Teams playing with a freshman quarterback usually enter the season opener with some questions about if they are ready to step under center.
But if Week 1 was any indication, consider at least some of those questions resolved.Some of the best performances came courtesy of freshman quarterbacks (both true and redshirt) who dominated the discussions every morning this past weekend. Let’s breakdown how each quarterback did on college football’s biggest stage in Week 1.
Jalen Hurts and Blake Barnett- Alabama
Alabama went with not one but two freshmen quarterbacks in its opener against Southern Cal, and despite a few miscues, both showed what they can accomplish for the Tide.Redshirt freshman Blake Barnett earned the start, finishing 5-of-6 for 100 yards, and showed off his arm on a 45-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts overcame some early struggles and made great use of his speed and pocket mobility. The true freshman exploded for four touchdowns, went 6-for-11 in the passing game and finished with 150 total yards.
In true Nick Saban fashion, the Alabama coach hasn't revealed which freshman will get the nod in Week 2, but both Barnett and Hurts will earn reps against Western Kentucky.
Only time will tell which freshman is the Tide quarterback going forward.
Jacob Eason- Georgia
On Saturday against North Carolina, Jacob Eason became the first true freshman quarterback to play for the Bulldogs since Matthew Stafford made his debut. While Eason was far from perfect, Georgia fans had to have liked what they saw overall.The true freshman looked collected in the fourth, especially on a 3rd-and-5 situation with eight minutes remaining. Eason connected with Isaiah McKenzie for a 51-yard gain to keep the drive alive, which ended with the go-ahead field goal. Overall, Eason completed eight of his 12 pass attempts for 131 yards and a touchdown.
It looks like Eason will still be splitting time with Greyson Lambert in Week 2 against FCS opponent Nicholls State. But don't be surprised to see Eason starting under center for Georgia soon.
Shane Buechele- Texas
It had been 72 years since Bobby Layne became the first and only true freshman quarterback to start season opener under center for Texas. But Charlie Strong and his new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert had no fear in starting Shane Buechele in the 50-47 double overtime win over Notre Dame.
The Arlington native finished with 280 passing yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-26 completion rate. He wasn't afraid to pound into the endzone for a rushing score and 33 yards on the ground, too.What was also impressive was how he had no problem stepping aside for senior Tyrone Swoopes, who scored three touchdowns including the game-winner.
Buechele and Swoopes complement each other well with the freshman's arm and the senior's legs, so we can probably expect to see Texas effectively use the two-quarterback system again.
But with Swoopes graduating this season, it's safe to say Texas has a bright future with Buechele.
Deondre Francois- Florida State
Not to be outdone by the other freshman performances, Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois led the No. 3 Seminoles to the biggest comeback in school history against Ole Miss.
Francois looked shaky during the first few drives for the Seminoles, but he erased any doubts in the second half. The Tampa native finished with four touchdowns, completed 33 of his 52 passing attempts for 419 yards and added 59 yards on the ground.
Obviously, FSU fans remember the 2013 championship season yet don't want to jump ahead just yet. But if Francois can be as consistent as he was in the second half, the Seminoles will do a lot of damage to ACC defenses this season.