How many passing yards will Blake Shapen have for Mississippi State Football in 2024?

Mississippi State football's new offense can produce some lofty passing stats. How many yards will quarterback Blake Shapen have this year?
Mississippi State Spring Football Game
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Mississippi State football is breaking out an exciting new offense in 2024 under head coach Jeff Lebby. Lebby's system puts up massive numbers, especially for quarterbacks. He brought in veteran Baylor transfer Blake Shapen to run his offense this season.

Shapen's put up respectable numbers in his career playing in a much-less wide open attack as Lebby's. How many yards will he throw for this fall running Jeff Lebby's offense for the Bulldogs?

How many yards did Blake Shapen throw for at Baylor?

While at Baylor, Blake Shapen played in a true pro-style system based around a Wide Zone rushing attack. In his first full season as a starter in 2022, Shapen threw for 2,790 yards, averaging 215 yards per game, while the Bears leaned on their run game.

In 2023, Baylor's run game wasn't very effective, and Shapen was asked to do a lot more. Shapen averaged 274 passing yards per game. However, he missed four games with injury and therefore finished with just 2,188 yards. In both seasons, his completion percentage was in the low-60s with a yards per attempt of greater than 7.0.

How many yards do Jeff Lebby's quarterbacks typically throw for?

Jeff Lebby's QBs consistently put up impressive numbers. Over the past six seasons, Lebby's starting QB has thrown for an average of 3,505 yards (when adjusting for seasons played with fewer than 12 games). The fewest yards per game by a Lebby QB in that span came from Dillon Gabriel in 2022 at 264. He finished the season with 3,168 yards.

The most yards per game by a Jeff Lebby QB in that span came from Matt Corral in 2020, who passed for nearly 334 yards per game. Corral finished that season with 3337 yards, but had he been able to play 12 games, he potentially could've gone over 4,000 yards passing. Lebby's QBs' completion percentages have varied, and they've usually averaged around 9.0 yards per attempt.

How many yards will Blake Shapen throw for in Jeff Lebby's offense?

Assuming he stays healthy, which is admittedly a question mark given his injury history, Blake Shapen should see the most productive passing season of his career. That's just what Jeff Lebby's offense does for QBs. He should easily go north of 3,000 passing yards, but how far north?

Shapen's an experienced QB who has traits that suit this offense well, so there's confidence that he can execute at a high level quickly. He's been surrounded with a good group of pass-catchers as well. He showed last year he can throw for plenty of yards when needed to while playing in an offense that didn't have a ton of great weapons and didn't push frequently push the ball down field like Lebby's will. All this points to him having a big year.

Add in questions about Mississippi State's defense, and it's likely that the Bulldogs will have to throw the ball more than Jeff Lebby would probably like to if they're going to stay in games. Again, that suggests huge passing numbers.

That being said, I don't think Shapen will be near the 70% completion mark that 2020 Matt Corral and 2023 Dillon Gabriel produced, so I doubt he challenges their yardage totals. And it does have to be factored in that despite the optimism for year one success on offense, there's still a major transition being made while playing several strong defenses.

I'd set the over/under on Blake Shapen's 2024 passing yardage at around 3,350, and I could definitely see him going over that total.