Excluding the 2009 season, freshman quarterbacks with at least 200 pass attempts have lead their teams to bowl bids and winning records in the SEC since 2006, regardless of touchdowns or interceptions.
2006: Matt Stafford, Georgia, 256 attempts, 9-4 Record
2007: Wesley Carroll, Mississippi State, 255 attempts, 9-5 Record
2008: Jarrett Lee, LSU, 269 attempts, 8-5 Record
Georgia and Mississippi State had top five SEC defenses to help them out and far less than three freshman starters on the O-line.
Tennessee (2-4, 0-3 SEC) is ranked ninth in the SEC in total defense, LSU in 2008 finished the season ranked 10th. Tennessee also has a similar runner (as far as numbers are concerned),Tauren Poole, to LSU’s leading rusher that year, Charles Scott.
Now, Tyler Bray has only made 18 pass attempts all season and would have to throw about 30 passes a game from here out to eclipse the 200 mark. Bray could realistically get close to if he took over from Alabama to the end of the season. Tennessee surprisingly enough averages about 25 pass attempts a game (On the way to not converting third downs apparently…).
Maybe Bray’s arm IS the spark that The Volunteer Nation needs. Then again, maybe not…
I think Matt Simms is a very capable quarterback that has provided Tennessee with consistent play and not a lot of turnovers. At the same time, Tennessee is 2-4; I understand why Dooley is looking for anything to improve the team.
Maybe Dooley wants Alabama to prepare for a 6-6 QB that is going to sit back in the shotgun and try and bomb it to Justin Hunter and Denarius Moore for four quarters, while in reality, they are just going to use Matt Simms most of the game and try to impose their will with Tauren Poole.
That being said, when South Carolina beat The Tide, they had success spreading Saban’s Defense out and throwing the ball and mixing up the occasional draw with Marcus Lattimore. I doubt Dooley hasn’t spent the last two weeks dissecting every part of that game on film.
We won’t really be able to see what Dooley has been thinking till about 7:00 Saturday night.
But if number eight is the first one to step on the field for Tennessee’s first possession, it’s not actually a run play, we’re going to see how far the freshman can throw it.
Brett Parisi is the head sports writer for knoxvilleman.com and a contributor to BleacherReport.com
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