FORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 18, 2015) – A trio of games have been selected as the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award’s Marquee Matchups for the third week of the college football season. The contests include a pair of stout clashes in Southern California as well as a potential offensive shootout in Ohio.
A pair of players on the preseason watch list, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan and USC’s Cody Kessler, will square off Saturday night. Also in Los Angeles, two standout freshmen will compete when BYU’s Tanner Mangum, who has led the Cougars to a pair of last-minute victories, will face Josh Rosen, who was the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week in week one. Finally, two quarterbacks coming off huge weeks, Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson and Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, guide a pair of high-powered offenses in a Saturday afternoon game.
Throughout the season, the Davey O’Brien Award highlights the best weekly quarterback matchups as the race for the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award continues. Fans are invited to help select the Marquee Matchups each week by voicing their opinions on Twitter at @DaveyOBrien using #MarqueeQB.
Quarterbacks from all 128 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools are eligible for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award until the field is narrowed to 16 semifinalists on Monday, Nov. 2. The three finalists will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 24, while the 2015 Davey O’Brien winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards airing Thursday, Dec. 10 on ESPN.
Marquee Matchup #1: Stanford (Kevin Hogan) at No. 6 USC (Cody Kessler)
Saturday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. (CT) on ABC
In 2015, Stanford senior Kevin Hogan appeared on the Davey O’Brien Award’s watch list for the second straight season. He is tied for first nationally in career victories (25) and ranks among the top 10 among active quarterbacks in completion percentage (4th, .647), passing yards (5th, 7,014) and touchdowns (T-8th, 51).
USC’s Cody Kessler is listed among the NCAA’s leaders in a number of categories. The senior currently ranks second in passing efficiency (215.3), fourth in passing touchdowns (7), fifth in completion percentage (.789) and 12th in passing yards (650). He is coming off a personal-best 410-yard passing performance against Idaho.
Marquee Matchup #2: No. 19 BYU (Tanner Mangum) at No. 10 UCLA (Josh Rosen)
Saturday, Sept. 19 at 8:30 p.m. (CT) on FOX Sports 1
Freshman Tanner Mangum has led BYU to a pair of thrilling wins over the past two weeks in place of injured Taysom Hill. Mangum’s debut was capped by a 42-yard Hail Mary on the final play to beat Nebraska 33-28, while last week he tossed the game-winning touchdown pass with :45 left for a comeback victory over Boise State.
UCLA true freshman Josh Rosen burst onto the collegiate scene in week one, when he was named the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week (28 of 35, 351 yards, three touchdowns). Through two games, Rosen has thrown for 573 yards and four touchdowns with a 64.9 completion percentage in a pair of Bruin victories.
Marquee Matchup #3: Memphis (Paxton Lynch) at Bowling Green (Matt Johnson)
Saturday, Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. (CT) on ESPN3
Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, who appeared on the 2015 Davey O’Brien Award watch list, is third nationally in completion percentage (.811) and fourth in passing efficiency (205.9). He is coming off a 354-yard, 2-touchdown performance (22-for-25) against Kansas. He directs an offense that is averaging 59.0 points per game.
Reigning Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week Award winner Matt Johnson has posted back-to-back 400-yard passing games. Through two weeks, Johnson tops the nation in passing yards (915) and total offense per game (466.0), is tied for second in touchdown passes (8) and tied for third in points responsible for (48).