The freshman quarterback takeover in the SEC added a new participant and just kept rolling on.
Ole Miss true freshman Shea Patterson had his redshirt burned after Chad Kelly’s injury, but he was completely unfazed by the Kyle Field atmosphere in a season-changing win against No. 8 Texas A&M.
Alabama QB Jalen Hurts also had a career game to ensure the Crimson Tide did not experience a letdown against Mississippi State.
In fact, it was some of the more-experienced SEC quarterbacks, such as Austin Allen and Sean White, who struggled in their performances on Saturday. The unpredictability of the sport is why we love it.
See how every SEC quarterback graded out after Week 11’s games:
Shea Patterson: A+
Stats vs. Texas A&M: 25 of 42 for 338 yards, 2 TDs, INT; 15 carries for 64 yards
OK Patterson, we see you. After some expected growing pains in the first half against Texas A&M, throwing for just 92 yards and 5.1 yards per attempt, Patterson had a dominant close. He led Ole Miss to 3 touchdown drives and a game-winning field goal in a 29-28 win at Kyle Field, one of the most hostile locales in college football. The future is bright in Oxford.
Jalen Hurts: A
Stats vs. Mississippi State: 28 of 37 for 347 yards, 4 TDs, INT; 11 carries for 100 yards, TD
Hurts ended any doubt about the outcome early, passing for a pair of touchdowns and running for another to give the Crimson Tide a 24-0 lead in the first 20 minutes en route to a 51-3 rout of Mississippi State. Even though he’s a true freshman, Hurts set the career record for rushing touchdowns (11) by a Nick Saban quarterback.
Austin Appleby: A-
Stats vs. South Carolina: 17 of 21 for 201 yards, 2 TDs, INT
Appleby threw a pair of first-half touchdowns to give the Gators a quick 14-0 lead and put the game out of reach early in a 20-7 win over South Carolina. It was a nice bounce-back for the offense after the disastrous performance against Arkansas a week earlier.
Josh Dobbs: B+
Stats vs. Kentucky: 11 of 17 for 223 yards, 3 TDs, INT; 14 carries for 147 yards, 2 TDs
Despite a few mistakes to keep Kentucky in it, Dobbs played a heck of a game as Tennessee picked up a critical 49-36 victory. He threw for a 51-yard touchdown to Josh Malone in the third quarter and added a 45-yard touchdown run in the fourth to put the game away. Dobbs has been inconsistent this season, but he seems to be at his best when the lights shine brightest.
Drew Lock: B
Stats vs. Vanderbilt: 22 of 37 for 294 yards, 2 TDs
Lock has been boom or bust this season, but was particularly boom on Saturday in a big spot against Vanderbilt’s above-average defense. After a slow start, Lock connected with J’Mon Moore for an 82-yard touchdown and added a 4-yard pass to Moore to ice the game in the fourth quarter in Missouri’s 26-17 victory.
Danny Etling: B
Stats vs. Arkansas: 10 of 16 for 157 yards
Obviously, having the best running back pairing in the nation helps. But regardless, this is what LSU needs from Etling every week. He spread the ball around and hit a couple shots downfield, including completions of 38 and 48 yards. Keeping the defense honest is good enough to earn LSU wins, including Saturday’s 38-10 rout at Arkansas.
Jacob Eason: C+
Stats vs. Auburn: 20 of 31 for 208 yards
Eason played an average game but avoided all mistakes and kept the ball moving enough to ultimately come away with a 13-7 win over Auburn. Don’t be fooled by the final score: Georgia’s one touchdown came on a pick-6. However, Eason led two vital field goal drives in the second half and could have had another if not for a narrowly missed 49-yard attempt. It wasn’t great, but it was good enough.
Jake Bentley: C
Stats vs. Florida: 18 of 33 for 213 yards, INT
The 20-7 loss at Florida was the first setback of Bentley’s young career, but he still managed to play relatively well against one of the most dominant defensive backfields in the nation. Unfortunately, he only received 43 yards help from his running game and South Carolina found the end zone just once.
Stephen Johnson: C
Stats vs. Tennessee: 12 of 29 for 192 yards, 1 INT; 10 carries for 72 yards, TD
Johnson had his best day of the season rushing the ball, but posted the worst completion percentage of any of his starts in 2016. His inaccuracy was partly to blame for the Wildcats’ struggles in the red zone, and that was costly in a high-scoring game. He should get back on track this coming Saturday against winless Austin Peay, but this game cost the Wildcats a shot at their first winning record in SEC play since 1977.
Austin Allen: C-
Stats vs. LSU: 15 of 31 for 210 yards, TD, 2 INTs
It felt like the offense took a step back on Saturday, as the rushing game mustered only 81 total yards and Allen was sacked and pressured repeatedly in Arkansas’ 38-10 loss to LSU. Allen threw an interception on the third possession, which helped the game get out of hand. If Rawleigh Williams can’t contribute at a high enough level, it’s hard to imagine Allen doing much better.
Jake Hubenak: C-
Stats vs. Ole Miss: 16 of 27 for 213 yards, 2 TDs, INT; 9 carries for 30 yards
Hubenak was pretty good for most of the game. He even threw a touchdown in the fourth quarter that seemed to put Ole Miss away. Unfortunately, the two drives from there were a three-and-out and a game-sealing interception. Texas A&M’s offense collapsed down the stretch and ultimately surrendered a 23-7 run in the fourth quarter in a 29-28 loss to Ole Miss.
Kyle Shurmur: D+
Stats vs. Missouri: 17 of 29 for 252 yards, 2 INTs
Here is Vanderbilt’s drive chart to open the game: punt, interception, punt, pick-6, turnover on downs. Shurmur has been consistently inconsistent and unable to move the ball, even against uninspiring defenses, as was the case in a 26-17 loss to Missouri.
Nick Fitzgerald: D
Stats vs. Alabama: 10 of 33 for 145 yards, INT; 11 carries for 15 yards
Fitzgerald had a breakout game against Texas A&M, but almost immediately took a step back against perhaps the best defense in the nation during a 51-3 loss at Alabama. The sophomore averaged fewer than 5 yards per pass attempt and was almost completely negated in the running game. Granted, it was against the No. 1 Crimson Tide, but 3.6 yards per touch is underwhelming.
Sean White: F
Stats vs. Georgia: 6 of 20 for 27 yards, INT; 4 carries for 3 yards
It’s hard to imagine a worse game for White, even considering he was dealing with injuries. White averaged fewer than 1.4 yards per attempt and only one wide receiver caught more than one pass during a 13-7 loss at Georgia. Auburn’s offense has made so many strides, but White is the key. Scoring seven points isn’t acceptable, especially against a fairly average Georgia defense.