POLL: Dak Prescott Versus Chad Kelly


Nov 21, 2015; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) celebrates after the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mississippi State defeated Arkansas 51-50. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Who would you choose as the better quarterback, Dak Prescott or Chad Kelly?

Since, it’s Egg Bowl Week, I figure it is time to confront the Dak Prescott versus Chad Kelly debate. I mean, surely I’ll be able to convince all Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans one is the better player, right.

Nope, but I’m going to write it anyway.

I am doing this because I was sent an early Mailbag question this week. It’s too much to tackle as part of a mailbag post so I am doing it as one whole post.

First let’s get the stats out there. Chad Kelly has done the following this year.

  • Completions: 256
  • Attempts: 395
  • Completion Percentage: 64.8
  • Yards: 3,504
  • Yards Per Attempt: 8.9
  • Touchdowns: 25
  • Interceptions: 12
  • Quarterback Rating: 154.1

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It’s not going to play as big of a role as the Dak versus Bo debate did last season, but here are Chad’s rushing numbers.

  • Rushing Attempts: 85
  • Rushing Yards: 362
  • Yards Per Attempt: 395
  • Touchdowns: 9

Now for Dak’s numbers.

  • Completions: 260
  • Attempts: 393
  • Completion Percentage: 66.2
  • Yards: 3,159
  • Yards Per Attempt: 8.0
  • Touchdowns: 23
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Quarterback Rating: 151.5

Again, Dak’s rushing numbers this season won’t be as important but here are his rushing numbers in 2015.

  • Rushing Attempts: 127
  • Rushing Yards: 478
  • Yards Per Attempt: 3.8
  • Touchdowns: 9

So who’s better? If we want to see who leads the most categories, we can do that.

  • Completion Percentage: Dak
  • Passing Yards: Chad
  • Passing Touchdowns: Chad
  • Interceptions (Less is better): Dak
  • Touchdown to Interception Ratio: Dak
  • Yards Per Attempt: Chad
  • Quarterback Rating: Chad
  • Total Touchdowns: Chad
  • Total Yards: Chad


Sorry, but this isn’t how this works. If you are trying to figure out why Dak Prescott is actually getting some love now for making it to New York as a Heisman Finalist, you have to dive a little deeper in the stats. If you look at how the two quarterbacks have fared in SEC play, the stats look a lot different. Here are Chad Kelly’s Stats in SEC games alone.

  • Completions: 170
  • Attempts: 275
  • Completion Percentage: 61.8
  • Yards: 2,191
  • Yards Per Attempt: 7.967
  • Touchdowns: 14
  • Interceptions: 8
  • Quarterback Rating: 139.7

And this is what Dak Prescott has done in SEC play.

  • Completions: 195
  • Attempts: 295
  • Completion Percentage: 65.2
  • Yards: 2,274
  • Yards Per Attempt: 7.707
  • Touchdowns: 14
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Quarterback Rating: 144.5

The categories begin to even out when you look at SEC game only. Chad Kelly has put up huge numbers this year, but his numbers get a significant bump against Fresno State, UT-Martin, and New Mexico State.

Dak Prescott didn’t bump his numbers the way Kelly did outside of SEC play. One of the reasons is simply because Dak only played about 10% of the game against Troy. He missed most of the game with a stomach virus. If he had, the overall yards and touchdowns would likely be much closer.

And then you have intangibles. In the two games against elite quarterback competition, Chad Kelly lost. Chad Kelly was out dueled, even though it was slightly, by Brandon Allen. And he was thoroughly outplayed by Paxton Lynch of Memphis. And that game will hang over Chad Kelly’s head this year. It doesn’t matter how good Memphis is (and considering they have lost three straight games, that is beginning to get questioned), there isn’t an excuse for a team competing for the SEC West title to lose to Memphis.

One of the more popular Ole Miss fans on Twitter asked me to do this as well.

The point Faux Freeze is making is Kelly is a year behind Dak and is on pace to put up numbers that will eclipse Dak’s junior year. And with a year of experience under his belt, he should be able to outshine what Dak did in his senior year. So, here we go. We have Chad’s numbers up above. Here is what Dak did in 2014.

  • Completions: 244
  • Attempts: 396
  • Completion Percentage: 61.6
  • Yards: 3,449
  • Yards Per Attempt: 8.7
  • Touchdowns: 27
  • Interceptions: 11
  • Quarterback Rating: 151.7

Chad Kelly’s passing stats this season will likely surpass those of Dak’s from a year ago. There is only one problem. The running game of Dak and Mississippi State plays a huge role in why the passing stats are lower for Dak Prescott. Lest we forget Dak’s rushing numbers from a year ago.

  • Rushing Attempts: 210
  • Rushing Yards: 986
  • Yards Per Attempt: 4.7
  • Touchdowns: 14

And Mississippi State ran for over 3,000 yards as a team last season. Ole Miss will run for about 600 to 700 yards less than that in 2015. Mississippi State had a solid ground game to eat up some of the yards and touchdowns through the passing game. That’s why his passing numbers won’t look as big as Chad Kelly’s. And that brings up another factor in why Dak Prescott is getting some national attention for once this season, and Ole Miss fans won’t like it.

Dak Prescott is being lauded because people are appreciating the huge strides he has made as a passer since he was given significant playing time in 2013. Think of what Dak Prescott has done in each of his three years at quarterback and try to describe them in a sentence or two. It would probably sound like this.

  • 2013: Dak Prescott is only capable of beating you with his arm because of the huge threat his legs possess.
  • 2014: A more accomplished passer, but still relies on his legs more than his arm.
  • 2015: An accomplished passer who is making a major case for a high draft pick in the NFL.

People are seeing the vast improvements Dak Prescott has made. And when they see them, they can’t help but be impressed. Dak Prescott will likely be the first team All SEC quarterback. It’s possible Chad Kelly could surpass him with a game that Dak Prescott doesn’t play well in. But with the way Prescott has played, it just doesn’t seen likely.