Grading the SEC quarterbacks in Week 8: Drew Lock carves up Idaho
When a team lights up the scoreboard to the tune of 51 points before halftime, chances are the quarterback had a decent day. That was the case for Missouri’s Drew Lock in a 68-21 romp against Idaho.
Mississippi State and LSU also had solid outings from its quarterbacks, while Ole Miss, Kentucky and Tennessee were far less fortunate.
Here is a grade for each of the SEC’s quarterbacks for Week 8:
Drew Lock, Missouri: A-plus
Stats: 23-for-33 passing for 467 yards, 6 TDs, INT
Drew Lock made Missouri’s Homecoming a memorable one with a big day against Idaho. He tossed 6 touchdown passes, 3 of which went to Albert Okwuegbunam, as the Tigers roared to 51 first-half points en route to a blowout victory.
Nick Fitzgerald/Keytaon Thompson, Mississippi State: A-plus
Stats: Fitzgerald — 18-for-26 passing for 155 yards, TD; 12 rushes for 115 yards, 2 TDs; Thompson — 1-for-1 passing for 4 yards; 4 rushes for 65 yards, 2 TDs
Nick Fitzgerald was at the heart of Mississippi State’s emphatic win over Kentucky, piling up 270 total yards and 3 touchdowns. Keytaon Thompson came off the bench to rush for 2 more scores, making it a long day for Kentucky’s defense.
Danny Etling, LSU: B
Stats: 9-for-13 passing for 200 yards, 2 TDs
Derrius Guice stole all the headlines, but Danny Etling was very efficient in LSU’s road win at Ole Miss. His 60-yard scoring strike to Foster Moreau in the fourth quarter effectively put the game out of reach. All in all, it’s a nice confidence booster in advance of the Alabama game.
Jalen Hurts/Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama: B
Stats: Hurts — 13-for-21 passing for 198 yards, TD; Tagovailoa — 9-for-12 passing for 134 yards, TD, INT; 4 rushes for 36 yards, TD
Alabama rolled past Tennessee, and the quarterbacks had a hand in making sure there was plenty of cigar smoke in Tuscaloosa. Jalen Hurts didn’t rush the ball, but he threw for nearly 200 yards and a score before making way for Tua Tagovailoa. The freshman threw a pick-6, but responded with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs III to finish off a 45-7 win.
Jarrett Stidham/Malik Willis, Auburn: B-minus
Stats: Stidham — 19-for-28 passing for 218 yards, INT; 4 rushes for 49 yards, TD; Willis — 1-for-1 passing for 4 yards, TD; 2 rushes for 62 yards
Jarrett Stidham was efficient enough, but didn’t throw a touchdown pass and had a takeaway on an interception. He did run for a score, however. Malik Willis completed his only throw for a touchdown while picking up 62 rushing yards on just 2 carries.
Cole Kelley, Arkansas: D
Stats: 15-for-26 passing for 163 yards
Cole Kelley was sacked 6 times and lost 2 fumbles in a rough outing against Auburn. It was only his second career start, and he was working behind what has been a pretty poor offensive line. Still, he didn’t do much in a 52-20 defeat.
Stephen Johnson, Kentucky: D
Stats: 13-for-28 passing for 117 yards, 2 INT; 9 rushes for 54 yards
Stephen Johnson had a rough afternoon in Starkville, as the Mississippi State defense held him under 50 percent for completions and picked him off twice. On the day, Kentucky was held to only 260 yards of offense and crossed midfield only three times.
Shea Patterson/Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss: D-minus
Stats: Patterson — 10-for-23 passing for 116 yards, 3 INT; Ta’amu — 7-for-11 passing for 78 yards
Shea Patterson had a day to forget in the loss to LSU. He threw 3 interceptions and picked up a sprained right knee in the process. Jordan Ta’amu was a bright spot, sparking a scoring drive in relief of Patterson. As poorly as the defense fared against the run, the Rebels would have needed an ‘A’ game from Patterson to stay in this game.
Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee: F
Stats: 9-for-16 passing for 44 yards, INT
Jarrett Guarantano made his first road start at Alabama on Saturday, and it didn’t go all that well. He was sacked 4 times and served up an interception as the Volunteers struggled to move the ball against the Crimson Tide. After the game, he promised “a magical 35 days” to end the season. He’s going to need to develop a bit more to make good on that.