In a season besieged by injuries early on, Brendon Kay found a way to not only be one of the most accurate quarterbacks in UC history but in recent history of FBS football.
CINCINNATI - When Brendon Kay finds a rhythm, he knows a run of completions are happening. The tempo moves, the line protects, the passes connect and the ball rarely touches the ground.
Not until the crowd clears and rubber pellets settle after games does the realization of the gaudy numbers strike him.
Though, to refer to these numbers as gaudy, would be a misnomer. The precision of Kay and the passing game - specifically over the last four games - ranks as nearly unparalleled. Not only in UC history, but major college football history.
Over the last four games the UC senior completed 102 of 128 passes for 1,190 yards. That's a completion percentage of 79.7.
For reference, FBS record for completion percentage in a season is 76.8 by Colt McCoy in 2008.
These aren't just dink and dunk numbers boosters. Over this span he's tossed nine touchdowns to three interceptions with a 9.3 average yards per attempt.
How many players this year compiled at least a 9.3 yards per attempt and even better than 70 percent completions? Two. Johnny Manziel (10.5/73) and Teddy Bridgewater (10.2/71).
The importance of these numbers and how they correlate to success on the field certainly not lost on Kay, who spends his time away from the field completing Capstone projects for his Masters in Business Administration.
"Definitely is (a stat that matters)," he said. "That's the way I am evaluated and grade out after games. I'm definitely worried about that. It's always on my mind but at the same time I have to make smart decisions. As long as we are winning that is all that really matters to me. Go out there and win ballgames."
This four-game run accentuates what quietly surfaced as one of the most efficient seasons by a UC quarterback of all time and by any FBS QB in recent years.
On the year he's thrown for 2,008 yards and completed 74 percent of his passes at 8.7 yards per attempt.
Only Kellen Moore in 2011 (74.3 percent) and McCoy in 2008 top his season rate.
The turning point came in the final moments of a loss at South Florida. Opting for a four-wide spread that runs through the eyes and arm of Kay, the offense flourished. Anthony McClung returned healthy to roam the slot along with emerging junior Shaq Washington breaking open on the other side.
Of Kay's 102 completions over the last four weeks, 61 of them have been completed to his dynamic slot receivers.
"You can't double team both of us," said McClung, who battled a hamstring injury early in the season. "It's just overall gameplan. Coach has been calling great plays and Brendon has been throwing great balls."
Consider how much more proficient Kay has been than any other QB in University of Cincinnati history. Looking at only a minimum of 200 passes thrown, the school leader in completion percentage is Zach Collaros at 62.4 percent.
Kay's current career completion percentage is 69.9.
"He usually doesn't force the ball and he is going to get it to the guy that is more open than anybody else," Tommy Tuberville said. "But I'm proud of Brendon, his percentage of completion is outstanding he usually makes all the good reads."
Precision will be necessary if the Bearcats hope to make a push at the American conference title. The next two weeks play to his strength. This weekend Rutgers will boast the No. 11 rushing defense in the country but a passing defense ranked 119 out of 125.
A week later a trip to Houston will mean confronting a defense that ranks 93rd in completion percentage allowed.
The road to setting up a potential showdown with Louisville to challenge conference undefeated UCF rides on the accuracy of Brendon Kay. The Bearcats - or by the numbers almost any team in FBS history - couldn't ask for a better scenario.