Ranking the SEC’s top 10 quarterbacks of 2014
Who were the SEC’s top quarterbacks this season?
SEC’s top players of 2014
10. Brandon Allen, Arkansas — In a run-heavy offense this season, Allen wasn’t asked to do too much but was one of his division’s most efficient quarterbacks when his number was called. With his targets often tight ends, Allen completed 56.3 percent of his throws for 2,125 yards and 18 touchdowns. He cut his interception total (5) in half as a junior.
9. Kenny Hill, Texas A&M — One of the nation’s hottest players over the first month, Hill lost his starting job following a 59-0 loss at Alabama on Oct. 18, the Aggies’ third consecutive setback after running off five straight wins to begin the season. In eight starts, the sophomore threw for 2,649 yards and 23 touchdowns, posting the Western Division’s second-best completion percentage (66.7). He was suspended two games in November for a violation of team rules.
8. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee — The sample size was small after the sophomore started just four games after an injury to Justin Worley, but the future’s bright for a Tennessee offense led by this dual-threat. Dobbs has tallied 1,470 yards of offense and 14 total touchdowns since Oct. 25 — the most by any SEC quarterback. He played so well in spurts that some consider Tennessee the SEC East favorite in 2015.
7. Maty Mauk, Mizzou — In his first full season as Mizzou’s starting quarterback, Mauk overcame early turnover troubles to lead the Tigers to their second consecutive Eastern Division title, an improbable run considering this team’s 34-0 home loss to Georgia on Oct. 11. Mauk’s completion percentage of 52.9 was second-worst in the SEC for starting quarterbacks (LSU’s Anthony Jennings 48.8), but he managed 23 touchdown passes including eight over a six-game winning streak to conclude the regular season.
6. Dylan Thompson, South Carolina — The fifth-year senior set a new school record with an SEC-high 3,280 yards passing this fall. At times, the Gamecocks were too pass-heavy however, evidenced by Thompson’s 417 attempts — 24 more passes than his next nearest competitor after 12 games. Interceptions were an issue (11).
5. Bo Wallace, Ole Miss — This multi-year starter helped the Rebels climb to No. 3 at 7-0 midway through October before a loss at LSU rattled his confidence level. Over his final four starts post-Baton Rouge, Wallace threw two touchdown passes and four interceptions, finishing his senior campaign with 22 scores and 11 picks.
4. Hutson Mason, Georgia — Replacing four-year starter Aaron Murray under center left many in Athens scratching their heads about the 2014 campaign at quarterback, but Mason came through with a statistically-solid season, leading the conference with a 67.9 completion percentage. His touchdown to interception ratio was also an SEC-best 5 to 1.
3. Nick Marshall, Auburn — This preseason Heisman candidate was kept in check down the stretch as the Tigers lost three of their final four games in the regular season to slip out of the division championship race. He still managed 29 touchdowns (18 pass, 11 rush) and 3,095 yards of total offense for the defending SEC champs. Marshall became more deadly through the air in his second season.
2. Blake Sims, Alabama — Expected to be the Crimson Tide’s second-team signal caller behind Jacob Coker heading into the season, Sims won the job and never looked back, posting one of the most efficient seasons in Alabama history. Sims was responsible for 32 total touchdowns and helped junior wideout Amari Cooper win the Biletnikoff Award with a steady dose of receptions in the screen game and down the seam. In the SEC Championship Game, Sims set a new record for completion percentage at 85.2 (23 of 27 for 262 yards and two touchdowns).
1. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State — Prescott captivated college football with his dual-threat capabilities during his first season as a full-time starter in Starkville, cementing his spot in Bulldogs lore with an SEC-best 3,935 yards of total offense and 38 touchdowns (24 pass, 13 rush, 1 receiving). Mississippi State secured its first No. 1 ranking in school history on Oct. 11 after the Bulldogs posted their third straight win over a Top 10 team. The ride at the top lasted a month until a loss in Tuscaloosa damaged Mississippi State’s Playoff hopes and ultimately cost Prescott a shot at the Heisman.