We know it’s a little early for the numbers game, but since it’s Quarterback Week at SDS, let’s have some fun with statistical projections for SEC passers in 2015.

I was given the task last season of ranking each of the league’s starting signal callers week-to-week using my own ‘QB Ratings Index’, a Sunday afternoon film study of each week’s game including every individual throw or decision made at the quarterback position.

By no means do I consider myself a quarterback expert, but I’ve tried to determine accurate projections using what I know about each program’s scheme, offensive coordinator (and annual output) as well as individual tendencies of each quarterback.

*Since 2015 depth charts haven’t yet been decided, I’ve projected several quarterbacks as starters who are out front in their respective position battles.

Passing yardage

  1. Kyle Allen, Texas A&M: 3,930
  2. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: 3,610
  3. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn: 3,205
  4. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee: 2,846
  5. Patrick Towles, Kentucky: 2,591

Outlook: Texas A&M has led the SEC in passing offense each of the last three seasons and that’s not going to change despite offensive coordinator Jake Spavital assuring us the Aggies will try and have more balance this fall. Kyler Murray or not (and we don’t know since the MLB Draft is coming up), this is Kyle Allen’s offense and he has plenty of weapons to succeed with big-time numbers. I’d put Mississippi’s Chad Kelly right behind Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson if I was confident Kelly could keep his job throughout the fall, but I’m not. Ryan Buchanan can also run the offense and run it efficiently. Maty Mauk’s not going to have the wide receiver help to surpass last season’s 2,648 yards and Jacob Coker, my projected starter at Alabama, will rely on Derrick Herny and others more often than not.

Completion percentage

  1. Brice Ramsey: 66.5
  2. Kyle Allen, Texas A&M: 65.8
  3. Dak Prescott: 64.1
  4. Jacob Coker, Alabama: 63.9
  5. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn: 63.7

Outlook: The toughest category to project in my opinion, one could assume whoever wins the starting job at Georgia between Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta will have a high completion percentage in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense — a combination of short to intermediate throws with some play-action mixed in. The surprise here for some may be Dak Prescott in the three hole. I’ve watched enough of Prescott this spring to feel confident labeling him as the SEC’s second-most accurate quarterback behind Kyle Allen heading into next season. He has matured in Dan Mullen’s scheme and always knows where to go with the football. Assuming Texas A&M has a running game, Allen should be able to find a rhythm in games early enough to Spavital to open the playbook. The Air Raid is centered around quick-trigger concepts and holes in the defense and Allen did a great job finding those openings over the second half of last season. Jeremy Johnson has a chance to be Auburn’s most accurate quarterback since Cam Newton posted a 66.1 completion percentage in 2010. The SEC leader that season? Alabama’s Greg McElroy at a sparkling 70.9.

Passing TDs

  1. Kyle Allen, Texas A&M: 31
  2. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: 30
  3. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee: 26
  4. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn: 24
  5. Maty Mauk, Mizzou: 23

Outlook: He’ll throw more passes than anyone and red zone opportunities should be plentiful — Kyle Allen will lead the SEC in touchdown passes next fall. Dak Prescott will see a marginal increase as well, but it’s Joshua Dobbs and Jeremy Johnson who will really turn heads as first-year, dual-threat starters. Dobbs has a terrific supporting cast on the outside while Johnson has arguably the SEC’s top returning receiver in Duke Williams. I’d expect Texas A&M’s offense to play catch-up in a couple games, strengthening Allen’s overall production. Last season, Allen tossed 12 touchdown passes over a four-game stretch to end the year. With Josh Reynolds back as a deep threat, Allen will flourish.


  1. Maty Mauk, Mizzou: 12
  2. Will Grier, Florida: 11
  3. Connor Mitch, South Carolina: 10
  4. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss: 10
  5. Jacob Coker, Alabama: 9

Outlook: Here’s the category no one wants to lead, but are interceptions always a result of bad decisions or poor reads? Inexperience is often a contributing factor which is why first-year starters Connor Mitch and Will Grier in the SEC East will struggle at times. Mauk led the division in interceptions thrown last season, but Mizzou’s offense benefits from his near reckless style at times. He’s most comfortable on the move and that leads to momentum-changing plays — and sometimes, mistakes — down the field. You can look at play-callers in the same light as basketball coaches in this regard, unleashing a player with a penchant for launching 3s. He always has the green light to shoot. Some jumpers may be a little longer than you’d like, but you live with what the player considers a comfortable shot. Offensive coordinators overlook the misfires as long as they don’t lead to points at the other end. Mauk’s a gamer and by no means is projecting him to lead the league in interceptions a reflection of his innate ability to win ballgames. He finds ways to get it done even with the giveaways.

Rushing yardage

  1. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: 1,050
  2. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn: 785
  3. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee: 778
  4. Brandon Harris, LSU: 415
  5. Patrick Towles, Kentucky: 399

Outlook: By December, Dak Prescott will be so sore from the beating he’ll take in the SEC this season he may not have the energy to attend red carpet affairs on the awards circuit. In search of his first 1,000-yard campaign on the ground, the senior’s going to get it behind Mississippi State’s rebuilt offensive line since it appears the Bulldogs will utilize several running backs this season. Without a featured top ballcarrier like Josh Robinson’s role last fall, more of the onus falls on Prescott to deliver (That’s not saying Mississippi State doesn’t have the running back depth. It does). Jeremy Johnson’s going to get plenty of yards in Gus Malzahn’s uptempo offense while Joshua Dobbs may be running for his life during the first half of the season behind Tennessee’s unproven wall of blockers.

Rushing TDs

  1. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: 12
  2. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee: 11
  3. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn: 9
  4. Brandon Harris, LSU: 6
  5. Connor Mitch, South Carolina: 6

Outlook: Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs rushed for eight touchdowns in five starts last season, so a total of 11 could be on the low side if he stays healthy and the Vols call his number in the red zone. I’d expect Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd to handle much of that burden however. If Brandon Harris unseats Anthony Jennings for the majority of snaps in Baton Rouge, he’ll make a number of noteworthy plays with his feet.