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Scouting Grayson McCall's Worst Game

Instead of just showing you a Grayson McCall highlight film, I decided to pull together a scouting report from arguably the worst game he played at Coastal Carolina. McCall’s remarkable 6.3:1 TD/INT ratio for his whole career is a stat that doesn’t just jump off the page at you. It jumps off the page, grabs you by the ears, and screams directly into your face. Four of the 14 interceptions he threw in his four years in Myrtle occurred in one game, which was last season at Georgia Southern. We’re going to scout this game. Fire up the GIF machine. 

McCall was 22/39 for 299 yards, 1 TD, and 4 Interceptions in a 38-28 loss. Just given the turnovers, this would be a pretty universally agreed upon idea that this was his worst game. Still, though, you can see the things he does well.


McCall is plenty mobile, but his arm talent is where he shines. He is not Brennan Armstrong as a runner, although he isn’t Mike Glennon either, but he is far more consistently accurate as a passer than anything State has seen since Devin Leary. Armstrong was notoriously wild with his accuracy, throwing a dime one play and then dropping the ball amongst the cheerleaders on the next. That is not what you’ll get with the Coastal Carolina transfer. 

McCall is generally unafraid to get vertical as a passer. In this particular game, Georgia Southern showed him a mix of coverages including a lot of cover 4 shells and a decent number of one-high press looks. McCall pretty regularly looked to take a shot when he got that cover 1 picture. He handled blitzes really well, and this is where you can see his arm talent as well as his processing. He’s very accurate at every level of the field, and he threw some nice deep balls in this game. These three stood out. 

Cover 1, McCall hits the slot fade. The ball is a hair underthrown but not by much. My guess is this slot fade is a cover 1 alert on the mesh play, which is probably the primary read down in the middle of the field.

Similar situation here. McCall gets press man coverage with the one high safety. He throws an excellent back-shoulder ball.

This will remind people of Devin Leary and Emeka Emezie. As far as throws go, McCall's bag is pretty deep. His ball placement down the field is really impressive .

Here's a play-action shot play.

It's possible that this probably should not have been thrown, but it's such a good throw that it doesn't matter. McCall is working with a big size mismatch against a cover 3 buzz look. The safety doesn't really bite down on the play action, so he kind of throws this ball into double coverage, but it's placed darn near perfectly where only his man can make a play on it.


The only place where you can see McCall’s accuracy start to wobble a bit is on the move. When he can set his base, he’s as accurate as any quarterback in America, and he’s good at resetting his base when he gets on the move. When he isn’t able to do that and he has to make off-platform throws, that's when you might see some misses.

Case in point, McCall’s first of four picks against Georgia Southern.

This throw is extremely difficult. McCall will fire the ball into some tiny windows, and he can get away with it because he is usually so accurate. This ball is just left a little short and inside, and it creates a turnover-worthy play. 

This is his second interception. It's just a sail.

I'm not sure if something is off mechanically here. I'm not a throwing mechanics guy, but the read is good. It's a smash concept and the corner sits on the shallow out. The throw is on time to the corner route, but it's just way off.

I don't understand what happened here.

This is just a running back slip screen, and it's there for a big play, but McCall bails out of the pocket for no real reason. This is going to bust open for a huge gain if McCall just dumps it to the back. This was the worst play of the game in my opinion. It ends up being an off-platform throw that isn't really close, and a 30+ yard gain became nothing.

In all the plays I've watched, McCall usually has pretty good presence. As mentioned, this was his worst game, so there was some bad stuff here that was uncharacteristic of the quarterback.

RPO Business

McCall thrives in the RPO world. It was a cornerstone of the offense under Jamey Chadwell, when McCall racked up 78 touchdowns and 8 interceptions over three years. Beck sprinkles some of these into his offense, and he even borrowed a few concepts that Coastal had ran before he got there, but things are definitely more generic with him. It's one of the chief complaints about Tim Beck.

Here McCall tosses a touchdown on a glance RPO. This is child's play for him.

He's reading the safety, and as the safety comes down, he hits the glance route over the top.


McCall has played four years now. He knows a thing or two because he's seen a thing or two (bum ba dum bum bum bum bum). This third down conversion was an excellent line of scrimmage check from him.

Southern is the one high shell that they've played a lot in this game. I do suspect McCall is setting up to take a shot here with the press man at the top of screen. He gets to show a blitz with a hard count, though, and checks into this quick slant that attacks the space left by the blitz. The receiver wins and it's easy cash.

McCall checks after the hard count reveals the blitz:

McCall makes the easy throw for a first down:

Overall take

We really wanted to do something different here by scouting his worst game, but that's just as flawed as scouting only his best game. There are some lowlights in here that are not the normal McCall experience. McCall is a smart player who is accurate, especially down the field, and he can make things happen with his legs. He was my number one pick out of the portal for a reason. I don't think he's a great off-platform thrower, and he can get aggressive with windows at times, but those throws are usually highlights or lowlights. Overall, this is a significant upgrade at quarterback, and when paired with a strong offensive line and a reliable run game, State is not going to ask him to be Superman very often.

How State builds around him

Expect a different offense this season from Robert Anae. Last year, State depended heavily on the QB run game and tried to build that into most of its offensive concepts in the latter half of the year. We saw a lot of bash, a lot of naked boots, and a lot of slide RPOs. These concepts will still exist, but I'd expect less between-the-tackles running for McCall with his legs existing more as an outlet. State really minimized the true dropbacks for Armstrong. It won't have to do this for McCall, and the passing playbook likely expands.

I do think there will be an RPO-heavy base to this offense, but McCall definitely makes you versatile in how you can attack defenses, especially when you can pair him with a strong running game that you should expect from NC State this year. Beck seemed to get away from the modern triple option stuff that the Coastal offense had been built around years prior. I would expect to see a lot of that. As mentioned, State did run some of this with Armstrong. I expect you'll see more, and you may see extensions of it with downfield routes tagged to slide RPO concepts, which is really exciting.



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