How far can Kyle Allen lead Texas A&M?
The Texas A&M Aggies have an uphill task on their hands if they are to challenge this year. To thrive in the harsh SEC landscape, a team needs to be able to put up some points, and the most effective way of doing that is with a play-making quarterback.
To that end, Kevin Sumlin has named Kyle Allen as the opening week starter, squashing speculation that star recruit Kyler Murray might usurp the sophomore (for now, at least). Allen will need to show improvement from his freshman year campaign to keep the job.
Allen didn’t become the starter until the last five games of the 2014 season, when he replaced Kenny Hill. Under the new PFF system, Allen’s rating through those five starts was an underwhelming 52.8. How does that stack up? Hill, the man he replaced, had a rating of 83.9. Turnovers were the biggest reason for the difference between the two QBs. Hill had thrown eight in 321 attempts, Allen seven in 192.
However, a drop-off was to be expected. Hill had more time to learn the system and had won the job initially for a reason. Coach Kevin Sumlin took a long-term approach by throwing in Allen as a freshman, banking on the experience to benefit the young quarterback further down the road.
Allen does offer some reason for optimism. A former five-star recruit, Allen has the raw talent to develop into an impressive passer, he just needed more time to develop. He steadily improved through his starts as a freshman, and had a positive passing grade against Missouri — a team with one of the better defenses in the conference in 2014. That experience gained as a freshman paired with another offseason of training should really help Allen’s development. With greater comfort in the pocket and improved decision making, Allen can help the Aggies be a force in the SEC.