For the first time since 2002, NC State football is 3-0 in ACC play. The quarterback of that team was Phillip Rivers, during his junior season. That’s not the only thing similar between 2017 and 2002, though. Quarterback Ryan Finley is making history, too.
At this point, it’s more than a hot start
At the midpoint of the regular season, Ryan Finley is 158-of-223 (70.9 percent) passing the ball. Those 158 completions have translated into 1,770 yards, 10 touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
Finley, who ranks sixth nationally in ESPN’s Total QBR, is on pace to have one of the best seasons in NC State history. Since the 2000 season, this is just the fourth time a Wolfpack QB has thrown for over 1,700 yards and 10-plus touchdowns in the first six games of a season. The only other players to do this, too: Phillip Rivers (2000, 2003) and Russell Wilson (2010).
Some of the other ACC players to accomplish this are stars on Sundays now: Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston and Mitch Trubisky.
Currently, there are only two FBS players with over 200 pass attempts and a completion rate of at least 70 percent: Finley and Luke Falk of Washington State.
Finley is right there with one of the top candidates for the Heisman Trophy, too.
Ryan Finley joins Baker Mayfield as the only two FBS players with completion rates above 70%, at least 10 TD and 0 interceptions. https://t.co/og3XOuXkdd
— ACCSports.com (@ACCSports) October 6, 2017
3rd and whatever
One of the many areas Ryan Finley has starred this season is third down passing. On the season, NC State has converted 32-of-77 (40.7 percent) third down plays into first downs — No. 6 in the ACC.
Finley, through the air, has accounted for 21 of those first downs. According to cfbstats.com, Finley is 37-of-54 (68.5 percent) for 408 yards on third down this season. He’s No. 1 in the ACC in completion percentage on third down.
On third down plays of seven-plus yards, Finley is 24-of-33 (72.7 percent) for 284 yards and 10 first downs or touchdowns.