2. The Most Underrated Thing Was …
The SEC East lost another starting quarterback.
Three of the seven starting quarterbacks in the SEC East are hurt, and while Georgia would be the division’s top star no matter what, the path just got a bit easier.
For what appears to be the rest of this season, you don’t have Feleipe Franks to kick around anymore, Gator fans.
He might have thrown a bad pick against Miami, and he was much-maligned at times throughout last year, but he also grew into the starting role, the face of the franchise, and the leader under Dan Mullen.
Franks completed 76% of his passes for a top ten Gator team that’s more of a contender for the SEC East title than it’s been playing like so far. Now it’ll have to be even better with a backup leading the way.
After Franks down with a gruesome leg injury against Kentucky, junior Kyle Trask came through and saved the day in the gut-check 29-21 win. He connected on 9-of-13 passes for 126 yards, ran for a touchdown, and was able to get the job done while the team was obviously shaken after what happened to its main man under center.
On the other side, Kentucky’s Sawyer Smith was fine.
He ran for a touchdown and threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw three interceptions. Did the Troy transfer lose the game for the Wildcats? Absolutely not, but is this a different team if starter Terry Wilson – who went down with a season-ending knee injury against Eastern Michigan the week before – is playing? Obviously.
South Carolina star freshman Ryan Hilinski has filled in admirably so far for injured starter Jake Bentley. The Gamecocks might have been rocked by Alabama, but Hilinski held up well, throwing for 324 yards and two scores with just one pick. On the bright side, he’s the future for the program, and he’s getting his work and reps in a bit early.
All three of the new starting quarterbacks are good, and all three teams can win with them. But if you told Georgia before the season which three teams in the division would be without their starting quarterbacks after three weeks …