Quarterbacks took both the good and bad storylines in 2020 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama Saturday. For anyone keeping track of the actual teams, the North beat the South 31-17. .
But seeing as how this is the last All-Star game of the college football season, it is always about the individual performances in front of the NFL scouts. The game historically is about the quarterbacks, for better, or for worse.
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert provided the first scoring drive of the day for the South. He led a seven play, 65-yard touchdown drive, where he connected on his first six passes. Herbert boosted his already strong draft status by going nine for 12 for 83 yards and a touchdown while playing only the first quarter. He also picked up 22 yards on three running plays. The performance was good enough for the game MVP and likely locking in his Top 20 draft status.
Utah State quarterback Jordan Love started for the North but managed to only go two for four passing for 15 yards in his first stint in the game.
Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson came in for the North and had an immediate impact. On his second play from scrimmage he connected with TCU’s Darius Anderson along the right sideline for a 75-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 7-7 at the start of the second quarter. Patterson played the entire second quarter and finished six of 10 for 131 yards with the touchdown and one interception.
Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma was next up for the South team. Like Love, he struggled early. His issue was not accuracy. It was Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae being in his face the entire second quarter. Hurts was sacked twice on his first drive, three times by Anae. The Ute would finish the game with five sacks. Hurts finished the quarter two of seven for 25 yards with no touchdowns and interception. He would be put back in later in the game, as was Love, to try to boost his performance.
The Pac 12 got another shot at quarterback, this time with Washington State’s Anthony Gordon for the North. He led the North on a seven play, 75-yard scoring drive. Gordon, who spent most of the season leading the country in passing yards went three for four for 36-yards on the drive. It finished with an 11-yard touchdown run by Baylor’s JaMycal Hasty. Gordon had touchdown passes of three yards to Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool, and five yards to Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden. Gordon finished his day by going eight of 12 for 69 yards, the two touchdowns.
Steven Montez of Colorado played quarterback for the South in the third quarter, but he too struggled with the defensive line pressure from Anae and North defensive line. Montez finished three of eight for 22 yards and an interception.
Hurts came back in for the fourth quarter for the South to try to boost his numbers. In his second go-around, he was four of six for 33 yards and a touchdown.
Love also got another shot to make an impression for the North. The best he could do was two for two for 11 yards.
The North was getting its offense from many different sources. UCLA’s Josh Kelley ran the ball 15 times for 102 yards for the North. He was the games leading rusher by a large margin. The North also got 43 yards on seven carries from Darius Anderson in addition to his 87 yards receiving out of the backfield.
Antonio Gibson from Memphis led the South in rushing with 68 yards on 11 carries Lamical Perine of Florida added 42 yards on seven carries. Devin Duvernay of Texas was the leading receiver for the South with 28 yards on two receptions. Perine and Tennessee’s Jauan Jennings had the South’s two touchdowns.
As is tradition, the Senior Bowl puts the official end to the college football’s season. Most of these players aren’t going to be seen on their respective college campuses again. For many of these players, as well as the early draft entrants, the next step is to take the notes they have from scouts and spend the time with their private trainers to get ready for the NFL Combine in late February.