Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur is off to a fantastic start to the 2017 season. The junior from Philadelphia led the Commodores to a 3-0 start that includes an impressive win over a sound Kansas State team, and Shurmur’s statistics are off the charts. The 6’4″ quarterback has completed 71 percent of his passes while averaging more than 10 yards per attempt and, even if his overall yardage totals are modest given Vanderbilt’s conservative game plans, Shurmur has connected on eight touchdown passes against no interceptions.
With that as the backdrop, Paul Finebaum of ESPN sees Shurmur as a potential weakness for Vanderbilt’s opponent, the Alabama Crimson Tide, on Saturday in Nashville.
It is probably a stretch for Finebaum to place Shurmur, who leads the SEC in ESPN’s QBR metric right now, in the same class Tim Tebow, Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel. However, the point stands that Alabama has struggled (at least to some extent) against legitimately top-tier quarterbacks in recent years and the latest example of that was Deshaun Watson’s performance in the title game just a few months ago.
Kyle Shurmur isn’t going to beat, or even challenge Alabama’s defense by himself but if he plays mistake-free football, the ‘Dores might have a chance to compete.
Frankly, that is all Vanderbilt can ask for in this spot.