The Most Underrated Thing Was …
Quarterback injuries. They’ve played a huge role so far.
It was part of the concern in the transfer portal world – how good were the backup quarterbacks?
Not every team has the 2 ready to do what the 1 could.
Overall the quarterback play across the board is at an all-time high level. You’re not wrong to think there are at least 20 legitimate high-end NFL prospects quarterbacking at any one time on a college football Saturday.
And then Kentucky’s Will Levis goes down, and the team lost at home to South Carolina. Levis comes back, 27-17 over Mississippi State.
Quinn Ewers was carving up Alabama. He got hurt, and Texas couldn’t keep the momentum going in the loss. The Longhorns lost to Texas Tech a few weeks later, too. Ewers comes back, 49-0 over an Oklahoma team that was a shadow of itself without Dillon Gabriel.
Gabriel comes back, 403 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Kansas.
For every team with a good backup ready to go – like JJ McCarthy at Michigan and Max Duggan at TCU – there are several other teams that can’t handle the disruption.
NC State survived Florida State with an injured Devin Leary, but he was out against Syracuse – 24-9 Orange.
Arkansas pushed Alabama in a wild loss. KJ Jefferson was out against Mississippi State, 40-17 loss. He comes back for the date at BYU, 367 yards and five touchdowns in the win.
And on and on and on. Yeah, of course losing the starting quarterback matters. It’s why the NFL won’t let anyone hit the quarterbacks without nesting them onto a fluffy pillow.
To steal the SEC’s bit, as the first half of the season showed when it comes to quarterbacks, it just means more now.