One of the things that stood out about the development of new Patriots’ quarterback Jarrett Stidham at the college level was the fact that he suffered a sizable statistical drop-off between 2017 and 2018.
As a sophomore, he led the SEC in completion percentage (67 percent) and completed passes (246) while throwing for 3,158 yards (second best in the SEC), as well as 18 touchdowns and six picks. In his first full year as a starter in the SEC, those stand as very good numbers, especially when you consider he had a five-game stretch near the end of the year (that included games against Georgia, Alabama and Texas A&M) where he completed 72 percent of his passes, as well 1,172 yards and eight touchdowns. It’s also worth mentioning he truly passed the eye test, particularly in those wins against Georgia and Alabama, where he looked every bit the part of an elite quarterback, and as a result, forced himself into the Heisman conversation for a spell.
Those totals slipped last year with the Tigers, as he took a step back in almost every major category — his completion rate, passing yards, completions, and yards per attempt all dropped. The Tigers went 8-5, and there was no talk of Stidham and the Heisman.
So what happened? To get some answers, we reached out to Chip Lindsey, who was the offensive coordinator for Auburn for the two seasons Stidham was with the Tigers.