QB Malik Willis has been regarded as one of the best in all of college football. However, BetMGM’s latest college football odds have his Liberty Flames as nine and a half point underdogs on the road against the Ole Miss Rebels.
Can Willis lead the Flames to an upset win on the road? If he does, he will have to put up some numbers. So let’s take a look at how many passing yards he could get.
Malik Willis vs. Other Quarterbacks
Let’s compare Willis to other quarterbacks in college football. He is projected to be one of the top college quarterbacks taken in next year’s NFL draft and has top 15 odds in the Heisman Trophy race, currently at +10000.
Statistically, Willis is top 10 in the nation in touchdown passes with 21. He ranks 31st in passing yards with 1,986, which means he averages about 221 passing yards per game.
Willis vs. Power-5 Schools
This is only going to be the second game this season that Liberty plays against a Power-5 school. The first came against Syracuse, where the Flames lost a heartbreaker 24-21.
In that game, Willis went 14/19 and had 205 passing yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. However, he got sacked six times in that game, which is tied for the most times this season for Liberty.
Statistically, that was far from his best game, but it was certainly not his worst.
Let’s turn the clock back to 2020 and take a look at how he did in his two Power-5 games that season on the road against Syracuse and Virginia Tech.
In the former, he went 16/20 with 182 passing yards and a touchdown pass. In the latter, he went 20/30 with 217 passing yards and three touchdown passes.
If there is any pattern here, it is the fact that Willis tends to get held to minimal passing yards when he takes a step up in competition. Of course, this is not abnormal for any college football player, but in comparison to the Syracuse game, his best performance of the season came last week against UMass, where he had 307 passing yards and four touchdown passes.
Ole Miss Defense
If there is something to support Willis putting up better numbers than usual in this class of competition, it is the fact that the Rebels’ defense has put up far from impressive numbers.
Ole Miss gives up the third-most passing yards (245) and the third-most total yards (428) per game in the SEC. To put that into perspective, Vanderbilt is the only team in the SEC that gives up more in both categories.
This defense can certainly be had, especially against a QB that many believe will be taken high in the NFL draft, such as Malik Willis.
How Many Passing Yards Will Malik Willis Have?
Malik Willis can certainly put up numbers, but he tends to be contained statistically against teams from better conferences. But Ole Miss has a vulnerable pass defense, so he could potentially flirt with 250-300 passing yards.
Do you agree or disagree? You can make your bet on that here at BetMGM.
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