Upsets, comebacks, debuts, and dominance mark strong week in QB Country

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Garrett Shrader accounted for five touchdowns in Syracuse’s thrilling 41-36 victory at Virginia Tech. Garrett had 236 yards passing and two touchdowns through the air and rushed for 174 yards and three scores. Shrader’s two passing touchdowns came with less than three minutes to play in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner with :19 on the clock — a 45-yard bomb to Damien Alford with defenders in his face. Garrett earned Manning Award Star of the Week honors and was named one of Kirk Herbstreit’s Players of the Week. 

Tyler Van Dyke went 25-33 for 325 yards and four touchdowns, lifting Miami to a 31-30 upset over #18 NC State. His PFF passing grade of 90.8 ranked third among Power 5 quarterbacks for the week and eighth among all quarterbacks with at least 25 drop backs. Tyler was named one of Kirk Herbstreit’s top eight Players of the Week.

It was a record-setting day for Will Rogers, who went 41-57 384 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in Mississippi State’s 45-6 romp over Vanderbilt. Will, who earned Davey O’Brien Great 8 honors for his performance, led the Bulldogs on scoring drives of 8, 14, 10, 11, 10 and 11 plays. It’s the fifth time this season that he has three or more touchdowns, and the seventh time in his career. He completed his first 14 passes, which broke his own school record for consecutive completions. On the season, Will has completed 73.7% of his passes for 2,162 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions, leading the SEC in passing yards. Chance Lovertich also impressed for MSU, coming on to relieve Rogers and going 5-6 for 77 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

In his first career start, Sheldon Layman turned in a strong and steady performance, leading Austin Peay to a 47-6 victory over Murray State. Sheldon went 16-for-25 for 126 yards and two touchdowns and added 67 yards on the ground to get the Governors back in the win column. Sheldon came in for regular starter and fellow QBC trainee Draylen Ellis, who has had a strong year for Austin Peay, leading the Ohio Valley Conference in passing yards and ranking second in total offense.

Keon Howard claimed his third Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week honor following a four-touchdown performance in 38-30 win over Southeast Missouri. Keon completed 68 percent (17-of-25) of his pass attempts while throwing for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He also recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns. Keon set a pair of single-season program records by a quarterback for multiple rushing touchdown performances (three) and rushing touchdowns (eight). He now ranks first in the OVC in points responsible for (114), points responsible for per game (16.3), total touchdowns (19) and total offense (249.7 ygp) while ranking 12th nationally in rushing touchdowns (eight).

Michael Hiers continues to shine at Northwest Community College, leading the 7th-ranked Rangers to a 41-13 victory over Itawamba last week on 17-of-21 passing for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Michael ranks first among all NJCAA Division 1 quarterbacks in completion percentage (73.7) and ranks second in passing yards. He is the only college quarterback across all football divisions to have started every game and thrown for at least 15 touchdowns with zero interceptions.