Oregon's Bo Nix surges in college football quarterback rankings after UCLA victory – USA TODAY

  • October 27, 2022

After a rollercoaster ride through three seasons at Auburn, Bo Nix has blossomed since transferring to No. 8 Oregon, which is suddenly back in the College Football Playoff conversation after bouncing back from an ugly loss to No. 1 Georgia with six wins in a row.  
Nix completed 78.6% of his throws for 286 yards and five touchdowns in Saturday’s 45-30 win against No. 15 UCLA, making him the second quarterback in program history with two games with five touchdown passes in the same season.
Worse yet from Auburn’s perspective, Nix’s totals over the weekend alone match the Tigers’ output from the entire season. Auburn has thrown five touchdowns in 197 attempts as a team with 10 interceptions.
Meanwhile, Nix has just one interception in his past six games while playing himself into the Heisman Trophy conversation. While there are currently two clear favorites for the award in Hendon Hooker and C.J. Stroud, Nix has several opportunities the rest of the way – the most notable are Washington on Nov. 12 and Utah on Nov. 19 –
to close the gap on those frontrunners.
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And more importantly, Nix has sparked the Ducks’ in-season resurgence from the depths of that 46-point loss to the Bulldogs. Thanks in large part to his play, Oregon is atop the Pac-12 and a legitimate playoff threat.
He makes the cut for this week’s list of the top quarterbacks in the Bowl Subdivision, but Hooker and Stroud still lead.
Hooker played about a half in a rout of Tennessee-Martin and did his thing: 18 completions in 24 throws for 276 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. With Hooker under center, the Volunteers set a new program record with 52 points in the first half and are firing on all cylinders heading into crucial pairings with No. 17 Kentucky and Georgia.
Iowa’s defense held Stroud and the No. 2 Buckeyes largely in check for all of the first half and the first play of the second. But Stroud took over after tossing a pick on that opening snap of the third quarter, tossing four touchdowns down the stretch and finishing with 286 yards as Ohio State handed the Hawkeyes the program’s most lopsided loss since Kirk Ferentz’s first season in 1999.
Young had no help from the running game whatsoever in No. 6 Alabama’s matchup with Mississippi State, leaving him again to shoulder the offensive load in a key SEC matchup. At least he had help on defense, unlike in this month’s loss to the Volunteers. While the Crimson Tide held Will Rogers and the Bulldogs’ passing game in check, Young hit on 21 of 35 throws for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
Duggan continues to put up All-America numbers as No. 7 TCU continues a wildly unexpected climb into the playoff mix. He also has a flair for the dramatic: Duggan has piloted the Horned Frogs to back-to-back comeback wins against ranked Big 12 competition. In the latest, his 280 yards and three scores on 10.8 yards per attempt helped TCU overcome a 28-10 deficit to beat No. 22 Kansas State 38-28.
Nix averaged 4.7 yards per attempt with two interceptions in the opener. In the six games since, he’s thrown for 1,636 yards, averaged 9.2 yards per throw and completed 74.6% of his attempts with 17 touchdowns and just one pick.
Williams could move back ahead of Nix among Pac-12 quarterbacks with strong games against some of the weakest pass defenses in the Power Five. This weekend’s opponent, Arizona, has allowed 14 touchdowns against two interceptions and ranks fourth from the bottom among Power Five in giving up 8.3 yards per pass attempt. After that, Colorado ranks 102nd nationally in giving up 15 passing scores despite facing just 200 attempts, more than just eight teams in the Power Five.
You can set your watch to Hartman’s methodical dismantling of ACC defenses. So far this season, he’s tossed six touchdowns against No. 5 Clemson, two against Florida State and then five in Saturday’s romp against Boston College. Despite missing the season opener and making just 193 attempts, tied for 73rd in the FBS, Hartman ranks fifth nationally with 21 scores.
Penix has rebounded from a two-game lull against UCLA and Arizona State with two terrific starts against Arizona and California. Against the Wildcats on Oct. 15, the Indiana transfer threw for a career-high 516 yards and four touchdowns. He added another 374 yards and two scores while completing 70.6% of his throws in Saturday’s 28-21 win at California. He’s gone for at least 300 yards in every appearance and leads the FBS in averaging 366.8 passing yards per game.
At best, Maye has been one of the top players in the country. (And it’s not too hard to make that case.) At worst, his performance as a freshman paints Maye as one of the rising stars in the country regardless of position. The numbers speak for themselves: Maye ranks 12th nationally in completion percentage (70.1%), fifth in yards per attempt (9.9), second in touchdowns (24) and eighth in yards (2,283) as the No. 21 Tar Heels pull away in the ACC Coastal.  
It can be feast or famine for Sanders, who completed under 50% of his attempts in back-to-back games against Texas Tech and TCU but rebounded with 393 passing yards and two touchdowns as the Cowboys came back to beat Texas 41-34. He leads the Big 12 with 2,030 passing yards and has added 352 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 4.4 yards per carry.