In Johns Hopkins’ 33-14 rout of Moravian on Sept. 20, senior quarterback Braden Anderson posted career highs in passing yards (218) and completion percentage (73.5).
It took Anderson only one week to surpass those totals, throwing for 359 yards and connecting on 76.3 percent of his passes in Saturday’s 42-26 victory over Centennial Conference foe Muhlenberg. Add a career-best four touchdowns, and it’s easy to see why Blue Jays coach Jim Margraff called Anderson’s performance the best of his career.
“He played extremely well,” Margraff said Wednesday. “Many of those throws were reads – either progressions that he needs to go through or reads he makes along with the run game. He was almost flawless in that, particularly the first half.”
Prior to Saturday’s game, Anderson had scored five rushing touchdowns compared to just one passing touchdown and has been sacked just three times – a sign of his mobility. Margraff didn’t disagree with the suggestion that the Mules may have concentrated on stopping Anderson as a rusher, but Margraff said that defensive strategy wasn’t limited only to Anderson.
“I think they probably thought we were more of a running team than a passing team,” Margraff said. “They were trying to take the run away by moving some linebackers tighter to the core, and we were able to throw it to the outside very quickly and get some very good players some room to run. [Sophomore wide receiver] Bradley Munday had a great game. So yes, Braden was making some good decisions based on where their alignments were.”
Anderson’s 843 passing yards in four games ranks as the fourth-highest mark in the Centennial Conference, and his 67.3 completion percentage is second only to Franklin & Marshall freshman Zachary Bradley’s 73.1 percentage. Anderson’s development as a first-year starter is becoming more evident, Margraff said.
“That’s what you hope for – a higher level of consistency,” he said. “I think he’s getting more and more comfortable. The team has always been behind him and comfortable with him, but I think he really feels like he’s in control out there.”