Best NCAAF QB’s of Week 14
In the grand finale of college football’s regular season, Week 14 gifted fans with some thrilling action on the gridiron. While some programs got the chance to settle the score with a rival, the top teams all had their sights set on this year’s College Football Playoffs. In the end, Michigan finished No. 1 and will play No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl, while No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Texas will face off in the Sugar Bowl.
Some of the game’s top passers were at their best over the weekend, as teams from mid-majors to the Power Five battled it out for their respective conference titles. Commonly referred to as ‘Championship Week’, Week 14 had plenty of exciting moments, including a number of highlight-reel plays from some of the best young quarterbacks in the country.
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Before we turn our attention towards the College Football Playoffs, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the impressive play witnessed over the past few days. In this weekly article from Bovada Sportsbook, we’ll recap the 10 best NCAA quarterbacks from Week 14 and get you ready for college football’s bowl season!
10. Alan Bowman – Oklahoma State Cowboys
An offseason-transfer to Oklahoma State, senior quarterback Alan Bowman played well in Week 14’s Big 12 Championship Game versus No. 7 Texas. Facing a Longhorns defense giving up only 17.5 PPG, he finished the game with 250 yards and 3 touchdowns on 22 of 38 passing. While the Cowboys were outmatched and ultimately lost the game 49-21, Bowman was impressive in defeat and did enough to crack this week’s top 10.
9. Carson Beck – Georgia Bulldogs
Playing in the most highly-anticipated matchup of Week 14, Carson Beck and the Georgia Bulldogs went head-to-head with Alabama in this season’s SEC title game. Georgia’s first-year starter had a difficult task in besting Alabama’s defense, but he avoided making any big mistakes throughout the entire game. The Bulldogs eventually fell short, losing 27-24, but Beck was 21 of 20 for 243 passing yards and kept his team in the game from start to finish.
8. Aveon Smith – Miami (OH) Redhawks
Winning quarterback play isn’t always about throwing the ball downfield – Just ask the starting quarterback for Miami (OH), Aveon Smith. The sophomore signal-caller led his team to this year’s MAC conference championship with a 23-14 win over Toledo in Week 14. Smith was only 6 of 16 for 109 yards passing but his speed and mobility led to 99 rushing yards, including a key 50-yard rush on the game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
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7. Diego Pavia – New Mexico State Aggies
When it comes to playing quarterback at the college football level, toughness is a must. Just ask Diego Pavia, who did not practice all week with a shoulder injury but still played in his team’s Conference USA Championship Game versus Liberty. The New Mexico State junior threw for 188 yards and 3 scores, while also rushing for 45 yards and another touchdown on the ground before getting injured in the third quarter. The Aggies lost the game 49-35, but it may have been different had Pavia been able to stay in the game.
6. Bo Nix – Oregon Ducks
A regular on this list in 2023, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix was reliable as always in Week 14. Although he was unable to secure a Pac-12 title with the Ducks losing 34-31 to the Huskies, Nix was 21 of 34 passing for 239 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also managed to pick up 69 rushing yards on just 6 carries, showing off his surprising athleticism for any of the NFL scouts in the audience.
5. Taylen Green – Boise State Broncos
Boise State quarterback Taylen Green saved his best performance of the season for Week 14, as the 6’6” sophomore guided the Broncos to a Mountain West championship by beating UNLV, 44-20. Green imposed his will on the Rebels, picking up 226 yards and 2 touchdowns on a near-perfect 12 of 15 passing. He also rushed for 90 yards and 2 more scores on the ground, including an electrifying 70-yard touchdown run that had Boise State fans going wild.
4. Kaiden Salter – Liberty Flames
Playing on the other side of the Conference USA matchup mentioned earlier, Liberty quarterback Kaiden Salter had himself a day. The sophomore was unstoppable in this matchup, helping his team score 49 points in a conference title game. Salter led both teams in passing and rushing, going 20 of 25 for 319 yards and 2 scores, while rushing for 165 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
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3. Jalen Milroe – Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe continues to deliver for head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, with Week 14 providing the biggest win of his collegiate career. With the SEC title on the line against Georgia, Milroe went 13 of 23 passing for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns to win the game, 27-24. In addition to handing Georgia their first defeat in three seasons, it also secured Alabama a spot in this year’s College Football Playoffs.
2. Michael Penix Jr. – Washington Huskies
All eyes were on Michael Penix Jr. and the Washington Huskies as they entered the Pac-12 Championship Game versus Oregon with an undefeated record. The Heisman Trophy contender had no trouble advancing the ball against the Ducks, surpassing the 300-yard passing plateau for the 9th time this season. When it was all said and done, Penix Jr. finished 27 of 29 passing for 319 yards and a touchdown, keeping Washington’s perfect record intact while securing this year’s Pac-12 title.
1. Quinn Ewers – Texas Longhorns
Taking on Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship, Quinn Ewers quieted his critics with a masterful performance for the Texas Longhorns. The talented sophomore led the entire nation in Week 14 passing yards by a considerable margin, throwing for 452 yards and 4 touchdowns on 35 of 46 passing. The end result was a 49-21 win for Texas, leading to a Big 12 Title, a No. 3 ranking and a shot at this year’s National Championship.