QB Country
QB Country: Quarterback Training & Development

Manning, Abraham headline another big week in QB Country

By Doug Young, Athletes’ Ink

With the NCAA and NFL football seasons headed down the home stretch, QB Country trainees are shining when the lights are brightest. Some of the top performers from last week included:

Jack Abraham (Southern Miss)
Despite missing the past few games with a bone bruise, USM’s Jack Abraham was red hot in his return to action last week — a 21-20 victory over Louisiana Tech. Jack completed 24 of 29 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown (on the game-clinching drive late in the fourth quarter) and now leads all FBS quarterbacks in completion percentage at 73.3%. The win keeps Southern Miss’s bowl hopes alive entering their final regular season contest against UTEP.

Another QB Country product  — Tate Whatley — held down the fort at quarterback while Jack was recovering from injury. Tate continued to see action last week, taking about 20 snaps over the course of the game as Jack eased back into his starting role.

Abraham has drawn comparisons with another USM grad and QB Country trainee, Nick Mullens (now starting for the 49ers). Said Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson:

“I said going into camp that he did a lot of things that reminded me of Nick. They aren’t the same verbatim, but there are some similarities there. He’s a special young man and he’s a football junkie. He studies the game and he’s a guy that eats, breathes and sleeps football, and that what makes him so special.”

Eli Manning (New York Giants)
With a career-best completion percentage of 69% and 96.6 passer rating through week ten, Eli Manning is quietly putting together one of the most impressive years of his remarkable career. He went a near-perfect 17-18 for 231 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-35 victory over the Bucs on Sunday and threw for three touchdowns in a clutch Monday night victory against the 49ers last week. He’s currently on pace (over a full 16-game season) for 4,471 passing yards (second-most in his career), 21 touchdowns and a career-low ten interceptions. Of particular note: he’s pace to take a career-high 57 sacks.

Said teammate Sterling Shepard after Manning’s performance in the victory over the Bucs: ”You give Eli time to throw and that’s what you are going to get.”

Jake Bentley (South Carolina)
Jake has put together back-to-back career performances, completing 25-29 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-4 win against Chattanooga last Saturday and throwing for 363 yards in a 48-44 comeback win against Ole Miss the week prior. He had the highest adjusted completion percentage (96.3%) among FBS quarterbacks in Week 12.

With the win, USC improves to 6-4 heading into Saturday’s match-up at home with #2 Clemson.

Said USC coach Will Muschamp: “Jake has played really good football for us. He’s accurate with the football. He’s completing almost 70 percent of his passes, and we’re not throwing dink and dunk. We’re throwing the ball down the field. He’s played at a very high level since the second half of the Texas A&M game against some very high level defenses.”

Gardner Minshew (Washington State)
A week removed from leading Washington State to a stirring Pac-12 victory over Cal, Heisman hopeful Gardner Minshew ended the drama early in a 69-28 thrashing of Arizona. Gardner threw five first half touchdown passes and a school-record seven total TDs for the game and finished with 473 yards on 43-55 passing. WSU is now ranked #7 in the country and still has an outside shot the College Football Playoffs. Minshew and the Cougars take on #17 Washington Friday with a trip to the Pac-12 championship on the line.

Said Gardner of his record-breaking performance: “In high school I got six one time. I never done seven. It was pretty crazy tonight.”