Winners, walk-ons, and wild finishes highlight Player of the Week awards

 In College QB News, Featured News, Latest News

Sam Howell did it all in UNC’s thrilling 58-55 victory over No. 9 Wake Forest, throwing for 216 yards and a touchdown and adding 104 yards and two scores on the ground. It was the fifth game this season Sam rushed for at least 100 yards. On the season, he’s thrown for nearly 2500 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for another 870 yards and 14 scores. Only 24 players in NCAA FBS history, including three ACC quarterbacks, have thrown for 2000+ yards and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Sam, UNC’s career passing leader, is 300 rushing yards shy of adding his name to a list that includes Vince Young, Lamar Jackson, and Cam Newton.

Said teammate Ty Chandler:

“Great quarterback, great leader. He gets us all on the same page, man, and keeps us in tune. That’s what he does every day. He comes to work every day. And so I’m not surprised to see it pay off for him. He’s a real student of the game. Getting in the film room and watching a film with me, he’s getting me better at the game. He’s built for moments like that, and I’m happy for him. I’m happy to see it pay off for him. I love him.”

Stetson Bennett and the Georgia Bulldogs continue to roll. Stetson went 13-of-19 for 255 yards and two touchdowns in a 43-6 win over Missouri. This week he was also named a semifinalist for two national awards — the Davey O’Brien Award, presented to the nation’s best quarterback, and the Burlsworth Trophy honoring the country’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on. Stetson has guided the Bulldogs to a 9-0 record and No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings. He has thrown for 1,412 yards and 14 touchdowns on 80/120 passing. He has been intercepted four times.

Another week, another clutch win for Levi Lewis and Louisiana. Levi went 19-of-34 for 287 yards and a touchdown in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 21-17 comeback victory over Georgia State, guiding touchdown drives on three of UL’s final four possessions. The No. 24 Ragin’ Cajuns are now 8-1 overall and 6-0 in Sun Belt play and clinched a spot in the Sun Belt Championship.

With the clock winding down and the game on the line, KJ Jefferson delivered. KJ led Arkansas to a dramatic 31-28 victory over No. 17 Mississippi State, leading a game-winning, 75-yard drive that culminated in a Razorbacks touchdown with 22 seconds remaining. On the day, KJ went 19/23 for 191 yards and a touchdown becoming the third Razorback quarterback since 1998 to post a completion percentage of 80.0 or better on 20+ pass attempts.

Tyler Van Dyke is making a strong case for ACC Rookie of the Year. Tyler earned is third consecutive ACC Rookie of the Week award in Miami’s 33-30 win over Georgia Tech, completing 22-of-34 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns. He becomes just the fourth ACC player in the last 15 years with at least 300 yards passing in three straight conference games and the first Miami player to pass for at least 300 yards in three straight games since Bernie Kosar in 1984. Over the past three games he’s thrown for ten touchdowns and just one interception, completing 72% of his passes.

Chris Reynolds threw a game-tying touchdown strike at the end of regulation then passed for another score in overtime to lift Charlotte over Rice 31-24. It was Chris’ fifth game-tying/winning drive of his career. Returning from a two-week hiatus due to injury, Chris finished 20-of-29 for 292 yards and three touchdowns on the day and helped put Charlotte back on track to make a bowl game. This week, Chris — a former walk-on — was also named a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy honoring the country’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.

Draylen “DJ” Ellis returned to action Saturday and propelled Austin Peay to a 42-26 victory over Eastern Illinois. DJ threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns against the Panthers, and saw five of his completions go for 30-plus yards. With the Governors trailing 20-14 midway through the second quarter, he led the game’s next four scoring drives to put the game out of reach. DJ was named Offensive Player of the Week in the OVC, the second time this season he has earned at least a share of the league’s offensive player of the week honors.

Matt McKay and No. 4 Montana State pulled off perhaps their most impressive victory of the season, knocking off No. 5 Eastern Washington 23-20 on the road. Matt threw for 250 yards and a score and added 75 yards and a touchdown on the ground to keep the Bobcats climbing towards the top of the FCS polls. Matt is ranked among the top FCS quarterbacks in multiple categories, including passing efficiency (No. 5) and overall rating (No. 6).