Power ranking every QB Texas A&M will face in 2019
The Aggies will face some of the best quarterbacks in college football in this upcoming season. Four of the 12 they’ll face threw for more than 3,000 yards last season or have done so at some point in their career. Two others nearly reached that mark a year ago.
That’s half of the schedule in which Texas A&M must combat some of college football’s more outstanding quarterbacks, and 3 are legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates — Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia’s Jake Fromm.
To say the least, the Aggies were not very good against the pass last season, yielding an average of 253.2 yards per game. That included 300-yard games given up to Tagovailoa and Alabama as well as to the now departed Jordan Ta’amu and Ole Miss.
The Aggies must tighten up this season against the pass against a group of formidable opposing quarterbacks. Here’s a power ranking of the 12 quarterbacks the Aggies will face in 2019.
No. 12 Jordan Hoy (Lamar)
Skinny: Inexperience and playing in the Southland Conference isn’t the best recipe for preparing to meet an SEC opponent. Hoy threw for 516 yards last season. It’ll be a long day for him and the Cardinals when they meet the Aggies in Kyle Field.
No. 11 Cordale Grundy (UTSA)
Skinny: For a team that finished last in the nation in total offense, there’s nowhere to go but up. Grundy threw for 989 yards last season and looks to help the Roadrunners improve an offense that averaged just 14 points a game in 2018.
No. 10 Tyler Vitt (Texas State)
Skinny: Technically, Vitt hasn’t won the job. He’s still competing with Gresch Jensen. But Vitt displayed moments of brilliance last season throwing for 1,159 yards. We’ll see what he can do under 1st-year head coach Jake Spavital, the former Aggies offensive coordinator.
No. 9 Keytaon Thompson/Tommy Stevens (Mississippi State)
Skinny: This battle hasn’t been decided either, though Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead said a decision was imminent. Thompson still has to beat Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens, but the 6-4, 225-pound Thompson has been a workable backup to Nick Fitzgerald the past 2 years. The dual-threat accumulated 684 yards rushing and passing last season and threw for 6 TDs to go along with 4 rushing scores. Stevens is considered the better passer, but he doesn’t have a lot of game reps.
No. 8 Bo Nix (Auburn)
Skinny: Nix beat out Joey Gatewood for the starting job. Nix has all the tools to become an elite SEC quarterback. A true freshman, he only lacks experience. His arm, speed and mobility are just what head coach Gus Malzahn is looking for and has been successful with in his offense.
No. 7 Matt Coral (Ole Miss)
Skinny: The next in line of prolific passers in the Rebels’ system steps forward. He hasn’t proven himself just yet, but don’t be too surprised in the Ole Miss offense if Coral doesn’t add to the lengthy list of successful QBs that have come through the program in recent years.
No. 6 Ben Hicks (Arkansas)
Skinny: Yet another QB battle that hasn’t been decided. Sheer numbers would insist that Hicks, the SMU transfer, should be above average in the SEC. But don’t forget that those numbers were put up primarily against American Athletic Conference competition. In 33 games at SMU, Hicks is the program’s all-time leader in career passing yards (9,081) as well as attempts, completions, and TDs. But I’m holding off on a higher ranking until a) he actually wins the job from Nick Starkel and b) he proves he can put up similar numbers against SEC competition.
No. 5 Joe Burrow (LSU)
Skinny: Throwing for 2,894 yards and 16 TDs in his 1st season on the Bayou, Burrow (a.k.a. Burreaux) has a year of the Tigers’ system. He has talented receivers, a new passing game coordinator, and head coach Ed Orgeron has promised to open up the LSU offense (where have we heard that before?). In any case, the experienced Burrow can only get better in 2019.
No. 4 Jake Bentley (South Carolina)
Skinny: In 3 seasons, Bentley has increased his numbers each time. He threw for 3,171 yards last season. How much better can he be? Interceptions remain an issue — 26 over the past 2 seasons. And now he has a hot-shot freshman biding his time in Ryan Hilinksi. But Bentley has totaled 7,385 passing yards and 54 TDs and will be a handful for the Aggies and every other team on the Gamecocks’ schedule.
No. 3 Jake Fromm (Georgia)
Skinny: In 2 seasons, Fromm has thrown for 5,364 yards and 54 TDs. He only figures to get better as his stock continues to rise in this his junior season with another stacked Bulldogs team that will once again compete for SEC honors.
No. 2 Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)
Skinny: In leading Alabama to the SEC championship and a spot in the National Championship Game, Tagovailoa threw for 3,966 yards (fifth-most in the NCAA) and was second in the nation with 43 TD passes. He will help the Tide roll to another highly successful season.
No. 1 Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
Skinny: The freshman displayed the skill and poise far beyond his years in leading the Tigers to the national championship last season. Lawrence threw for 3,280 yards and 30 TDs last season, despite not starting the first several games. It is scary to consider just how much better Lawrence can get over the next couple of years.