The first couple weeks of the D3 football season have brought with them some impressive quarterback play in the Southern Athletic Association. There have been 45 touchdown passes thrown in the SAA so far — most of any conference in D3 football.
Nine SAA quarterbacks rank in the top 200 D3 football quarterbacks in terms of passing yards per game, and five of them rank in the top 50 for total passing touchdowns.
But which of this group is the best? We'll leave that up to you to decide. Take a look at the quarterbacks listed below and make your choice. THE ONLY WAY TO VOTE IS THE POLL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. Vote up to once per hour until the poll closes Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern.
Let's get to it.[divider]
Miles Thompson leads the conference in just about every volume passing statistic. His ten touchdown passes through two games so far are the most in the conference and second most in all of D3 football. He's the only quarterback in the SAA averaging better than 10 yards per attempt, which is especially good because he also leads the conference in attempts by a healthy margin.
The Warriors struck gold in this sophomore, who is starting his first full season after coming on in relief for Seth Peters last season. Hendrix is 2-0 with wins over Lyon and Texas Lutheran. It's going to be very interesting to see how Thompson performs against SAA defenses in the coming weeks.[divider]
Rhodes College Athletics[/credit]
Settles ranks second in the conference in passing yards per game (282, No. 35 in D3 football), but he's got a few tools Thompson lacks.
Settles can run. He ranks ninth in the conference in rushing yards per game so far, with 107 yards and two touchdowns through two games, including a 50-yard scamper to put the Lynx up for good in their first game of the season against Willamette. [divider]
[credit]Centre College Athletics[/credit]
Hayes came out throwing in the Colonel's season-opening win at Hanover, attempting 19 passes in the first half before letting the run game take over in the second. The second game was a similar story. Hayes threw 21 passes in the first half, including three touchdowns, and led the Centre offense to a 40-7 halftime lead. He only played one series in the second half — they didn't need him. [divider]
Slade Dale's efficiency has been outstanding this year. He has five touchdowns and no interceptions through two games so far, making him one of just 15 quarterbacks in D3 football who has thrown at least five TDs with no picks.
[credit]Scott Butler/BSC Athletics[/credit]
Kerrigan Pennington does it all for the Panthers. He leads the conference in completion percentage (70.27), ranks third in rushing yards (224), second in rushing touchdowns (3), and first in rush attempts (56).
Pennington has either thrown or carried the ball on 105 of Birmingham-Southern's 130 plays this season — by far the highest percentage of any SAA team's offense.[divider]
Austin College Athletics[/credit]
Colt Collins has run the ball just about as much as he's thrown it this season — his 128 rushing yards rank fifth in the SAA so far. The sophomore has only completed 39.39 percent of his passes through two games, which isn't great, but he hasn't thrown an interception.
This is another case where we will have to wait and see what he does vs. D3 competition — both of Austin's games to start the season have been against NAIA competition. Early signs are promising for the young signal caller, however.[divider]
Sam Hearn stiff-arms a would-be tackler (Sewanee Athletics)[/credit]
Alex Darras has thrown for the fourth most yards of any freshman quarterback in D3 football, even though he's splitting time with sophomore Sam Hearn — who has been solid in his own right. The two quarterbacks have been so good, and so even, it didn't seem right to split them here.
They combined to go 17-32 for 329 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Sewanee's season-opening victory over Kenyon. The win broke a 19-game losing streak for the Tigers, and should inspire hope for the future of this program with not one but two solid young quarterbacks.