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Author: Jared Kalmus – @JaredUTSA
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With no UTSA football last week or next, let’s turn our attention to the recruiting trail. UTSA quarterback commit Eddie Lee Marburger has, again, put up unbelievable stats through the season for his Sharyland Pioneers.
As we all know, Marburger doesn’t face the same level of competition playing in the Valley compared to quarterbacks in Houston or Dallas. It’s important that we take a look at his full game film to get a feel for **how** Marburger is reaching his stat totals. Thankfully last week’s game against Mercedes is available on YouTube.
Marburger passed for 368 yards on a 71% completion rate and accounted for four touchdowns both through the air and on the ground. This brings his career numbers to 7,514 passing yards on a 64% completion rate with 86 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, as well as 1,814 rushing yards and nine scores on the ground. Let’s pick out a few plays from last week’s game to see if Marburger’s athletic ability and decision making matches up with his eye-popping stats.
Our first play is a bit more interesting than what meets the eye. I may need to point out that Marburger is also the team’s punter, so when the Pioneeers face a fourth and short from midfield, Marburger takes a few additional steps back to provide the threat of a quick kick punt.
Once Marburger steps back to pass, Sharyland’s running back is unable to pick up the blitz so Marburger has to get the ball out quickly. He delivers a strong throw on the run and hits the motioned receiver on a drag route, placing the ball on the receiver’s inside shoulder so that he can complete the catch and get upfield for the conversion.
Like I mentioned earlier — stats don’t tell the full story. Here we see Marburger miss out on a big chunk of passing yardage due to a dropped dime to his receiver.
Marburger doesn’t have any targets open downfield so he shifts position towards the sideline to open things up. While still on the run, Marburger takes time to square up his shoulders and deliver a 45 yard strike to the corner of the field, perfectly placed for his receiver to make a play on the ball. The wide out is unable to come down with the catch, but Marburger put this ball where it needed to be. This was a very impressive throw that a receiver like Josh Cephus or Zakhari Franklin would come down with.
Here’s another nice throw on the run, easily the tool in Marburger’s bag of tricks that has impressed me the most. Marburger rolls to his non-throwing side, gets squared up, then effortlessly flicks the ball 25 yards right on the sideline for a big play. Not many high school quarterbacks can make this throw, Marburger makes it look easy.
The streak of nice throws has Marburger feeling confident and he lets that energy get the best of him on this extremely risky throw downfield. Marburger again feels pressure and escapes the pocket, rolling to his right. This time Marburger rushes his throw a bit and forces a pass to a covered receiver. The defender is actually in front of the receiver so unless Marburger chunks the ball deep into the endzone this pass has a high probability of being picked off.
He gets away with it here but a better defensive back would have not only picked this ball off but also returned it to midfield. This isn’t a play Marburger will be able to attempt at the collegiate level without creating a turnover.
Marburger doesn’t let the near interception rattle him as he takes it to the house on this designed run. Marburger does a good job selling the pass, then follows his blockers down the field. He uses his size and athleticism to break through a few tackles near the goal line which is an impressive feat for a quarterback.
Worked so well last time, why not run it again on the next play? Check out the break away speed from the QB as he separates himself from the secondary for a touchdown.
Impressive play extension from Marburger here as he is able to elude a defender right in his face then find an open receiver in the end zone. I love this play (as well as a few others that I didn’t include) because it shows that even when Marburger is having a huge day with his legs he’s always a pass-first quarterback. As the play breaks down Marburger keeps his eyes downfield for an open receiver, whereas a less comfortable passer would have tried to make a play with their feet and likely taken a sack in the redzone.
Grown. Man. Football. Marburger shows his speed on his last touchdown run, while he showcases his strength on this TD.
Nothing separates a good quarterback from a great one like having the knowledge and ability to throw into the blitz. Marburger does just that on this touchdown as he identifies the pressure and knows that he has his slot receiver matched up against a linebacker with no safety help over head. That’s an easy six.
Alright, the UTSA commit has shown a lot of good things through this game, but how about his deep ball? Well say no more…
While Marburger did a fantastic job avoiding pocket pressure against Mercedes, he takes an avoidable sack on this fourth quarter dropback. Marburger does the right thing when pressured by stepping into the pocket, but he misses an open receiver on a clear-out route underneath. The receiver is running directly where the linebacker blitzed from so this could have been a big play had Marburger recognized the open receiver in time.
Rocket throw from Marburger here for a 22 yard completion on the sideline. Very nice zip on the throw to get the Pioneers out of a 3rd and 15 situation in the fourth quarter. A long run from Marburger would set up a field goal for the Pioneers who ended up winning this district championship game 59-40.
All in all, I was impressed by Marburger’s game. Apart from a few decisions, he took good care of the football and placed the ball in spots where his receivers could make a play. If he continues to develop at the next level he should excel in a spread out run-first offensive system like UTSA has.
I’m looking forward to following Sharyland through the rest of their playoff run where Marburger will be tested against higher level athletes. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see Marburger in more situations where he can take some deep shots, as I still don’t have a good feel for his deep ball after this game as Sharyland didn’t need to take many risks downfield.
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