preserved another streak that is even more helpful to WVU’s offense.
Saturday marked the fourth-straight game that Doege did not throw an interception. The last time Doege was picked off by an opponent was on Oct. 17 in the third quarter of a 38-17 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks, 173 pass attempts ago.
“Really since the Baylor game, I think he’s played really well,” WVU football coach Neal Brown said after Saturday’s game. “He’s kind of under the radar, but he’s played really, really well. He’s taking care of the football and his decision making has been really good.”
Doege has thrown just three interceptions all season. Two came in that double-overtime win against Baylor and the other, the aforementioned pick against the Jayhawks. Other than that, Doege has been squeaky clean throwing the ball this season.
On Saturday, Doege did not have to do much, completing 19-26 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. The 26 attempts and 212 yards were season-lows in Big 12 play, but his 73.1% completion percentage was a season-high.
“He had his best week of practice this week,” Brown said. “His passing numbers don’t show it because we kind of took the air out of the ball in the second half, but he was really efficient today, never put the ball in jeopardy. We left a couple of plays out there probably but really proud of how he’s playing, how he’s managing the football game.”
Doege’s low interception total is not a product of a small sample size. In fact, Doege leads all Big 12 quarterbacks with 308 pass attempts this season, 58 more than Texas’ Sam Ehlinger in second place.
“I think he’s done a great job of watching film and correcting the mistakes that he and we all made in the early part of the season,” senior receiver T.J. Simmons said. “I know it was a little rocky for us in the beginning of the season and we’ve been doing a good job of practicing catching the ball, contested cathing, everything. We just tell him to have faith in us and hopefully, we can make a play for him.”
Doege also leads the Big 12 with 2,219 passing yards and is third with 13 touchdowns.
While he’s never particularly struggled with turning the ball over, what Doege is going this season is blowing his past performances out of the water. He is throwing an interception, on average, once every 102.7 pass attempts. In context, the numbers say Doege could attempt 50 passes in back-to-back games and not throw an interception.
|Season||Pass Attempts||Interceptions||Attempts per Interception|
|2017 (Bowling Green)||188||3||62.7|
|2018 (Bowling Green)||389||12||32.4|
Compared to his Big 12 peers, nobody even comes close to Doege’s numbers. Among Big 12 quarterbacks who have attempted at least 160 passes, TCU’s Max Duggan and Ehlinger are the closest to Doege’s average and even then there are not all that close. Duggan has thrown three interceptions in 190 attempts, once every 63.3 attempts and Ehlinger has thrown five in 250 attempts, once every 50 attempts, nowhere near Doege’s once every 102.7 attempts.
This stretch of play from Doege has allowed WVU to dominate the turnover battle against its opponents. This season, the Mountaineers have a +3 turnover differential, are +4 in their last four games. WVU is the only team in the conference to have only thrown three interceptions this season, TCU is next with only four.
Doege’s streak of not throwing an interception will last at least five weeks as the Mountaineers will have their final open week of the season this weekend and do not play again until the Oklahoma Sooners come to Morgantown on Nov. 28.