Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs became a legend Saturday. The senior threw a 43-yard game-winning Hail Mary to lead the Volunteers to a shocking come-from-behind victory against Georgia.
Alabama QB Jalen Hurts also led his team to an impressive win against Kentucky, but the rest of the conference suffered from poor quarterback play. Only five of the 13 quarterbacks graded higher than a C+, while four earned failing grades.
This is how every SEC quarterback graded out Saturday:
Austin Allen: A-
Stats: 13-18 for 206 yards, 3 TDs
It was only against Alcorn State, but Allen had an outstanding and efficient game. The Arkansas junior followed up a monster performance against Texas A&M by averaging 11.4 yards per pass attempt and throwing just 18 passes in an easy win.
Josh Dobbs: B+
Stats: 16-26 for 230 yards, 3 TDs, INT; 11 carries for 26 yards, TD
Dobbs was inefficient, but made big plays when he needed. The senior was directly responsible for 8 first downs and 4 touchdowns, including Tennessee’s biggest play of the season. Dobbs launched a pass 43 yards into the back of the end zone as time expired as the Volunteers beat Georgia.
Jalen Hurts: B+
Stats: 20-33 for 262 yards, 2 TDs; 9 carries for 25 yards
Hurts showed more of the magic that made him a crowd favorite in Alabama’s win against Kentucky. The true freshman connected for several passes down the sideline, including a beautiful 46-yard bomb to Calvin Ridley to set up a touchdown. Hurts’ confidence and deep-ball accuracy improves with every game.
Sean White: B
Stats: 14-17 for 239 yards, 2 TDs; 6 carries for 10 yards, TD
White was impeccable in Auburn’s dominant win against Louisiana-Monroe, averaging 14.1 yards per pass attempt and compiling 3 touchdowns. White has plenty of growing to do, but he showed dual-threat ability in stretches.
Chad Kelly: B-
Stats: 30-44 for 361 yards, TD, INT
This was a revenge spot for Ole Miss after the Rebels lost to Memphis last season. Paxton Lynch and Justin Fuente were gone, but Kelly still needed to have a dynamic performance against the Tigers. While Kelly was only responsible for 1 touchdown, he threw a 16-yard pass to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Jason Pellerin and a 29-yard pass to Damore’ea Stringfellow to set up a 6-yard run from Eugene Brazley in the fourth quarter.
Jacob Eason: C+
Stats: 17-28 for 211 yards, 2 TDs, INT; 5 carries for minus-13 yards, TD
Eason made some huge plays in Georgia’s loss to Tennessee. None was bigger than a magnificent 47-yard touchdown pass to freshman Riley Ridley that appeared to give the Dawgs a 31-28 win with 10 seconds left. Of course, the Vols pulled off the win with a Hail Mary. Eason continues to get more consistent every week and show the kind of potential that makes him a future superstar.
Danny Etling: C+
Stats: 19-30 for 216 yards; 3 carries for 18 yards
Etling did exactly what he needed to do in LSU’s dominant win against Missouri. He avoided turning over the ball and spread the field just enough for the run game with big passes to D.J. Chark, Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural. LSU played inspired football in Ed Orgeron’s first game and Etling was a big part.
Trevor Knight: C
Stats: 23-40 for 206, INT; 12 carries for 84 yards, TD
Knight was predictably impressive as a runner against South Carolina’s mediocre defense, but he struggled to pass the ball consistently with two of his top targets (Ricky Seals-Jones, Speedy Noil) out with minor injuries. He found himself trying to feed Christian Kirk repeatedly, even though the sophomore struggled to get free against heavy coverage. He’ll need to have a better week of practice for Texas A&M before facing Tennessee next Saturday.
Austin Appleby: C-
Stats: 19-28 for 144 yards
Appleby was perfectly mediocre in Florida’s win against Vanderbilt. He might have been playing against an above-average defense, but Appleby failed to make any significant plays down the stretch for Florida against the Commodores.
Drew Lock: D+
Stats: 17-37 for 167 yards, INT; 1 reception for 21 yards, TD
Lock continued his trend of beating up mediocre teams and struggling against top competition. LSU’s defense played inspired football after head coach Les Miles was fired last Sunday, but Lock handled the pressure poorly. Lock’s greatest weakness is making accurate passes under pressure and he was asked to do it consistently in Missouri’s loss.
Stephen Johnson: D
Stats: 13-22 for 89 yards; 9 carries for 22 yards
Johnson had one of the toughest tasks in the country, facing off against the top defense and perhaps best team in the nation. The junior college transfer was mostly contained and averaged just 4.0 yards per passing attempt and 2.4 yards per carry. Kentucky as a team only mustered 161 yards.
Brandon McIlwain/Perry Orth: D
Stats: 20-33 for 172 yards, INT; 13 carries for minus-4 yards
South Carolina’s defense played well against Texas A&M, but the offense didn’t do enough to compete. The true freshman McIlwain averaged a paltry 2.3 yards per attempt and was relatively bottled up in the run game. He was later pulled for the more mature Orth, who had major struggles of his own.
Kyle Shurmur/Wade Freebeck: F
Stats: 12-32 for 118 yards, 2 INTs
Vanderbilt’s defense played a heck of a game, but quarterback play completely let the Commodores down in a loss to Florida. The Commodores averaged just 3.7 yards per passing attempt and failed to capitalize on the fact they were within a touchdown the entire game against a ranked opponent.