QBC Week in Review 9/16: Top Performers
QB Country trainees had a strong Week 3. Here are just a few of the highlights:
Kaleb Barker (Troy)
Kaleb earned Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors after his monster performance in Troy’s 47-42 loss to Southern Miss. Kaleb went 29/43 for a school-record 504 yards and four touchdowns (and zero interceptions) and extended his streak of attempts without an interception to 140. Though disappointed with the loss, Kaleb earned high praise from Troy coach Chip Lindsey:
“He played really well. He made a lot of good decisions and didn’t put the ball in jeopardy a whole lot, which is always good from a quarterback perspective…Really pleased with his progression, and hopefully he’ll continue to improve as the season goes along.”
Jack Abraham (Southern Miss)
The winning quarterback in the Troy-USM game referenced above, Jack Abraham had himself a day on Saturday. Jack was 28-of-36 passing for 463 yards and two touchdowns. He added 26 yards on the ground, including a rushing score. He completed his first 17 passes of the game. Jack garnered two of the nation’s top weekly quarterback honors — he was named a Davey O’Brien “Great 8” Performer of the Week and a Manning Award Star of the Week. Said USM offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner after the game:
“It really helps when you’ve got the release he has. He’s got one of the quickest releases I’ve ever been around. Even when there is a little bit of pressure, he’s still able to get the ball off where a guy with a little bit longer delivery may not be able to make those throws. He made the right reads. Honestly, (his performance) was as good as I’ve ever been around and I’m proud of him for that. We’ve just got to continue to build off of it.”
Head coach Jay Hopson agreed:
“With a guy like Jack, you see him getting better and better. I said a long time ago he reminds me of (former USM quarterback) Nick Mullens, just a little younger. Jack eats and sleeps football. Hopefully he’ll continue on with his progression and get better.”
Jack and Southern Miss take on Alabama this Saturday, in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2.
Jake Fromm (Georgia)
Jake completed 17-of-22 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-0 romp over Arkansas State. He averaged better than 12 yards per pass. Jake wasn’t the only QB Country trainee to get in on the action as Stetson Bennett finished 9/10 for 109 yards. Jake and the #3 Bulldogs take on #7 Notre Dame this Saturday (8 PM, CBS) in a rematch of Jake’s first-ever game — and victory — as UGA’s quarterback. Jake shared his thoughts on the big match-up against the Irish and being ready to compete at a high-level each week:
“The guys in the locker room, we believe we’re one of the best teams in the country,” Fromm said. “We just have to come out and play like it. We’re ready for the trek ahead. We know it’s going to be a big football game every single week from here on out and we’re ready for that.”
Austin Kendall (West Virginia)
Austin led the Mountaineers to a 44-27 victory over NC State, going 27-of-40 for 272 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball four times for 33 yards. The win raised WVU’s record to 2-1 heading into a Big XII contest at Kansas next week. Though Austin transferred into WVU this year, he has won his teammates and coaches over with work ethic and steady leadership. Said WVU coach Neal Brown after the NC State win:
“He’s really invested. We made him a captain today because he probably puts more time in than anyone in our program.”
Chase Fourcade (Nicholls State)
Chase Fourcade did it all in Nicholls State’s 42-35 comeback victory over Prairie View A & M. Chase went 17/22 for 224 yards, threw a pair of touchdown passes and rushed for two more as the Colonels improved to 1-1 and moved up to #9 in the FCS rankings. During the game, Chase eclipsed 8,000 yards passing for his career. He was named Louisiana Sports Writers Association Offensive Co-Player of the Week, sharing the honor with LSU’s Joe Burrow. This is the third time he has won the award.
Other News & Highlights:
Congrats to Devlin Hodges, who was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers to their practice squad, then earned the call up to the 53-man roster later in the week following an injury to Steelers QB Ben Rothlisberger. Devlin has worked hard for this moment and is ready.
Gardner Minshew followed up his record-breaking debut with his first NFL start, going 23/33 for 213 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 56 yards on six carries. He nearly led the Jaguars to victory in the fourth quarter, directing two scoring drives in the final minutes, but the Jags fell 13-12 at Houston after a failed two-point conversion.
Gray McCall made his first college appearance a memorable one, going 3/3 for 30 yards and notching his first career touchdown pass in Coastal Carolina’s 46-7 victory over Norfolk State.
Garrett Shrader impressed again as he entered a tight game in the second half against Kansas State, scored his first career TD, threw for 51 yards, had 82 yards rushing — and showed his toughness and grit. Thankfully, he was OK after laying his body on the line in an effort to get a late fourth quarter first down: