By Russell Lorentz, Vandy Insider
The Vanderbilt Commodores are off to a 3-3 start, halfway through the 2017 season. And, the most impactful player, isn’t Ralph Webb – an NFL Running Back prospect.
Webb is Vanderbilt’s all-time leading rusher, ranking inside the Top 20 in SEC history thus far in his final year as a Commodore.
The ‘Dores were once contenders for the SEC East division, but have lost three straight after the 3-0 start. With the Commodore offensive line struggles, duo Khari Blasingame and Webb have not produced nearly the same output as the 2016 season. The tandem accounts for just three touchdowns thus far, after a stellar 23 combined touchdowns last season.
However, Junior Quarterback Kyle Shurmur has been the catalyst of Vanderbilt’s offense, after totaling 12 touchdowns and one interception over the first half of the season. It’s a steady improvement after a 10 touchdown, nine interception Sophomore season. The Philadelphia native is arguably the Southeastern Conference’s breakout star through six contests.
Shurmur is second in quarterback rating (79.7) in the SEC, behind Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, and eleventh in the country overall. In addition, Shurmur ranks sixth in the league in passing yards (1,157), and holds a 56.8 completion percentage through six games.
Shurmur proves to be arguably the most capable quarterback within the SEC East, while also holding his own throughout the entire league.
Shurmur is tied for second within the league in touchdowns (12) and interceptions (1) leading a more dangerous Vanderbilt passing attack, as Sophomore Kalija Lipscomb leads the charge, doubling his 2016 touchdown output thus far with four.
Kyle Shurmur looks to be a top tier signal caller among the entire league.
Vanderbilt looks for a big second half of the season, as their next challenge is against a vulnerable Ole Miss squad on Saturday.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. on SEC Network.
Featured Image via Mark Humphrey / AP