When Bailey Zappe is the signal-caller, who wants a balanced offense? Certainly not Western Kentucky.
The Hilltoppers are 8-5 with a matchup towards Appalachian State in Saturday’s Boca Raton Bowl looming (11 a.m. ET, . That’s a high-quality document. Most coaches would most likely join it yearly if they might.
But the WKU offense — significantly by way of the air — is far more than high-quality. It’s leagues above that, in reality, largely due to Zappe and vast receiver Jerreth Sterns, who is second nationally in receiving yards and third in touchdowns.
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But Zappe has developed into one among faculty soccer’s greatest passers regardless of enjoying at a Group of 5 faculty and spending time in the FCS previous to this yr. Western Kentucky ranks second nationally in scoring (43.1 factors per recreation) and whole offense (527.5 yards per recreation) and first in passing offense (434.6 yards per recreation). It’s one hundred and twenty fifth in speeding offense (92.8 yards per recreation).
There’s that lack of steadiness. But it hasn’t appeared to matter.
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And when Zappe takes the area towards App State, he’ll be seeking to make NCAA historical past in two classes and proceed his meteoric rise as a passer.
Sporting News has all the data you want about Bailey Zappe and the records that would fall earlier than the clock hits 0:00 in South Florida.
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What FBS records can Bailey Zappe break?
Zappe may have his eye on two single-season records: most passing yards and most touchdowns.
The odds of him setting the yardage mark seems to be fairly good. With 5,545 yards already this season, he wants 289 extra to interrupt former Texas Tech QB B.J. Symons’ 18-year previous document of 5,833. Zappe is averaging greater than 426 yards per recreation.
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His odds of breaking the landing document appear good, too. With 56 already this yr, he wants 4 extra to tie former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow at 60 and 5 to move him. Zappe is averaging 4 passing touchdowns per recreation over his final six video games.
But Appalachian State has given up simply 12 passing touchdowns all yr, to go along with simply 206.6 passing yards per recreation 6.8 yards per completion, so Zappe might have his work minimize out for him.
Where did Bailey Zappe come from?
Zappe is in his first yr with the Hilltoppers enjoying for Tyson Helton. He transferred from FCS Houston Baptist, the place he was additionally a prolific passer.
In his three years of carving up the Southland Conference (2018-20), Zappe handed for 8,466 yards and 73 touchdowns whereas finishing 61.9 % of his passes. That was underneath the tutelage of offensive coordinator Zac Kittley, who adopted Zappe to Western Kentucky however left the program previous to the bowl recreation to take the similar job at Texas Tech.
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Zappe additionally posted spectacular numbers at his Texas highschool, however Houston Baptist was the solely faculty to supply him a scholarship. He was the Southland’s co-Offensive Player of the Year final yr.
He has had no downside making the soar to the FBS. He has handed for extra 300 yards in 12 of 13 video games and greater than 400 yards seven instances. He has by no means had a recreation this season with fewer than three touchdowns.
What is Bailey Zappe’s NFL Draft inventory?
Unlike some projected first-round picks, Zappe is not forgoing his bowl recreation to organize for the NFL Draft. He ranks first nationally in passing yards and touchdowns and ninth in completion share.
But even with these spectacular numbers, a number of shops see him as a Day 3 choose, with ESPN comparing him to present Washington Football Team starter Taylor Heinicke.
He’s second nationally in completions and first in move makes an attempt, so he clearly has gotten sufficient reps and proven that he has a giant arm and can make correct throws. Now, it could simply be a matter of how Zappe does on the huge stage and if he wins any believers. This recreation will probably be one among his first on nationwide tv.