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Breaking Down the First Half of Mason Rudolph’s Senior Season (Part 2)



On Wednesday, we looked at two aspects of Mason Rudolph’s senior season thus far — pocket mobility and short to intermediate throws. Today I want to look at two more as we continue to break down film of the nation’s leading passer in yards per game.

First up, something Rudolph has become much better at.

Awareness/maturity. Outside of a few mistakes outside of the pocket, I think Rudolph has really matured from a mental perspective. He is able to digest things quicker and see more of the field than he previously could. This was apparent in a variety of ways.  

EXAMPLE 1 – This play is all about analyzing numbers in the box. McCleskey motions to the strong side of the formation, lined up several yards behind the LOS. You can see the LBs peeking over pre-snap getting prepared to defend a WR screen. This play is a RPO, Rudolph’s hand off action holds the LB long enough for King to clear untouched and he is off to the races. Great awareness/read of numbers in the box.  

EXAMPLE 2 – Rudolph does a great job of moving the LB sitting in zone with his eyes here. Post snap Rudolph eyes on Stoner in the slot, you can see the LB slowly drift inside. Once Ateman hits top of his route, he comes off Stoner and hits Ateman right at the sticks for a first down. Solid work against zone defense.  

EXAMPLE 3 – Honestly, There is not a lot of this in the tape. Mostly because Yurcich does a good job of cutting the field in half generally on QB progressions. Here is a nice example of a Read 1, Read 2, and Read 3 throw. Gets to his third read quickly and delivers an accurate ball.  

Random observations that don’t really have a category.

EXAMPLE 1 – This is kind of a culmination of everything Rudolph has improved on.  Great feel for pressure, nice spin move to buy more time and then rips a ball for a first down.  

EXAMPLE 2 – This is a throw that will probably be discussed regularly, because NFL Draft experts love QBs who can make the anticipation throw. There was not any pressure; I wish Rudolph would’ve waited one more second for McCleskey to turn his route to the sideline before throwing the ball. The ball placement was fine, just threw it too early. Big mistake obviously.  

EXAMPLE 3 – These throws still pop up from time to time, and are a big reason why people question Rudolph’s arm strength. This throw is low, however, it is accurate for the most part. It just comes out of his hand as a complete duck and lacks velocity, which is imperative on an out route from the opposite hash.  

I think overall Mason Rudolph has been incredible, but consistency seems to be his biggest issue. Given his improvement on short/intermediate throws and pocket movement, he seemingly continues to get better each week. He is on pace for a record season, and his ability to be more consistent will probably be the difference between a Big 12 title or another trip to a non-New Year’s 6/CFP bowl.  

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