Could the SEC have only one 3,000-yard passer in 2014?
Some prolific, and proven, names under center have departed for the NFL, and just as 2013 was the Year of the Quarterback in the SEC, 2014 will likely see a dip in quarterback play. Seven of the top eight quarterbacks in passing efficiency are gone and we are greeted with names like Hutson Mason, Maty Mauk, Dak Prescott and Dylan Thompson. Nick Marshall is the league’s biggest returning star and is still an unknown throwing the football. So is it possible? Could after the years of Mettenberger, Murray, Manziel and McCarron, the SEC have only one 3,000-yard passer? I say yes. And that lone 3,000-yard passer will be Ole Miss’s Bo Wallace. Wallace is the only returning signal-caller from 2013, starter or backup, to reach the 3,000-yard threshold. Yes, he’s erratic at times, but can light up the stat line in Hugh Freeze’s offense. 2012 and 2013 were very good for Wallace, having exceeded 3,000 yards once and nearly reaching it again, throwing for 2,994 yards in 2012. He completed 64% and 65% of his passes in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Don’t get me wrong, quarterback play won’t be disastrous. Most guys have seen ample amounts of playing time such as LSU’s Anthony Jennings, Vanderbilt’s Patton Robinette, Tennessee’s Justin Worley and Florida’s Jeff Driskel, who coming off injury, could have the best chance behind Wallace to throw for 3,000 yards in Kurt Roper’s new scheme. But expect more teams to lean on defense, run the ball and stick to short and intermediate throws. And yes, that may mean less 65-43 basketball scores.
Best chance to reach 3,000 yards:
- Bo Wallace, Ole Miss
- Hutson Mason, Georgia
- Dylan Thompson, South Carolina
Should come close:
- Jacob Coker, Alabama
- Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
- Maty Mauk, Missouri
- Kyle Allen or Kenny Hill, Texas A&M
- Jeff Driskel, Florida
Too tough a feat?
- Brandon Allen, Arkansas
- Nick Marshall, Auburn
- Patrick Towles or Drew Barker, Kentucky
- Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris, LSU
- Justin Worley or Josh Dobbs, Tennessee
- Johnny McCrary, Patton Robinette or Stephen Rivers, Vanderbilt