Some people are calling the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns’ quarterback situation a controversy. Some call it a carousel. Some even believe the Cajuns are just keeping opposing defenses on their toes. The Cajuns’ situation at the quarterback position is definitely something fans aren’t used to seeing.
Head coach Michael Desormeaux has opted to rotate both redshirt sophomore Chandler Fields and redshirt junior Ben Wooldridge in each of the Cajuns’ five games this season. Whatever it is that Desormeaux is looking for at quarterback, we have a healthy sample size of statistics to show what each player is capable of.
Fields, through five games, has thrown for 608 yards, seven touchdowns and just three interceptions. He has a quarterback rating of 128.6 along with a 56.8% completion percentage.
Wooldridge, on the other hand, has thrown for 440 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. His quarterback rating currently sits at 125.5, and he has completed 64.9% of his passes.
Projected over the rest of the season, Fields is on pace to throw for 1,459 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Wooldridge is on pace to throw for 1,056 yards, seven touchdowns and only two interceptions.
So far, Fields has been the more productive quarterback, but it is important to note that Fields has attempted 95 passes compared to Wooldridge’s 74 attempts. Both players have a similar touchdown-to-interception ratio, meaning they both have done well with their decision making.
Looking at how each quarterback has contributed to the run game, Wooldridge has run for 68 scoreless yards through five games. He is on pace to run for 163 yards this season. Fields has only ran for 18 yards, putting him on pace for just 43 rushing yards. Fields, however, does have the lone rushing touchdown between the two quarterbacks.
Both Wooldridge and Fields haven’t provided much offense running the ball. Through five games, Fields has looked like the more effective runner, though neither quarterback poses a huge threat with their legs.
One of the most important areas of the field for a quarterback is the red zone. In the red zone this season, Fields has thrown for 42 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions while also adding a touchdown on the ground. His passer rating in this part of the field is a remarkable 174.8.
Wooldridge has a much smaller sample size in the red zone. He has only attempted five passes in that part of the field and has thrown for 10 yards and two touchdowns without throwing a pick.
While both quarterbacks have been great in the red zone, it is Fields who has a much larger sample size and has been more productive in that area of the field.
Another important part of a quarterback’s game is how well they perform on third down. When faced with third down this season, Wooldridge has completed 10 of 16 passes for 94 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions while amassing a passer rating of 132.5. He has also only been sacked once on third down.
Fields has struggled on third down this season, completing only 48.3% of his passes for 213 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating on third down is 118.9.
Wooldridge has shown a clear edge over Fields with his third-down passing.
In the second half of football games, when pressure begins to mount on football teams, especially in the fourth quarter, Fields has completed 56% of his passes for 325 yards, four touchdowns and one interception with a passer rating of 133. In the fourth quarter alone, Fields has thrown for 99 yards, two touchdowns and one pick with a passer rating of 114.6.
Wooldridge in the second half has been slightly better, completing 64.8% of his passes for 344 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. His second-half passer rating is an astounding 136.7. In the fourth quarter this season, Wooldridge has completed 64.1% of his passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns with a rating of 133.4.
Both quarterbacks have been excellent in the second half of games as well as the fourth quarter, but it is Wooldridge who has performed better in the clutch moments of games.
It is yet to be seen if Coach Desormeaux will continue to rotate and use both quarterbacks, but these statistics do a good job of showing who performs well in different areas of the game. It will be interesting to keep these in mind as the Cajuns continue to figure out who their “guy” is.