Sport Jarrett Stidham's accuracy makes Auburn an SEC contender

20:26  10 august  2018
20:26  10 august  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham while at Baylor in 2015Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. "He has good accuracy on the move, so I'd expect them to move the pocket if he' s the guy. That offense should be more than enough to make Auburn a national title contender in 2017. He' s the perfect fit at the perfect time for the primary contender to Alabama' s SEC West crown.

Jarrett Ryan Stidham (born August 8, 1996) is an American football quarterback for Auburn University. He began his college football career at Baylor University.

AUBURN — Ball placement.

That’s the first thing to notice about Jarrett Stidham’s passing ability last season.

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Most of the time, he puts the ball in the best possible spot for the receiver to catch it, especially against tight coverage.

Stidham was limited in spring ball as a safety precaution as he recovered from offseason surgery to his non-throwing shoulder, but showed Thursday he hasn’t lost his touch.

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“If you could see the scrimmage, you’d think he’s practiced every day since the spring,” Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis said. “They made some big throws down the field, particularly the back shoulder. He was very accurate. He looked good in the pocket.”

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This is what separates Stidham from every quarterback in the SEC.

Drew Lock has a livelier arm. Jalen Hurts and Nick Fitzgerald are more of a dual threat.

Tua Tagovailoa is a purer talent.

Jake Fromm showed the right stuff as a true freshman last season, but Stidham is more accurate and threads the needle better than anyone in the league.

“The coaches were letting him get some downfield throws and when they were able to get the ball out, they were able to complete (passes),” Davis continued.

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Jarrett Stidham ' s pledge is a game-changer for the Tigers. He takes them from a middling bowl team to an immediate contender in the SEC West. Welcome to a new era at Auburn , the Jarrett Stidham era.

“I tip my hat to those guys. They made plays. On defense, we’ve got to do better, but that back shoulder throw in college football, or any level of football, is a hard throw to defend if it’s placed perfectly and Jarrett can throw it perfectly.”

Stidham led the SEC by completing 66.5 percent of his passes. He threw for 3,158 yards, 18 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 14 games.

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With a year under his belt, his offensive coordinator back and perhaps the conference’s most talented and deepest receiver unit, Stidham should put up even better numbers in 2018 and make Auburn more difficult to defend despite losing Kerryon Johnson, the SEC's leading rusher in 2017, early to the NFL.

“I hope we’re pretty challenging for people to stop, but we have a lot of weapons and I think we’re going to utilize that,” Stidham said.

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Stidham tried his best not to smile while saying that, but let one slip out on that “uh” part of the quote. Deep down, he knows Auburn could be very special on offense.

The Tigers have to get that offensive line together to protect Stidham. Memories of giving up 11 sacks to Clemson last year still linger. They appear to be running back by committee right now, but a featured back has emerged each season in Gus Malzahn’s time as Auburn's head coach.

While Georgia and Alabama, two thirds of this three-team SEC race, are having quarterback competitions, Auburn knows who its quarterback is — and that gives the Tigers an advantage in that area.

Everyone knows who the guy is.

He’s back for a second consecutive season with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey. Those two are building upon the chemistry they established last season.

Plus Auburn has a defense that’s going to give Stidham excellent field position a great deal of the time and extra possessions.

Auburn wasn’t picked to win the conference at SEC media days. The defending national champion Crimson Tide were predicted to beat the defending SEC champion Bulldogs in the conference championship game.

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Jarrett Stidham ' s pledge is a game-changer for the Tigers. He takes them from a middling bowl team to an immediate contender in the SEC West. Junior college commit: QB Jarrett Stidham to Auburn .

The Tigers have to play both on the road. They’ll be evenly matched, but Stidham will give the Tigers more than a fighting chance to win because of his ball placement.

In wins over Georgia and Alabama last season, Stidham completed a just blazing 72.5 percent of his passes (37-of-51) for 451 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Nick Saban is a great teacher of defensive backs and his secondary always force quarterbacks to be nearly perfect with the ball.

Kirby Smart learned from Saban so his defensive backs play the same way.

Stidham is the one SEC quarterback who can overcome tight coverage because on most throws, he puts the ball where only his receiver can catch it.

If this revamped O-line protects Stidham, Auburn will beat Alabama and Georgia.


“With Jarrett throwing the ball and putting it in the places that he put it, man, the sky’s the limit for that offense,” Davis said.

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