William & Mary is off to its best start in quite some time. The team is ranked #16 in the nation at 4-1, has its first FBS victory since 2009, and is coming off its first CAA victory last week against Stony Brook. The Green and Gold are rolling in 2022, and a big reason of that is the play of Sophomore Superstar linebacker John Pius. John Pius is on pace for a historic season for W&M, and we wanted to take the time to dive a little deeper into the Superstar’s incredible start.
John Pius This Season
John Pius currently LEADS THE NATION with 7.5 sacks in just 5 games this season. He also LEADS THE NATION with 12.5 tackles per loss. He is currently averaging 1.5 sacks per game and is on pace to shatter W&M’s single season sack record, which currently stands at 12 sacks. At his current pace, Pius would finish the season with 16.5 sacks in just the regular season. This incredible feat got us thinking. Who holds the current record for most sacks in a single season? Well, it is a tie between 3 individuals. Lets dive deeper.
Three players, current Tribe DE and CAA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Nate Lynn (2021), former Tribe superstar and NFL Alum Adrian Tracey (2009), and Luke Cullinane (1996) are currently tied for the single season sack record with 12 sacks a piece. For those that remember former Tribe standout Mike Reilly, he is 4th and 5th on the records list with 11.5 sacks in 2013 and 11 sacks in 2014.
Lets take a look at each of these historic seasons in comparison to John Pius to see how they were tracking at this point in the season
Nate Lynn 2021 Season vs. John Pius 2022 Season
Nate Lynn is an unstoppable force on the defensive side of the ball. Looking at Nate Lynn’s game log from a season ago, at this point in the season, Lynn had 5.5 sacks and 6 tackles for loss through his first 5 contests. Through Pius’ first 5 contents, he has 7.5 sacks and an INSANE 12.5 tackles for loss. Lynn went off after his first 5 contents and racked up 5 sacks in his next two games against Towson and Villanova, before cooling off a bit to finish the season. We don’t know how offensive coordinators gameplan for both Lynn and Pius this year, but it must be a nightmare. As you can see from the numbers, Pius is ahead of where Lynn was at this point just a year ago in his historic season, and he likely has Lynn to thank for that. Nate is constantly double teamed, and Pius is more than taking advantage of that fact this year with his monster campaign thus far.
Adrian Tracy 2009 Season vs. John Pius 2022 Season
Now, lets take a look at Adrian Tracy’s 2009 season. In that year, Tracy was named an FCS All-American for the SECOND straight season, before being drafted in the 6th round of the NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He went on to play several seasons in the NFL, winning a super bowl, before finishing his career with the CFL. In Tracy’s historic 2009 season, one in which he tied the single season sack record for W&M with 12 sacks, he started off slow. As you can see, he only had 3 sacks through his first 5 games compared to Pius’ 7.5. Again, like Lynn, after his first 5 games, Tracy went crazy, racking up 4 sacks in his next two games and 7 sacks in his next 5 games. If we look at Tackles for Loss, Tracy had an insane 22 TFLs in 2009, but just 5.5 in his first 5 games. Again, much like the sacks, Tracy exploded for 9.5 TFLs in his next 3 games and a wild 17 TFLs in his final 9 games. For those Tribe faithful that remember, Tracy was a huge part of the 2009 season, the best in Tribe history, when the team finished 11-3 overall, including a run to the FCS Division 1 Semifinal game. Could Pius do the same for W&M this season?
Luke Cullinane 1996 Season
Unfortunately, the farthest back W&M’s stats go online is 2002, so we couldn’t get a breakdown of Luke Cullinane’s 1996 season, a season where he broke the W&M single season record with 12 sacks. But we wanted to give a shoutout to Luke on an incredible season. And we want to add that he did make our All-Time W&M Football Team list, which you can find here.
In the end, we don’t know what we are more impressed by. The fact that John Pius is on pace to CRUSH the W&M Single Season record, or the fact that he is only a Sophomore. Bottom line? This kid can play. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the season goes, and we will be rooting for John game in and game out to break the record. Go Tribe!