Utah State Football: Ranking 2022’s Opposing Quarterbacks

·5 min read

Utah State Football: Ranking 2022’s Opposing Quarterbacks

The Aggies’ conference title defense will depend a lot on how they slow down the quarterbacks they’ll face this fall.

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A few big asks on the schedule.

12. UConn – Ta’Quan Roberson or Tyler Phommachanh

Phommachanh is the lone holdover among the trio of Huskies QBs who saw extended action in last year’s mess, but things are far from settled on this front with Roberson, a Penn State transfer, now in the mix. He wasn’t great in spot duty last season with the Nittany Lions, most notably in a close loss to Iowa, but both will get every chance to win the job outright in fall camp.

11. New Mexico – Miles Kendrick or Isaiah Chavez or CJ Montes

After Terry Wilson got hurt last season, the Lobos passing game totally fell apart. Chavez and Montes combined to average a meager 3.5 yards per attempt on 200 throws, but both will get another chance to claim the starting job with a more experienced offense around them. They’ll have to contend with Kendrick, a transfer from Kansas, but it wouldn’t be a shock if this competition extended into the season.

10. Weber State – Bronson Barron

Barron’s first two years with the Wildcats have had their share of ups and downs: After being named a 2021 finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the FCS’s top freshman, and pushing Weber State to a Big Sky title, Barron only played in eight games last fall as he was slowed by injury. In the end, he completed 61% of his passes for 1,515 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

9. Wyoming – Andrew Peasley

The former Aggie quarterback ended up in Laramie thanks to the transfer portal, but Utah State may not miss him much after exchanging him for Levi Williams. If he can maintain the level of big plays he generated last year — six of his 28 completions went for 20 or more yards — Cowboys fans should be happy with that.

8. Hawaii – Brayden Schager or Cammon Cooper

Schager improved from week to week in his time as a starter last season, but he also doesn’t have the physical stature that Cooper brings to the table. The latter has seen the field less overall, but if the Warriors want someone who can stand in and take hits while getting the ball downfield, Cooper might be the better fit. Either way, the quarterback depth here is fine.

7. UNLV – Cameron Friel or Doug Brumfield or Harrison Bailey

The Rebels have a different kind of quarterback quandry for a change. Each of Friel, Brumfield, and Bailey have flashed potential in limited stints on the field, but none have fully established themselves as full-time starters just yet. Whichever choice is made could have a substantial impact on the entire conference, but you’d also be forgiven for not buying in given the program’s overall history.

6. Colorado State – Clay Millen

Millen comes into 2022 with very high expectations, but it’s worth remembering that Todd Centeio had a decent game against the Aggies defense (18-of-29, 282 yards, one touchdown and one interception) that no one remembers because of the ending. Chances are the redshirt freshman will be asked to do more, but the bar isn’t on the floor here.

5. San Jose State – Chevan Cordeiro

After battling through injuries last season, will Cordeiro be able to take a step forward after transferring from Hawaii? Through the course of his career with the Warriors, his completion rate rose and fell from year to year but his yards per attempt has remained more or less constant. With a number of weapons at his disposal in San Jose, there won’t be a lot of excuses for him to be unable to make hay.

4. Air Force – Haaziq Daniels

Daniels has only gotten better in his two years operating the Falcons offense and, arguably, no one would know this better than the Aggies. Between 2020 and 2021, he ran for 7.5 yards per carry and threw for 309 yards, accounting for four total touchdowns while helping Air Force score 80 combined points in all.

3. BYU – Jaren Hall

Hall actually missed last year’s game against Utah State, but the rest of his season provided a lot of proof that he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the Group of 5. In ten games, he threw for 2,583 yards (8.7 yards per attempt) and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions on 296 attempts. He also chipped in to the Cougars ground game, too, with 307 rushing yards and three touchdowns; if he can stay healthy, watch out.

2. Boise State – Hank Bachmeier

Bachmeier has bedeviled the Aggies in his career, throwing for more yards (554) and touchdowns (five) against USU than anyone else. While it remains to be seen how the Broncos will create big passing plays with Khalil Shakir now in the NFL, but “Hurricane Hank” will be ready one way or another.

1. Alabama – Bryce Young

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner earned the honor with some clutch performances down the stretch, but there’s little doubt he was one of the country’s top signal-callers after posting a 66.9% completion rate, 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. Slowing him and the Tide offense down might be the single most difficult task any Mountain West team will have to do this year.

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