The SEC quarterbacks group has gotten plenty of deserved criticism in the past year, but Week 12 created some excellent performances.
Eight of the 14 quarterbacks threw for multiple touchdowns this week, while three others rushed for at least a score. Obviously, many of these players were facing off against FCS programs, but the games were efficient and productive.
See how every SEC quarterback graded out after Week 12’s games:
Austin Allen: A
Stats vs. Mississippi State: 18-25 for 303 yards, 2 TDs
It might have come against a suspect Bulldogs defense, but Allen is turning into a monster. The junior completed over 70 percent of his passes and averaged 12.1 yards per attempt to lead Arkansas to its best regulation SEC scoring performance of all time. Not bad.
Josh Dobbs: A
Stats vs. Missouri: 15-22 for 223 yards, 3 TDs; 10 carries for 190 yards, 2 TDs
Tennessee apparently doesn’t play defense anymore, but Dobbs has adjusted just fine. The senior was responsible for 413 yards and 5 touchdowns on Senior Day to make sure he would be remembered as a Vols legend. His downfield passing was great, throwing for scores of 49 and 57 yards.
Nick Fitzgerald: A
Stats vs. Arkansas: 23-33 for 328 yards, 2 TDs; 17 carries for 131 yards, 4 TDs
Can a brother get some help out there? Fitzgerald was responsible for 459 of Mississippi State’s 533 yards and all 6 of its touchdowns in a shootout loss to Arkansas. Fitzgerald is still developing as a consistent passer, but he’s improving every week. It’s scary to think he has multiple years left as a starter.
Kyle Shurmur: B+
Stats vs. Ole Miss: 17-30 for 273 yards, 2 TDs
No one likely expected Shurmur to be the player to lead Vanderbilt past Ole Miss, but he was surprisingly good in the win. Even after the Commodores went down 10-0, Shurmur stood tall in the pocket and completed a pair of touchdown passes. He also added a 67-yard pass to set up a 4-yard touchdown run in the dominant win.
Danny Etling: B
Stats vs. Florida: 14-25 for 204 yards
It was in a loss, but Etling quietly had a nice game. He was much more consistent making plays on the move than against Alabama and had a couple of deep throws to keep the Gators defense on their toes. Ultimately, a couple of drops changed the game, which weren’t his fault.
Stephen Johnson: B
Stats vs. Austin Peay: 5-9 for 101 yards, 2 TDs
Johnson was called into emergency action after the Wildcats’ brutal start, and he turned things around quickly. After Austin Peay took a quick 13-0 lead, Johnson threw 2 touchdowns before the half as part of a 49-0 run to end the game. One was a 40-yard bomb to Garrett Johnson for a score.
Shea Patterson: B-
Stats vs. Vanderbilt: 20-42 for 222 yards, 2 TDs
Even though the offense wasn’t great, Patterson did not lose the game. He threw a touchdown in the first quarter and added one late to try and keep Ole Miss in it. Unfortunately, any time a team gives up 38 points to Vanderbilt, it’s not going well. Patterson needs to win the Egg Bowl, or Ole Miss will have burned his redshirt for nothing.
Jake Hubenak: C+
Stats vs. UTSA: 19-32 for 248 yards, TD
Hubenak had an efficient game, but the offense just doesn’t seem to move as well without the threat of the read-option that Trevor Knight brought. He did spread the ball around, especially to Josh Reynolds, who caught Hubenak’s only TD pass early in the first quarter. Hubenak has a tough game on Thanksgiving against LSU to close out the year.
Jeremy Johnson: C+
Stats vs. Alabama A&M: 14-19 for 147 yards, TD; 6 carries for 42 yards, 2 TDs
The last time we saw Johnson, he was pushed off the field for underwhelming play. Luckily, he had a much better Senior Day. He was responsible for 3 touchdowns in an easy win over Alabama A&M.
Austin Appleby: C
Stats vs. LSU: 7-17 for 144 yards, TD
Florida’s game plan was obvious: Don’t let Appleby decide this game. Somehow, he still did. Appleby threw a 98-yard touchdown pass to Tyrie Cleveland, one of the best passes a Florida quarterback has thrown in some time. Of course, that means Appleby averaged 2.9 yards per attempt on the rest of his passes, but the win was worth it.
Jake Bentley: C
Stats vs. Western Carolina: 14-23 for 154 yards
Because of Rico Dowdle’s monster day, Bentley wasn’t called on that much and finished without a passing touchdown for the second straight week after opening with 2 TDs in each of his first three starts. He wasn’t terribly efficient, but he avoided mistakes. Bentley caught a pass too.
Jacob Eason: C
Stats vs. Louisiana-Lafayette: 13-19 for 165 yards, 2 TDs, INT
Against the Ragin’ Cajuns, Eason was perfectly mediocre. He generally avoided mistakes and threw a pair of touchdowns in a game that was probably closer than it should have been. Regardless, Georgia will take the 35-21 win.
Jalen Hurts: C
Stats vs. Chattanooga: 15-21 for 136 yards, 3 TDs; 16 carries for 68 yards
A game against the Mocs was surprisingly one of the worst of Hurts’ young career, but he still avoided mistakes and scored enough in the win. Alabama usually runs a vanilla system against these weaker teams, so it’s almost assuredly nothing to worry about.
Drew Lock: C-
Stats vs. Tennessee: 21-43 for 320 yards, TD, 2 INTs
Trying to figure Lock out is close to impossible. He has a great arm and made some impressive throws down the field. However, he also struggles with consistency and turns the ball over just too much. Both sides came out, as he threw two picks and a 50-yard touchdown. Completing fewer than half of his passes won’t get it done.