Gridiron Now has declared Stephen Johnson as their SEC Player of the Week, a well-deserved honor. For someone who started the season content as QB2 and was only named QB1 because Drew Barker was hurt, he has led this team to a 7-5 season, a win over a ranked opponent on their turf (Louisville nonetheless), and a bowl game. He was the MVP of yesterday’s win over Louisville, going 16-27 for 338 yards passing and 83 yards rushing. The Gridiron Now’s reasoning is this:
“The other quarterback in the Kentucky-Louisville game was Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson — and Johnson outplayed him as UK pulled a massive upset and likely knocked Louisville out of a New Year’s Six bowl. Johnson, a JC transfer who became the starter in September when Drew Barker was lost for the season with a back injury, threw for a career-high 338 yards and three TDs and led UK in rushing with 83 yards. Kentucky finished with 581 yards of offense — almost double what Louisville had been allowing per game (292.2 ypg). It was just the second 300-yard game of the season for Johnson, who threw for 310 against woeful New Mexico State in September. The three TDs matched his career-high set against NMSU. Each of the TD passes covered at least 35 yards. There were 63- and 75-yarders to Garrett Johnson and a 35-yarder to Dorian Baker. The win snapped Louisville’s four-game winning streak in the series.”
On top of all that, Johnson also out rushed both Benny Snell (52 yards) and Boom Williams (66 yards), a duo that has been nearly unstoppable all season. Johnson stayed cool under extreme pressure and was able to effectively led his team and get his job done, the kid wins games.
The real question is, will Johnson win the SEC Player of the Week handed out by the actual SEC tomorrow? He’s should definitely be in the consideration and I can’t think of a player more deserving.