The Regina Rams were the most surprising team of the 2016 season in U Sports football. They went from 0-8 a year ago in the Canada-West to 6-2 this year, good enough for first place in the conference. A huge reason for their regular season success was because of their third-year pivot, Noah Picton. Noah Picton unbelievable 2016 season will put him in the running for the Hec Crighton Trophy this season, putting on an air-raid through the Canada-West conference.
Noah Picton Unbelievable 2016 Season
In his first two years with the Rams, Picton threw for 4,123 passing yards along with 21 touchdowns in 16 games. He completed 289 passes out of 444 attempts, with a completion percentage of 65.1%. The 65.1% is the career highest completion percentage by a quarterback at the school. In 2016, he put on one of the greatest seasons ever by a quarterback at the university level in Canada. In eight games this season, Picton broke former Calgary Dinos quarterback Andrew Buckley’s U Sports record for most yards in a season with 3,186 yards. Buckley only set the record last season, when he threw for 3,162 yards.
Buckley vs. Picton seasons
Buckley had 19 touchdowns and only threw one interception all year in 2015. He completed 177 of his 246 passing attempts for a completion percentage of 72%. He averaged 395.3 yards per game and threw three or more touchdown passes in a game four times. His best game of the year, ironically, came against Picton and the Rams. Buckley had 478 yards and four touchdowns during that game. In five games last year, he passed for more than 400 yards, and due to his incredible season, Buckley won his second straight Hec Crighton trophy.
Noah Picton in 2016 had 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He completed 224 of his 323 attempts this season, and led the country in completion percentage with 69.3, touchdowns and passing yards. Picton also averaged 398.3 yards per game, and had at least three or four touchdowns in six games this year. His best game of the season came against Manitoba Bisons where he threw for 499 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-38 win. In only four games this season did he hit the 400- yard mark in a game.
Pictons’ Record-Breaking Season
During his 2016 season, Picton broke many University of Regina and one Canada-West season records. He broke most attempts and completions by a Regina quarterback, and most passing yards by a Regina quarterback. Picton was also one touchdown away from tying Regina quarterback Teale Orban for most touchdowns in a season. He broke the Canada-West record for most completions, set by Saskatchewan Huskies quarterback Drew Burko and former Rams great Marc Mueller with 182 completions. Burko did it in 2014 while Mueller did it in 2010.
It is entirely possible that Picton could set new school passing records by the time he is done school. He needs 173 more completions to set a new record. He needs 2,100 more yards to become the new passing yards leader and 31 more touchdowns to become the school new touchdown king. All these records were previously set by Teale Orban. Orban played for the Rams from 2004 to 2008
On Thursday, Picton will likely win the Canada-West MVP for his outstanding season. For the next two years, Picton could be the face of university football in Canada.
Main photo courtesy of Piper Sports Photography