- Ohio State’s CJ Stroud has 13 touchdowns and three interceptions over the past three games.
- Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker threw for 239 yards and two scores in an impressive win over. USL.
- Sam Hartman of Wake Forest is 40 yards from fourth in passing yards in ACC history.
It’s getting harder and harder to rank Alabama’s Bryce Young near the top of a list of the nation’s best quarterbacks simply because of his unavailability: Young missed a huge part of the No. 1 Crimson win Tide against Arkansas and all of last Saturday’s tight breakaway against Texas A&M.
Young could return this weekend against No. 8 Tennessee, lead the Tide to an impressive road win over the undefeated Volunteers and get back in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy. It’s clear that Alabama’s offense is a different beast with him under center, supporting the idea that Young is the hardest-hitting solo player in the country.
But missing most of that two-game streak and potentially this Saturday’s rivalry game cost Young any lead he might have had early in the Heisman run and focused the debate on No. 1. 3 CJ Stroud of Ohio State and Hendon Hooker of Tennessee.
As big as Saturday is for Young, it can be even bigger for Hooker. Overplaying Young and picking up a series win — Tennessee hasn’t won since 2006 — can make the senior the Heisman leader, or at worst the co-leader in mid-October. There’s also the obvious NFL angle: Hooker could continue to grind his way to the top of next year’s draft with a win and a strong performance against the tide.
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As Young falls, Hooker sits solidly in second place on this week’s list of the best quarterbacks in the Bowl Subdivision. (Last week’s ranking is in parentheses.)
1. CJ Stroud, Ohio State (1)
You have to dig for a nitpick, but here’s one: Stroud threw an interception in each of the No. 1 games. 3 The Buckeyes’ last three games, something he hadn’t done in his first three starts in opened last season. He did, however, throw for 13 touchdowns during that streak. Stroud has been particularly nasty for Michigan State, throwing for 793 yards and 12 touchdowns in his two games against the Spartans.
2. Hendon Hooker, TN (2)
Pundits who thought Hooker and UT would encounter a struggle with LSU were just a little off the mark. Instead, Hooker threw for 239 yards and two scores with 56 more yards rushing as the Volunteers pulled off a very easy and very impressive 40-13 victory. Individually and for the team as a whole, it’s all in play on Saturday against the tide.
3. Sam Hartman, Wake Forest (5)
Hartman earns a spot in the roster after another highly productive start for the No. 1. 14 Demon Deacon. He averaged 12.9 yards per attempt in Army’s 45-10 loss last weekend to continue his assault on the school and ACC record books. Already the program’s career leader in passing touchdowns with 88, Hartman is 40 yards behind former North Carolina State passer Ryan Finley for fourth in ACC history in passing yards. and 3022 meters from Philip Rivers’ career record.
4. Max Duggan, TCU (NR)
Duggan has been on a roll for the No. 15 TCU since taking over the starting job in Week 2. He threw for 14 touchdowns and just one pick as the Horned Frogs quickly became Big 12 contenders again under new coach Sonny Dykes. Duggan had surprisingly similar numbers in his two conference games, going 23 of 33 for 302 yards and three scores against Oklahoma — almost all of them in the first half — and then throwing 23 of 33 for 308 yards and three. touchdowns in TCU’s 38. -31 wins against No. 20 Kansas.
5. Caleb Williams, Southern California (4)
After two uneven games in three weeks to open the Pac-12 game, Williams and No. 6 Southern California must rally ahead of Saturday’s trip to No. 6. 19 Utah. Although more productive than in September’s 17-14 win over Oregon State, when he completed just 44.4% of his attempts, Williams was limited to 188 yards and 6.5 yards per pitch in the Trojans’ 30-14 win over Washington State.
6. JJ McCarthy, Michigan (9)
McCarthy set new career highs for attempts (36), completions (28) and yards (304) while tying his previous career high with three touchdowns in Michigan’s 31-10 win over Indiana . He threw his first interception of the year on 120 attempts, leaving Hooker, Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel, Vanderbilt’s AJ Swann and Kansas State’s Adrian Martinez as the only Power Five quarterbacks with at least 100 throws without an interception. .
7. Bryce Young, Alabama (3)
It’s unfair to really compare Young to backup Jalen Milroe, who just doesn’t have the experience to step right into the starting position and keep Alabama’s offense at an all-time high. But the 24-20 win over the Aggies saw the Tide drop buckets of points on the pitch via turnovers and moments of poor decision-making under center. Young is a special player that any program would struggle to replace.
8. DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson (NR)
Calling Uiagalelei a real success story seems a bit out of place, considering how he arrived on campus as a high-profile prospect and validated that early hype with two terrific starts as a true freshman. . He took his game to another level yet again for No. 5 Clemson with a string of very solid starts, ending any talk of rookie Cade Klubnik potentially taking over as the starter and potentially setting up a monster in second half of the regular season. Uiagalelei threw for at least 200 yards every game, added 311 rushing yards and had 17 total touchdowns after finishing with just 13 scores a year ago.
9. Will Rogers, Mississippi State (10)
Records keep falling for Mississippi State’s underrated junior No. 17. The latest is the SEC career record for completions, breaking former Georgia star Aaron Murray’s mark in nearly half the time – Rogers needed 28 games to break Murray’s mark of 921 completions established in 52 games. After crossing Arkansas for nearly 400 yards and three scores, Rogers is nearing program records for touchdown passes, touchdowns scored and total offense.
10. Adrian Martinez, Kansas State (NR)
Teams tried to take Deuce Vaughn out of the equation and force Martinez to win games for the No. 1. 16 Wildcats. Clearly the Nebraska transfer can do just that. With the game in progress mired by the Iowa State defense, Martinez took over with a season-high 246 yards and a score to help the Wildcats to a 10-9 victory. Along with avoiding the turnover-laden game that defined his time with the Cornhuskers, the physically stronger Martinez was one of the best quarterbacks in the FBS.