Quarterback play is always the key to winning close games. This is especially evident in the second half when the pressure begins to mount. In 2012, Aaron Murray was the highest rated signal caller after half time. His rating of 186.59 was 11 points higher than the overall winning national total by AJ McCarron. Murray had 20 touchdowns and only 1 interception in the second stanza and showed that he is an elite quarterback. He not only deserves credit for taking his game up a notch, but coordinator Mike Bobo does as well. Not a surprise that AJ McCarron was the second highest rated with his terrific season and he threw 9 touchdowns and only 1 pick after halftime. Jonathan Wallace is the big surprise of the top five. He did not play as much, but you have to believe his play in the second half of games last season caught Gus Malzahn’s attention when reviewing the tape. Does it give him the leg up for the job this season? We will find out in less than a month when practice begins.
Here is the top five highest rated returning QB's from 2012
1. Aaron Murray, Georgia.
2. AJ McCarron, Alabama
3. Jonathan Wallace, Auburn.
4. Connor Shaw, South Carolina.
5. Jeff Driskel, Florida.
The Paul Horning award list was announced this past week featuring some of the most versatile athletes in college football. The SEC has 9 on the preseason watch list but in my opinion here are the top five most versatile athletes in the league.
1. Loucheiz Purifoy, DB-WR Florida.
2. Bruce Ellington, RB-WR-KR South Carolina.
3. Malcolm Mitchell, WR-KR-DB Georgia.
4. Marcus Murphy, KR-PR-RB Missouri.
5. Odell Beckham Jr., WR-PR LSU.
Purifoy will have a shot to make plays at receiver but needs to increase his interception total (zero) to win the award. Ellington may have the best shot to win if he can get into the end zone more. Last season 7 receiving touchdowns but needs some rushing and or return scores. Malcolm Mitchell should have a huge year on offense and likely not play defense, so it will have to come in the return game for him. However if I were in Mark Richt's shoes I would use Keith Marshall and save my top receiver. Keep an eye on these guys not listed:
- Jeff Scott, Ole Miss
- Brandon Holloway, Mississippi State
- Brandon Williams, Texas A&M
- Chris Black, Alabama
This and that...
Talking to folks in the coaching profession the past week the reiterated what we said on Talkin Football last week. You cannot report a team for a secondary violation without a coach's involvement. The fact that Urban Meyer has turned Florida in twice is not a big surprise to me considering how much he believes in following all the rules. I think he is embarrassed at the attention it's gotten and wants to preserve what he has left of his legacy at Florida. He has fallen out of favor with many Florida fans, but he is still a great coach who tries to do it the right way.
This is the time of the year that the arrests just keep coming and August 1 cannot get here soon enough for many football coaches. LSU Star tailback Jeremy Hill was charged with simple battery this past week. He is part of a loaded skilled position for the Tigers, however his suspension comes at a bad time.. If this becomes any type of game suspension, Hill could miss the opener versus the very dangerous TCU Horned Frogs. Good news for Tiger fans though is that Alfred Blue, who may be the most explosive Tiger running back is healthy after suffering a season ending injury in 2012.
Here is the order of appearance by team for this year’s SEC Media Days. Remember we will have full coverage of the entire event from sun up to sun down on CSS-Sports.com, twitter, Facebook and of course with Talkin Football every night at 7pm eastern on CSS. I will have a preview next week on the eve of the event.
July 16 (Afternoon Session):
July 17 (All Day):
July 18 (Morning Session):