April 17, 2021

Top quarterbacks in the G5 and Independents/college football

Photo Credit: theothersidesports.com

The 2020 college football season saw the Group of Five conferences and the Independents place seven teams in the final AP Top 25 Poll: Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Louisiana, Liberty, Ball State, San Jose State, and Buffalo went a combined 60-7 on the season. Here are the top quarterbacks in the G5 and Independents for 2021.

The Top Quarterbacks in the G5 and Independents for 2021

Dillon Gabriel, UCF (6-4):

Led the FBS in passing yards per game (357 yards) for the #4 passing offense in the FBS; 2nd team All-AAC.

  • 3570 yards
  • 32 TDs
  • 4 INTs (in 413 pass attempts)
  • 60% completion percentage
  • 3 games with 4 passing TDs
  • 2 games of 5 passing TDs
  • 3 games 400+ passing yards
  • 3 games 0f 300+ passing yards

Passed for 601 yards and 5 TDs and completed 71% of his passes in a 50-49 loss to Memphis.

Malik Willis, Liberty (10-1):

  • 2260 yards passing
  • 20 TDs
  • 6 INTs
  • 944 yards rushing
  • 14 TDS
  • Averaged 6.7 yards per rush
  • 2 games over 300 yards passing
  • 3 games with 3 passing TDs
  • 137 yards rushing and 4 TDs in 37-34 win over Coastal Carolina.
  • Scored a rushing TD in 8 out of 10 games he played.
  • 2 games over 70% comp. pct
  • 80% comp.pct in 2 games.

Accounted for 442 total yards and 7 TDs vs Southern Miss, and 403 total yards and 5TDs vs Western Carolina.

Carson Strong, Nevada (7-2):

The first Nevada player and underclassmen to be named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

  • 2858 yards
  • 27 TDs
  • 4 INTs (in 355 pass attempts)
  • 70% completion percentage
  • 317 passing yards/game (#7 in the FBS).
  • #9 in the FBS in total offense, averaging 320 yds/game.
  • 3 games over 70% comp.pct
  • 1 game over 80% comp.pct
  • 2 games with 3 passing TDs
  • 1 game with 4 passing TDs
  • 2 games with 5 passing TDs
  • 3 games over 300 yards passing
  • 2 games over 400 yards passing

Jake Haener, Fresno State (3-3):

Led the Mountain West Conference in passing at 336 yards/game. That production also ranked him at #4 in the FBS, as Fresno State finished as the #5 passing offense in the FBS.

  • 2021 yards
  • 14 TDs
  • 5 INTs
  • 64.7% comp. pct
  • 3 rushing TDs
  • 2 games over 400+ yards passing.
  • Over 300+ yards passing in 2 games.

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati (9-1):

The AAC Offensive Player of the Year. The Bearcats finished #8 in the final AP Top 25 Poll.

  • 2296 yards
  • 19 TDs
  • 6 INTs
  • 66% completion percentage
  • 592 rushing yards
  • 12 TDs

Accounted for 5 touchdowns in a 49-10 win over Memphis.

Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina (11-1):

Led the Sunbelt Conference in passing yards as Coastal Carolina finished #14 in the final AP Top 25 Poll. Named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-Freshman Team.

  • 2488 yards
  • 26 TDs
  • 3 INTs
  • 68% completion percentage
  • 3 games with 300+yards passing
  • 3 games with 3 passing TDs
  • 2 games with 4 passing TDs (vs Troy and Liberty)

Levi Lewis, Louisiana (10-1):

Passed for six TDs and zero INTs over his last three games. Accounted for 5 TDs (3 passing, 2 rushing) in 70-20 demolishing of UL-Monroe.

  • 2274 yards
  • 19 TDs
  • 7 INTs
  • 335 rushing yards
  • 5 Tds

Gunnar Watson, Troy (5-6):

Led the Sunbelt Conference in passing yards at 237 yards/game, only playing in 9 games.

  • 2141 yards
  • 16 TDs
  • 7 INTs
  • 70.1% completion percentage
  • 3 games with 300+passing yards
  • 2 games of 70% comp. pct
  • 80% comp. pct in 2 games.
  • 3 passing TDs in 2 games.
  • 1 game with 4 passing TDs

Layne Hatcher, Arkansas State (4-7):

Passed for 9 TDs and zero INTs over his last five games for the #2 passing offense in the FBS.

  • 2058 yards
  • 19 TDs
  • 2 INTs
  • 3 games of 75% or more comp. pct
  • 3 passing TDs in one game.
  • 4 passing TDs in one game.
  • 5 passing TDs in one game.

Cornelius Brown IV, Georgia State (6-4):

2nd in the Sunbelt Conference in passing yards per game (227).

  • 2278 yards
  • 17 TDs
  • 10 INTs
  • 301 rushing yards
  • 7 TDs
  • 3 games of 300+ yards passing
  • 4 games with 3 passing TDs

Accounted for 397 total yards and 5 TDs vs Arkansas State.

Michael Pratt, Tulane (6-6)

Named to the 247 Sports True Freshman All-American team.

  • 1806 yards
  • 20 TDs (most by a Tulane QB since 2012).
  • 8 INTs
  • 228 rushing yards
  • 8 TDs
  • 2 games of 3 passing TDs

Accounted for 4 TDs in 35-21 win over Memphis.

Grant Wells, Marshall (7-3):

Named 1st team All-CUSA.

  • 2091 yards
  • 18 TDs
  • 9 INTs
  • 2 games of 300+ passing yards
  • 3 games of 70% or better comp. pct
  • 4 passing TDs in one game.
  • 5 passing TDs in one game.

Asher O’Hara, Middle Tennessee State (3-6):

Named 2nd team All-CUSA.

  • 1960 yards
  • 12 TDs
  • 8 INTs
  • 66% comp. pct
  • 601 rushing yards
  • 7 TDs

Accounted for 4 TDs in 31-28 win over FIU.

Kaleb Elleby, Western Michigan (4-2):

Named 3rd team All-MAC.

  • 1715 yards
  • 18 TDs
  • 2 INTs
  • 4 rushing TDs
  • 285 yards passing/game (15th in the FBS).

Accounted for 5 touchdowns in a 41-38 win over Toledo.

The Group of Five and Independents did well for themselves in 2020, sparking debate for expanding the College Football Playoff. The list above of the top quarterbacks in the G5 and Independents for 2021 shows that the success of last year could continue.

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Stats provided by cfbstats.com.

 

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