Through seven quarters of football this season, Taylor Martinez was 43-of-58 passing. His goal coming into the season was to be a 70 percent passer and he was nearly five percent better than that. Then the fourth quarter came around against UCLA and the magic was gone. Martinez was 0-for-7 in the fourth quarter with an interception.
What happened? Offensive coordinator Tim Beck offered some answers on Tuesday.
“I think (Taylor) hurried some things back there,” Beck said. “I don’t know if he got hit a few times or if he felt like he had to get rid of the ball and get it to the receivers faster so they could make plays. He anticipated or assumed coverage at times instead of letting it develop. All of the things he was really doing well for the first six, seven quarters of his junior year he was doing extremely well.
“I’ve been really proud of the depth of his drops, his patience in the pocket, his ability to go from read to read and not skip reads. (In the fourth quarter) he hurried back there. He made some mistakes for us.”
Beck said he reviewed the tape with Martinez and the two were on the same page about some of the changes that need to be made.
“We just have to keep working,” Beck said. “I think there’s part of him, in the competitive nature he possesses, he wanted to do it. In trying to make plays and create plays, instead of letting them develop within the confines of the offense, he forced some things and we got put in some bad situations. But it wasn’t just him.”
Some other news and notes from Tuesday’s practice:
–Beck said he was happy with the way Ameer Abdullah and Braylon Heard played in Rex Burkhead’s absence.
“They were quick, they were very decisive,” Beck said. “They ran hard.”
–Expect to see plenty of aggression out of the Arkansas State defense on Saturday.
“They blitz a lot,” Beck said. “They’re very aggressive, the have good skill and they’re very fast…They’re a hungry football team.”
–Beck said he was surprised by UCLA’s athleticism on Saturday, particularly on defense.
“They were probably as fast a football teams as we’ve played in the last couple of years. They were probably as athletic as South Carolina, especially defensively. On the defensive line they could really run.”