One of 2020’s more intriguing storylines was Tyrrell Pigrome’s quest to end a season without an interception. Pigrome had not thrown an interception in his first eleven games and 264 passes for Western Kentucky. This storyline flew under the radar because Western Kentucky was 5-6 and barely landed a spot in the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama that year.
Still, Pigrome would have joined a nearly exclusive club, joining Matt Blundin in 1991 as the only quarterback to complete a season throwing over 200 passes without throwing a single interception. (I covered this in detail in a 2020 podcast of mine, which you can watch here starting at the 15:33 mark). Unfortunately, Pigrome’s quest for zero ended in the LendingTree Bowl as Georgia State intercepted him twice in a 39-21 loss for Western Kentucky.
Pigrome’s 2020 season stats are not the most overwhelming, with 1603 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games, but he did what he had to do for Western Kentucky that year. On offense, Western Kentucky averaged only 19 points per game, but the defense was 40th in the country in points allowed per game, allowing 25 points per game. The Hilltoppers allowed 10 points or less in three games and less than 20 points in five games.
Fast forward to the Summer of 2023. Pigrome is on the market as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers released him last week to make room for Dakota Prukop. Luckily for Pigrome, he has a perfect fit in the USFL waiting for him.
Western Kentucky’s offensive philosophy may remind USFL fans of the style of play that the Pittsburgh Maulers rode on the way to a North Division title and spot in the USFL Championship Game. The Maulers’ offense only averaged 18 points per game, but the defense allowed 18 as well. Troy Williams did not blow anyone away with his 141 passing yards per game and six touchdowns but he kept the Maulers in games by only throwing three interceptions in 221 throws. In contrast, opening-day starter James Morgan threw as many interceptions in only 48 passes.
Pigrome knows how to play with the lead and make wise decisions to put his defense in the best position possible. A perfect example is his 2020 performance against Southern Miss. After the Hilltoppers took a 10-0 lead into the half, Pigrome was efficient and accurate, completing six of his seven passes in the second half for 31 yards and no interceptions.
“It is not the critic who counts… The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Similarly, in the second half of the Maulers’ four regular season wins, Troy Williams completed 25 of 36 passes, a percentage of 70% percent for 277 yards. Williams did not throw an interception and amassed a passer rating of 92.01. His performances in the second half kept the Maulers’ defense in a solid position to preserve victories. If needed, Pigrome could easily replicate these performances.
As evidenced by his 2020 season, Pigrome knows how to take care of the ball and let the defense keep his team within games. Tyrrell Pigrome is also significantly more mobile than the quarterbacks on the Maulers’ roster, Connor Sampson and James Morgan, as Pigrome rushed for over 1500 rushing yards in college after sacks. Pittsburgh can keep the play calling the same should Williams get hurt with Pigrome as backup.
The Pittsburgh Maulers will likely build around Troy Williams before next season. With a good quarterback comes the need for an insurance policy. Pigrome’s body of work and play style is perfect for a Pittsburgh team needing to build depth around the quarterback position. As a result, Maulers can potentially move either Morgan or Sampson around for minor pieces like a jump-ball receiver or depth at the tight end position. The Maulers have their ideal backup, but only time will tell if they make a move for him.
What are your thoughts on Tyrrell Pigrome to the Pittsburgh Maulers? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!