Another week of college football is in the books, so let’s return to the college quarterback roundup. Now that the Jets are 3-2 and virtually out of the running for the first overall pick, it’s more relevant than ever before to track more than just Sam Darnold.
UCLA, Wyoming and Oklahoma State had byes this week, so you won’t see Josh Rosen, Josh Allen or Mason Rudolph on this list. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite player to make a fake Jets jersey for…
Sam Darnold (USC vs. Oregon State): 23-for-35, 316 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, fumble lost
I still refuse to salivate over Darnold until he limits the mistakes he’s prone to make. He fumbled twice in this game and lost one of them, in addition to throwing an interception. But experts say it’s due to the amount of new players surrounding him on the offense, so I’ll bite my a tongue a little longer. The fact is, USC is still winning games they’re supposed to and Darnold is usually why. His touchdown throws Saturday to Deontay Burnett and Josh Falo, in particular, were perfectly read and placed.
Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma vs. Iowa State): 24-for-33, 306 yards, 2 TD; 11 carries, 57 yards, 1 TD
In Mayfield’s defense, he played a heck of a game overall. He made plays with both his arm and his legs, he didn’t turn the ball over, et cetera, et cetera… But he was outshone on his home turf by a third-string former walk-on named Kyle Kempt. And this sack Mayfield took in the fourth quarter was pivotal for the Cyclones’ success in their 38-31 upset win.
OU just tied the game but from NFL draft evaluation, this is an inexcusable sack taken by Baker Mayfield. Internal clock on a sun dial here pic.twitter.com/3QzMfcVAtY
— Rob Rang (@RobRang) October 7, 2017
Lamar Jackson (Louisville vs. North Carolina State): 26-for-47, 354 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 19 carries, 73 yards, 2 TD
It’s unfortunate what’s happening to the defending Heisman Trophy winner. He keeps putting the Cardinals on his back, but his team keeps losing. NC State is no slouch this year, but the loss came at the worst time for Louisville, which fell out of the top 25 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls.
Don’t get me wrong, though: Jackson hasn’t been perfect, despite once again being Louisville’s leading rusher as well as leading passer. His interception came in the fourth quarter with his team down seven – it was thrown into double coverage, tipped, picked and returned for a touchdown, which ended up being the final points of the game and the final nail in the coffin. Jackson’s QBR of 64.6 was his lowest since the Clemson debacle.
Luke Falk (Washington State vs. Oregon): 24-for-42, 282 yards, 3 TD
Speaking of low QBRs, Falk’s was just 49.6 despite the Cougs’ beatdown of the Ducks, 33-10 in Eugene. I don’t know if the fact that he lost 23 yards rushing had a big impact there, but completing 57 percent of his attempts is not vintage Falk and averaging 6.7 yards per pass is a disappointment in an Air Raid offense. But you know something? Washington State is 6-0 and no. 8 in the country. Don’t diss this offense too hard right now. (Wait until Falk gets to the combine if you must.)
Riley Ferguson (Memphis vs. Connecticut): 34-for-48, 431 yards, 7 TD
Welcome, Mr. Ferguson, to a permanent slot on this list for the rest of the season. UConn is terrible, but come on, seven touchdowns is seven touchdowns. Ferguson also looked like the better quarterback when his Tigers beat Josh Rosen’s UCLA Bruins earlier in the season. The senior has already broken school passing touchdown records set by former first-rounder Paxton Lynch, and more than one website of repute has eyes on the prospect. I hate the phrase, but his stock is rising.
Jarrett Stidham (Auburn vs. Ole Miss): 14-for-21, 235 yards, 2 TD
Auburn’s only loss this year was to powerhouse Clemson. Now the blue and orange are 5-1 and one of just three actually viable teams in the SEC. The Tigers’ fantastic running game, led by Kerryon Johnson (204 yards and three TDs against Ole Miss), is the biggest reason why. But Stidham still keeps the offense together in his Stidham sort of way. Don’t blame him for throwing only 23 passes a game on average; that suffices when you have such a strong running back. Indeed, Stidham has a 71.2 percent completion rate for the season and garnered a 96.5 QBR against the Runnin’ Rebels.