SEC Quarterback Situation Still Fluid After Week 1

Player Att. Comp. Pct. Yards TD INT Efficiency
Tyler Bray, Tennessee 24 17 70.8 293 3 0 214.63
Barrett Trotter, Auburn 23 17 73.9 261 3 0 212.28
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas 24 18 75.0 260 2 0 193.50
Chris Relf, Mississippi St. 21 13 61.9 202 2 0 174.13
A.J. McCarron, Alabama 23 14 60.9 226 1 2 140.37
Aaron Murray, Georgia 29 16 55.2 236 2 1 139.39
John Brantley, Florida 30 21 70.0 229 1 2 131.79
Stephen Garcia, South Carolina 15 7 46.7 110 1 0 130.27
Larry Smith, Vanderbilt 27 13 48.2 125 2 0 111.48
Zack Stoudt, Ole Miss 25 13 52.0 140 0 0 99.04
Jarrett Lee, LSU 22 10 45.5 98 1 0 97.87
Barry Brunetti, Ole Miss 3 2 66.7 4 0 0 77.87
Morgan Newton, Kentucky 18 7 38.9 97 1 3 69.16
Phillip Sims, Alabama 14 7 50.0 73 0 2 65.23
Connor Shaw, South Carolina 9 3 33.3 21 0 0 52.93

 

Tyler Bray, Tyler Wilson, and Chris Relf were entrenched starters bombing bad defenses as expected. Well done, lads. Larry Smith and Morgan Newton were (fairly) entrenched starters who didn't play well against bad defenses. Not so much praise there.

The breakout star of the week was unquestionably Auburn's Barrett Trotter, who looked good for most of the Utah State game and bailed out the team with his precision passing on the final two drives. It doesn't look like he's going to be a huge threat with his feet, although Auburn's run blocking was dismal all day. It was only Utah State, but this was far from a normal cupcake game. Auburn needed someone to carry the team while the defense was getting continually burned and the running backs kept getting stuffed, and Trotter did just that.

Going on at the same time as Trotter's debut was the public's first glimpse at the Alabama quarterback competition. The eye test agrees with the stat sheet that McCarron had the better day than Sims did, but both guys threw a pair of interceptions. Nick Saban declined to name a starter after the game, and we don't know if he will this week. If he does it will be McCarron, but as of now, it looks like the rotation will continue into the big game in Happy Valley this weekend.

Aaron Murray did reasonably well in his sophomore debut against a tough Boise State defense. There's only so much a quarterback can do when he gets sacked six times and his supposed go-to receiver (Tavarres King) had a bad case of the drops. His 139.9 passing efficiency was still higher than anyone but senior Tyrod Taylor put up against Boise last year, so you couldn't ask a whole lot more out of him all things considered. In the other big SEC game, Jarrett Lee put on a Jarrett Lee game (10/22, 98 yards) without a Jarrett Lee game (zero INTs), which is all LSU needed given the strength of its defense and its two almost 100-yard rushers.

John Brantley looked more comfortable and composed than in any game last year, a good sign if there ever was one. His stat line doesn't impress much except for the 70% completions, but that is somewhat misleading as his receivers were frequently having to jump up high or dive to the turf to catch his passes. It's only one game against a bad opponent with a painfully vanilla offense, but the reclamation project had some good early returns. It's looking more like a Jonathan Crompton-style than Brady Quinn-style reclamation project at present, but either is an improvement over 2010.

I don't know if anyone knows quite exactly what Steve Spurrier was doing starting Connor Shaw over Stephen Garcia. Maybe it was a stealth quarter-long suspension for Garcia. Maybe he thought Garcia needed a kick in the pants to practice harder. Maybe he thought he would psyche out Georgia with whatever Shaw was supposed to do well. No matter the theory behind it, Garcia is clearly the better quarterback and should start from here on out.

Finally, the Barry Brunetti experiment didn't even last a half in Oxford. He didn't have much of a chance to shine anyway as he attempted just three passes and spent most of his time handing off before getting yanked. Zach Stoudt was decent in relief and probably should start (unless Randall Mackey is a revelation), but his critical fumble might keep that from happening. (Update: Stoudt is the new starter)

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