Football

New to Stick This Year: The Home Run Threat

New to Stick This Year: The Home Run Threat

The maturation of Easton Stick as the Bison quarterback has been impressive to NDSU quarterbacks coach Randy Hedberg, in that Hedberg is a thinking-man QBs coach and is a pretty good source when it comes to reading defenses. Hedberg likes what he’s seen so far. Granted, Stick had the benefit of Xing and Oing with Carson Wentz the last two years, the first as a redshirt freshman in 2014, but where his improvement is also noticeable is in the long ball.

My story in today’s newspaper is here.

To get further into the story, it appears Stick has been given the keys to not only attempt more passes but to look downfield more. In NDSU’s five games, his long pass in each one was 47, 42, 24, 65 and 43 yards. Not all were bombs of course (that middle screen is a bread and butter play), but in his eight games last year after taking over for the injured Wentz, the longest pass in five of those games was 33 yards. You got the sense that looking deep wasn’t really an option for the young man.

Obviously, the ability to have the home run threat helps in keeping defenses somewhat honest, and not throw eight players near the line of scrimmage. Running the ball tends to be more productive when the strong safety has to at least think about pass defense. The bottom line certainly are the victories and the sophomore captain is now 13-0 as a starter, but he’s developed into the run-pass threat essential to the prototypical West Coast offense quarterback.

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