College Football

FCS option offenses complete longest passes

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - Apparently, the best way to complete a long pass in the FCS is to run an option-based offense.

Sound a bit backward?

Sure, it's surprising to hear at first, but it makes sense. An opposing defense often stacks the line of scrimmage to defend the run, which leaves over-the-top passing more readily available.

The top five teams in the FCS in yards per completion run a form of the triple option. With play-action and other calls, the quarterbacks can keep a defense honest.

Big South power Kennesaw State averages an FCS-high 20.42 yards per completion, completing 24 of 48 passes for 490 yards. The No. 7 Owls are followed by Cal Poly (19.97, 33 of 54 for 659 yards), Davidson (19.9, 30 of 59 for 597 yards), The Citadel (17.58, 36 of 62 for 633 yards) and Jacksonville (17.38, 24 of 40 for 417 yards). Wofford, which also runs the triple option, ranks eighth nationally with 16.08 yards per completion (26 of 53 for 418 yards).

Individually, the option quarterbacks don't have enough pass attempts to qualify among the national leaders, but Davidson's Tyler Phelps averages the highest yards per completion (22.92) among signal callers with 10 or more completions (24 of 47 for 550 yards).

Updated October 9, 2019

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