The 3 best QBs you haven't heard much about
We know all about Trevone Boykin, Jared Goff and Connor Cook, even Paxton Lynch and Greg Ward Jr. are getting the credit they deserves despite playing at Memphis and Houston. However, there are several other quarterbacks from non-Power-5 conferences that deserve more credit and attention based on how they have graded so far this year. Let’s take a look:
Nick Mullens, Southern Miss: +20.9
The Golden Eagles are 6-3, but two of those losses came against Mississippi State and Nebraska, but Mullens graded positively in both of those games. In fact, the only poor game he has played all year came in their third loss against Marshall (-5.2). Mullens simply hasn’t made a lot of mistakes, throwing 25 touchdowns to just seven interceptions, while making some big throws of 10 yards or longer. Interestingly, if there’s been an area he has struggled, it’s been throwing the ball to his right. He has graded at +8.0 on throws to the left outside the numbers, +17.0 between the numbers, but just +0.5 to the right outside the numbers. Regardless, he’s having a big year for Southern Miss and has them tied for the lead in Conference USA’s West division.
Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky: +26.9
Over Conference USA’s East division, Brandon Doughty and the Hilltoppers are tied with Marshall at the top with 5-0 conference records. Doughty has had some big performances throughout the year, putting up some big numbers. He’s thrown eight touchdowns on passes travelling 20 yards or more in the air, and had his highest graded games of the year against Louisiana Tech (+7.9) and Indiana (+6.8). The Hilltoppers second loss of the year came against LSU, losing 48-20, but Doughty still performed admirably, finishing the day with a +2.1 grade.
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green: +30.3
Our third highest graded quarterback so far this year, Johnson has graded positively in every game bar the season opener against Tenneessee, where he came in at -0.1. His big performances have helped the Falcons to a 6-2 record, including wins over Maryland and Purdue, and a perfect conference record that sees them in position for a place in the MAC Championship game later in the year. Johnson has been tremendous throwing the ball downfield, with a +19.0 grade on throws of 20 yards or more, going 32-for-69 for 1,350 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions.