It is update time:
Mason Fine is now the single-season pass leader in NT history. This was accomplished a few weeks back — vs Army — but now that we have a breath before the Bowl game tomorrow we can discuss what it all means.
The original post highlighting the fact that ol’ Mase was going to be breaking records is here and I wrote this:
The 2016 season was nothing like the offense that we had been promised, but 2017 is shaping up to be that and maybe a bit more. North Texas leads the conference in a handful of categories — scoring (37.8), total offense (503.5), yards per play (7.27), long scrimmage plays (72 10+yard plays) — and Mason Fine is much improved over last year. Fine is 78/123 (68.4%) for 1076 or 8.7 ypa 9 TDs against 3 INTs. This roughly projects to the following:
234 / 370 3228 yards 27 TDs 9 INTs
Here is Mason Fine’s current level:
294/457 3749 yards 28 TDs 13 INTs
In that same post I compared Mason Fine to Rakeem Cato’s second-year improvement. Cato famously had a great second year at Marshall and went on to become one of the better CUSA QBs of all time.
✽One more to go!
Cato was asked to throw the ball at a ridiculous rate (nearly 50 times per game) while Mason Fine is playing under a former Fullback who is coaching a team with Jeff Wilson so of course things are a bit different. Mason Fine’s yards per attempt is notably higher. Most importantly the QB ratings are very similar. Not bad, eh?
So let us talk about the records Mason Fine can add to his resume this week. The record is in bold.
Single Season Pass Record – 3,749
Fine is currently number one at 3,749 on the year. Anything he gets in the New Orleans Bowl will be gravy on top. He has a chance to become the first NT player to throw for 4000 yards. This will be tempered only by the fact that a good number of previous NT players had fewer ( in some cases, much fewer ) games. Still, it is a testament to the team’s success that Fine had two “extra” games beyond the regular season schedule.
Single Season Pass TDs – 28
Mason Fine is again number one here and any thing he does in the Bowl will pad the stats. Second is Mitch Maher, of course, at 26. This record stood for 23 years. Incredible. I have a feeling Mason Fine will beat this year’s 28 easily in the upcoming year.
Single Season Pass Attempts – 493
Mason Fine is second in this measure with 457. Fine has been averaging 35.2 attempts per game and is 36 away from Giovanni Vizza’s 2008 mark. Mason Fine has thrown less than 30 times only twice all year and both of those came in clear blowouts in NT’s favor — Lamar and Rice. If Nic Smith is going to run for 200+ yards in this one and Mason gets to relax and toss an easy 25 passes I do not think he will mind too terribly.
Single Season Pass Efficiency — 190.89
Fine is pretty firmly entrenched at this 147.77 and 4th place all time. He would need something like 8 or 9 touchdowns on 8 or 9 pass attempts to make the kind of gaines he needs to pass Scott Hall’s 2003 mark of 153.43.
Career Passing yards – 8,519
Mason Fine is at 5,321 which is 654 behind Scott Hall’s career mark for 5th place. Barring an epic game in New Orleans, Mason Fine will begin next season just a hair behind Hall and just a 3500 yard season away from eclipsing Mitch Maher’s record. That will wait for next season.
Career Passing TDs — 69
Yes, it is nice. Mason is at 34 for his career and will likely stay behind Scott Davis’ 41. Fine is in 6th place and is on pace to finish next year’s 13 game (assumptions being made here) at 64 TDs. That would put him just shy of Steve Ramsey’s mark.
Fine is completing about 22 passes per game on about 35 attempts. He is on pace to reach the top of the NT charts on those by the end of next year on his current pace. Not bad. He is also aiming to do it in the most efficient manner of any NT QB ever. Fine currently leads the charts at 135.4 QB rating, which is just three points and change above Scott Hall’s 132.36.
As Fine grows with Guyton, Bussey, et al they should only get better together and that means more efficient.