Mountain West Quarterback Rankings
Last time I did these rankings was back in Week Two, and we’ve certainly learned a lot about these guys since then. While some have proven to be NFL-worthy, others have failed to live up to expectations. Regardless, this conference hosts some of the most talented and underrated quarterbacks in the nation, and they truly deserve more exposure.
1. Chuckie Keeton (Utah State)
Derek Carr didn’t lose this spot as much Keeton earned it. The electric quarterback has turned heads with a 71 CMP%, 1,326 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, 224 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns through five games. Although the junior suffered close losses from Pac-12 opponents, he’s not the one to blame. The Aggies lost the battle on the offensive line and have lacked legitimate receiving threats. This spot will continue to be a battle between Carr and Keeton, and as of now I’m more impressed with Keeton.
2. Derek Carr (Fresno State)
Carr continues to light up defenses with at least three total touchdowns in every game this season. In the Mountain West, he ranks second in passing yards with 1,445 and in passing touchdowns with 14. As good as Carr is, you have to credit Fresno State’s offensive line here. Carr has thrown the ball 211 times and has only been sacked three times. On a more random note, major kudos to Carr for beating Boise State for the first time in his career.
3. Brett Smith (Wyoming)
Smith has nearly proven that he’s on the same level as Carr and Keeton and deserves a lot of credit for putting the Cowboys in Bowl Game position. Smith leads the MWC in passing yards with 1,607 and leads all quarterbacks with 282 rushing yards. Smith has already notched three games of four passing touchdowns, but only managed one passing touchdown in the other two games. Smith has a great chance to prove himself with Mountain West games for the rest of the way.
4. Cody Fajardo (Nevada)
Although Fajardo has been limited by injuries, he stays in the number four spot. No other quarterback has proved he is better at this point, and with Fajardo’s 400-yard five-touchdown performance against Air Force, it’s hard to move him down. Would have really loved to see how he matched up to the Florida State defense.
5. Joe Southwick (Boise State)
Southwick is the same game manager he was last season. He’s helped the Broncos beat teams they were supposed to beat, but failed to pass for a touchdown in their two losses against Washington and Fresno State, which is obviously unacceptable. His lowly stats are padded with eight of his nine touchdown passes coming against Tennessee-Martin and Southern Miss, but then again he’s not throwing nearly as much as these other guys. When he does throw he completes 73.5% of his passes.
6. David Fales (San Jose State)
Fales continues to disappoint as SJSU sits at 1-3. Granted, he’s arguably had the hardest schedule out of this bunch, but then again he was supposed to be the unknown QB drafted in the first round. Although he’s shown flashes of his junior season, Fales only has six touchdowns complimented with five interceptions. He has the weapons in Chandler Jones and Noel Grigsby, but has faled to find the magic that we saw last season.
7. Garrett Grayson (Colorado State)
This spot is a toss-up, but Grayson has been somewhat solid with eight total touchdowns and two interceptions. The junior struggled in an up-mountain battle on the road against Alabama, but on the bright side, he didn’t throw an interception and outperformed Logan Thomas and Bo Wallace. Grayson bounced back this past weekend with 307 yards and four total touchdowns. It’ll be interesting to see how he does entering MWC play.
8. Caleb Herring (UNLV)
Herring would be ranked higher if his competition wasn’t against Central Michigan, Western Illinois, and New Mexico, but he definitely deserves some recognition for leading the Rebels to three straight wins after becoming the starter. Herring currently leads the Mountain West in accuracy with a 75 CMP% and has recorded 713 passing yards and eight touchdowns so far. In these past three games Herring has helped UNLV to 125 points (41.67 per game). The senior was converted to a wide receiver last season while in a backup quarterback position, but it seems like he has finally reached his potential and found a place in the system. If he continues this production against Mountain West competition he can shoot up the rankings.
Quinn Kaehler (San Diego State)
Sean Schroeder (Hawaii)
Karson Roberts (Air Force)
Cole Gautsche (New Mexico)