There is no denying Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead's physical talent, but as I mentioned in the previous blog entry, his inconsistent effort against Memphis gave reason for concern in tonight's game against South Carolina. After completing only 7 of the 21 passes he attempted against the Gamecocks in the loss, Snead wasn't just inconsistent, at times, he was simply bad. Snead was tentative with his reads and attempted to guide his passes, rather than unleash them with the zip he's shown in the past. Too often his passes sailed high and wide, forcing receivers to alter their routes. I never saw the confidence with which he'd shown in prior games -- certainly not the swagger he showed in games last season.
To be fair, Snead had little help. South Carolina didn't blitz as often as some expected, but were still able to consistently pressure him. Snead was also forced to throw to a group of receivers that frequently broke off their routes, dropped catchable passes or failed to drag their feet to remain in bounds.
Snead's talent, at least thus far this season, has been surpassed by his hype. At this point, he is a prospect with first round tools, but only middle round production. There certainly is plenty of time to recoup his stock, as Snead is only a junior. However, there had been plenty of speculation that Snead would be looking to cash in on potential NFL millions after a successful season. Any consideration he may have had about entering the draft early had better stop now, as his stock is falling quickly. The only way to earn it back is to re-focus and play better.
On another note -- South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia was recognized as MVP of the contest with marginal numbers. While he was solid throughout much of the game, his inability to sustain drives in the 4th quarter kept this game close and allowed Ole Miss opportunities to come back and steal this one. The real MVP was clearly pass rusher Eric Norwood, who continued his remarkable penchant for big plays in big games with 10 tackles, 2 sacks and a partially blocked kick. Norwood earned a spot in this week's Draft Slant and may even be up for Player of the Week honors.