The 3 best quarterbacks the Oklahoma Sooners will face in 2024

Brent Venables has struggled to establish a defensive identity at Oklahoma and that won't get easier with a move to the SEC which is loaded at the most important position on the field.
Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3)
Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

Last season, Dillon Gabriel was one of the best quarterbacks in the country and carried the Oklahoma Sooners to a 10-win season. However, this offseason, Gabriel left to spend his final season of eligibility at Oregon, so Brent Venables handed the keys of his team over to 2023 five-star Jackson Arnold, who struggled in his one career start against Arizona in the Alamo Bowl. 

Arnold will be Oklahoma’s most important player in 2024 and new offensive coordinator Seth Litterell is tasked with getting the most out of him, but in a loaded SEC, the Sooners could be entering plenty of weeks with a disadvantage at the quarterback position. The league is loaded with great quarterbacks that Venables, a defensive-minded head coach, will be tasked with slowing down. 

In Week 4, Oklahoma opens the SEC schedule against Tennessee and former quarterback Josh Heupel in Norman. Like Venables, Heupel has his own five-star rising sophomore taking over the starting job, Nico Iamaleava. That matchup will set the tone of the season, but still won’t be one of the three toughest tests for the OU defense. 

. . 6'2" 205 lbs. Quinn Ewers. Quinn Ewers. 3. player. 467. Quinn Ewers. Junior

Ewers was one of the most hyped high school quarterback recruits in a long time and while he took the Longhorns to the College Football Playoff last year, throwing for 3,479 yards and 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions, he hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations. 

Ewers throws a pretty deep ball and with the right group of receivers can threaten the defense downfield on almost every snap, but if the defense can put a lid on Texas’s offense, he’s not accurate enough to paper-cut them to death. Steve Sarkisian’s offense last season also didn’t highlight Ewers’ best abilities well enough. He attempted just 47 passes over 20 yards downfield while 26.9% of his attempts (106 throws) came behind the line of scrimmage. 

Texas won’t be easy to stop in the Red River Rivalry this year, but Ewers is not the best quarterback that Oklahoma will face this season. 

. Jalen Milroe. player. Jalen Milroe. 2. 523. Jalen Milroe. Redshirt Junior. . 6'2" 220 lbs

Jalen Milroe has very similar issues to Ewers. He’s a deep-ball thrower who struggles with his consistency on underneath routes and his lack of pre-snap processing can knock Alabama off-schedule too often. However, Milroe’s dynamic running ability and durability separate him from Ewers, a slight pocket-passer. 

Last season, after he lost to Texas and was benched early in the year, Alabama tailored its offense to Milroe’s skill set and the offensive production exploded. While Texas forces Ewers to throw short often, Milroe’s average depth of target of 13.4 yards downfield was the fifth highest in college football and 16 of his 23 passing touchdowns came on throws over 20 yards downfield.

There are plenty of noticeable flaws in his game that could prevent Milroe from translating to the NFL game, but as a 220-pound physical runner with a picturesque deep ball, he can dominate the college game in Kalen DeBoer’s offense. 

. Senior. 6'2" 220 lbs. Jaxson Dart. player. Jaxson Dart. . Jaxson Dart. 532. 1

Jaxson Dart burst onto the scene as a freshman, garnering some attention at USC, but nothing on Ewers’s level, and he’s the same size as Milroe at 220 pounds but isn’t close to the same caliber of athlete. So why is Dart No. 1 on this list? His decision-making and accuracy, which will stand out in his third season at Ole Miss. 

By the end of the 2023 season and into the Peach Bowl against Penn State, Lane Kiffin and Dart were in total lockstep with the offense. Undermanned in the secondary, Penn State constantly brought pressure and Dart dissected the Nittany Lions with incredible precision. Dart averaged just 2.30 seconds to throw, his lowest of the year, with a 10.4 ADOT, and finished the game 25 of 40 for 379 yards and three touchdowns. 

That was a preview of what Ole Miss’s offense will look like in 2024 and Dart will become a Heisman Trophy candidate because of it.

dark. Next. 5 greatest Red River Rivalry games in the Big 12 era. 5 greatest Red River Rivalry games in the Big 12 era