Caleb Williams’ hopes of winning a second Heisman went down the drain last week when the Trojans lost to Utah at home.
His sub-par performance also pretty much guaranteed he will not be the winner of the Pac-12 quarterback rankings for 2023. The title will likely go to one of three, all of whom have transferred into the conference either last season or this season.
One backup has made his way onto the list in Arizona’s Noah Fifita. The freshman has played well enough that no one is sure whether it will be him or Jayden De Laura on the field when the Wildcats take on the Beavers on Saturday night. If Arizona sticks with Fifita, it will be interesting to see where he lands on the list once the season is finished.
Here’s how the Pac-12 quarterbacks rank entering the last week of October.
Shedeur Sanders - Colorado Buffaloes
PFF Grade: 92.2
2023 stats: 219-of-303 (72 percent), 2,420 yards (346 ypg), 21 TDs, 3 INT
Last week: Colorado was given an extra week to think about that 46-43 loss to Stanford of all teams where the Buffaloes led 29-0 at halftime.
What’s next: at UCLA
Michael Penix, Jr. - Washington Huskies
PFF Grade: 91.5
2023 stats: 182-of-257 (71 percent), 2,576 yards (368 ypg), 20 TDs, 5 INT
Last week: It wasn’t the Huskies’ best showing of the season, but after the emotional win over the Ducks, one could expect somewhat of a letdown. Fortunately, it was against Arizona State the Washington was able to win 15-7. Penix was 27-of-42 for 275 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.
What’s next: at Stanford
Bo Nix - Oregon Ducks
PFF Grade: 90.9
2023 stats: 182-of-232 (78.5 percent), 2,089 yards (298 ypg), 19 TD, 1 INT
Last week: Oregon bounced back to defeat Washington State 38-24 and Nix was as efficient as ever going 18-of-25 for 293 yards and two touchdowns.
What’s next: at Utah
DJ Uiagalelei - Oregon State
PFF Grade: 84.1
2023 stats: 106-of-176 (60 percent), 1,573 yards (225 ypg), 15 TDs, 4 INT
Last week: The Beavers had a bye last week after defeating UCLA 36-24 Oct. 14.
What’s next: at Arizona
Caleb Williams - USC Trojans
PFF Grade: 82.9
2023 stats: 166-of-237 (70 percent), 2,277 yards (285 ypg), 23 TDs, 4 INT
Last week: The dysfunction at USC continues after the 34-32 loss to Utah. Williams continues to get hurt by his own defense, but he hasn’t exactly performed like a Heisman winner either. Against a good Utes defense, Williams was 24-of-34 for 256 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
What’s next: at California
PFF Grade: 81.5
2023 stats: 181-of-259 (70 percent), 2,217 yards (318 ypg), 15 TDs, 3 INT
Last week: Last season, Ward was an unknown commodity when he played Oregon, but the Duck defense was a bit more prepared. Even then, Ward managed to throw for 438 yards with a touchdown. He was sacked six times, however.
What’s next: at Arizona State
Noah Fifita - Arizona Wildcats
PFF Grade: 72.4
2023 stats: 94-of-125 (75 percent), 946 yards (158 ypg), 8 TDs, 2 INT
Last week: Arizona had a bye last week after its big 44-6 road win over Washington State. The extra week has given starter Jayden de Laura more time to heal, but Fifita has played so well that the job might be up for grabs.
What’s next: Oregon State
Bryson Barnes - Utah Utes
PFF Grade: 68.2
2023 stats: 52-of-89 (58 percent), 633 yards (105.5 ypg), 4 TDs, 3 INT
Last week: Bryson Barnes played the game of his life in the 34-32 win at USC. He was 14-of-23 for 235 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Now the big question is can he do it again, but against one of the best defenses in the conference?
What’s next: Oregon
Ashton Daniels - Stanford Cardinal
PFF Grade: 67.0
2023 stats: 102-of-170 (60 percent), 1,225 yards (175 ypg), 8 TDs, 3 INT
Last week: Stanford received some much-earned resting time with a bye after stunning Colorado 46-43, including a 29-0 deficit at halftime.
What’s next: Washington
Dante Moore - UCLA Bruins
PFF Grade: 62.0
2023 stats: 87-of-168 (52 percent), 1,330 yards (190 ypg), 10 TDs, 7 INT
Last week: UCLA was able to rebound after a disappointing loss in Corvallis with an easy 42-7 win over Stanford. Moore was banged up in the game against the Beavers and his playing time was limited. Ethan Garbers started and led the Bruins to the win. It’s unknown who will play this week.
What’s next: Colorado
Ben Finley - California Golden Bears
PFF Grade: 59.5
2023 stats: 54-of-93 (58 percent), 572 yards (114 ypg), 3 TDs, 4 INT
Last week: Cal had a bye last week after losing to Utah 34-14.
What’s next: USC
Trenton Bourguet - Arizona State Sun Devils
PFF Grade: 55.9
2023 stats: 90-of-145 (62 percent), 922 yards (231 ypg), 1 TD, 3 INT
Last week: Arizona State’s offense continues to struggle as the Sun Devils could only muster up just one score in the 15-7 loss at Washington. Bourguet was 26-of-47 for 196 yards and a costly Pick-6 that gave the Huskies the win.
What’s next: Washington State