4 best QBs Texas A&M will face in 2016
You don’t play an SEC schedule without facing great talent. It just doesn’t happen. And you don’t go through the conference without coming up against some of the nation’s top talent at quarterback, either.
Looking down the Texas A&M 2016 schedule reveals some interesting matchups against some of the league’s, and nation’s, most highly regarded signal-callers. Here’s a look at the four best quarterbacks the Aggies will face in the upcoming season in order of when they meet. All four games will be played at Kyle Field.
1. Josh Rosen, UCLA: Right off the bat, the Aggies face one of the nation’s top young guns from the West Coast. The first Bruins true freshman to ever start in a season opener, Rosen made his presence felt by setting numerous school records.
Here’s the laundry list: consecutive pass attempts without an interception (245); most passes attempted in a single game (57 vs. Washington State); most passing yards by a true freshman in a game (399 vs. Cal); most yards in a season by a true freshman (3,688); most touchdown passes thrown by a true freshman (23); longest pass play by a true freshman (70 yards); most completions in a game (34 vs. Cal); most passing attempts in a season (487); most passing yards per game in a season (282.2).
Not a bad start. Rosen’s 410 yards of total offense vs. Washington State ranks ninth on the school’s all-time list. He was The Sporting News Freshman of the Year, USA Today 1st team Freshman All-America, FWAA 1st team Freshman All-America, Pac-12 Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year and Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year.
That’s who the Aggies will open against in 2016.
2. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee: As a senior, Dobbs will lead the Vols into the 2016 season as the trendy pick to win the SEC East. He joins Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, Chad Kelly and Dak Prescott as the only SEC players from the last 20 years to have 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in a game. Only Manziel did it multiple times like Dobbs, who did it twice: against Georgia in 2015 and South Carolina in 2014.
The Vols are 14-5 in his last 19 starts dating to the 2013 season, and the team averaged 34.2 points per game and 424 yards of total offense over that span. Dobbs has thrown at least one touchdown in 13 of those games, and he’s also rushed for at least one touchdown in 13 of those games.
He is the ultimate dual-threat quarterback, rushing for a school-record (by a quarterback) 671 yards (51.6 yards per game) with 11 rushing scores in 2015. He can do it all: Dobbs also caught a 58-yard touchdown at Florida.
He is seventh in career completions at Tennessee (389) and eighth in career passing yards (4,192). His 20 career rushing touchdowns are second in school history to only Jimmy Streater (25) and his career rushing total (1,329 yards) is second all-time for quarterbacks at Tennessee behind Streater (1,374).
3. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss: Another senior hoping to lead his team to an SEC title, Kelly made quite an impact last year in his first full season at the helm of the Ole Miss offense. He was the first QB to lead Ole Miss to wins over Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same season.
Kelly was also the QB to lead Ole Miss to five victories over top-25 ranked teams. He led the SEC in average passing yards per game (310.9), ranking 10th in the nation, He led the conference in total offense (349.4 yards per game), passing touchdowns (31) and points responsible for (246).
Kelly was among the top 20 quarterbacks nationally in passing efficiency (155.9), completion percentage (65.1), completions per game (22.9) and yards per pass attempt (8.8).
He tied or broke 14 Ole Miss single-season records. His 4,542 total yards and 4,042 passing yards are both third-most in a season in SEC history.
Kelly also led the Rebels with 10 rushing touchdowns, the most by an Ole Miss QB since Archie Manning had 14 in 1969.
4. Brandon Harris, LSU: With a full season as a starter under his belt, Harris is expected to lead the Tigers to greater heights in 2016. His streak of 137 consecutive passes without an interception is tied for the longest in school history with Alan Risher, who threw 137 straight without a pick during the 1982 season.
In 2015, Harris threw for 2,158 yards and 13 touchdowns but has had his struggles over the course of his career.
That’s a solid group of signal-callers with which the Aggies defense must deal with as another rough SEC slate awaits.