4 best quarterbacks Ole Miss will face in 2016
Ole Miss has arguably the toughest first month of the season in the country, starting at Orlando against Florida State on Labor Day, followed by back-to-back home games against Alabama and Georgia – with a little rest period against Wofford as a buffer.
But as good as all three of those teams are expected to be, they are all entrenched in quarterback battles.
At the risk of some assuming, here are four quarterbacks the Rebels should worry about, especially after losing top DBs Mike Hilton and Trae Elston.
1. Sean Maquire, Florida State
Assuming Maguire wins the job, he is coming off a season of 1,520 yards and 11 touchdowns. That came in a combo job with Everett Golson. An ankle injury in the Peach Bowl put Maquire’s progress on hold and made room for a trio of up-and-comers.
But Maquire will likely get the chance to shine without Golson over his shoulder, or the other way around. And he has a talented group of receivers, Travis Rudolph and Kermit Whitfield both in the ACC top five in receiving last season.
2. Greyson Lambert, Georgia
Fans are – and should be – excited about Jacob Eason. But lost in the hype is what Lambert has done for the Bulldogs lately.
There were times Lambert looked less than stellar, but it’s tough to argue with his efficient 63.3 completion percentage for nearly 2,000 yards or his 12 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions.
Losing back Sony Michel is a blow if his injury slips into the regular season, and someone will have to step in for top receiver Malcolm Mitchell, but Lambert can be very effective and will have to be with Eason waiting his turn.
3. Trevor Knight, Texas A&M
One of the few quarterbacks Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly can be even sort of envious of is Knight. Katy Perry had a crush on the guy. Katy Perry.
Kelly has a good mix of proven and raw talent to throw to. Meanwhile, Knight has all of his top guys back, including Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds. The duo combined for 131 catches, 1,916 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2015.
And after Ole Miss has handed the Aggies back-to-back losses, there is a revenge factor to go along with the talent.
4. Brandon Harris, LSU
Harris was sub-par as a sophomore, but at the same time showed obvious skill. His 130.6 quarterback rating ranked seventh in the conference, and he completed only 53.8 percent of his passes to rank 11th in the SEC.
But what he has is personnel – Leonard Fournette at running back and Malachi Dupre at receiver. Fournette is the league’s top back and Dupre is in the top echelon at receiver. If Harris can stay consistent, he has the weapons to pick defenses apart.