FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 23, 2015) – A trio of Saturday games with intriguing storylines have been selected as the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award’s Week 8 Marquee Matchups.
In the opener, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Miami’s Brad Kaaya match up in an ACC game featuring two of the nation’s top sophomore signal callers. Later in the afternoon, a Big 12 showdown between two high-powered offenses will feature Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes against former Red Raider and current Oklahoma standout Baker Mayfield. Finally, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty will enter Death Valley on a Saturday night to take on No. 5 LSU and quarterback Brandon Harris.
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: No. 6 Clemson (Deshaun Watson) at Miami (Brad Kaaya)
Saturday, Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. (CT) on ABC
Sophomore Deshaun Watson was a Davey O’Brien “Great 8” selection last week after accumulating more than 450 total yards and accounting for four touchdowns. Watson owns a 10-1 career record as a starter, including a perfect 6-0 mark this year. He ranks 11th nationally in completion percentage (.682) and 16th in passing efficiency (156.8).
Miami’s Brad Kaaya currently tops the ACC with 1,795 passing yards and has tossed 10 touchdown passes against just one interception. The sophomore, who was named to the Davey O’Brien Award’s preseason watch list, is one of three quarterbacks in the FBS with at least 1,700 yards, 10 TD passes and fewer than two interceptions.
Marquee Matchup #2: Texas Tech (Patrick Mahomes) at No. 17 Oklahoma (Baker Mayfield)
Saturday, Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ABC/ESPN2
Through seven weeks in his first season at the helm, sophomore Patrick Mahomes finds himself among the nation’s top three in points responsible for (156), passing yards (2,618) and total offense (407.4). He guides a Texas Tech attack that averages better than 600 yards of total offense and nearly 50 points per game.
Baker Mayfield, the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week on Sept. 22, will face his former team on Saturday. Mayfield currently sits fourth nationally in passing efficiency (180.1), tied for seventh in points responsible for (138), eighth in touchdowns passes (19) and ninth in total offense (340.2) for the 5-1 Sooners.
Marquee Matchup #3: Western Kentucky (Brandon Doughty) at No. 5 LSU (Brandon Harris)
Saturday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU
Senior Brandon Doughty ranks among the NCAA leaders in numerous categories, including completion percentage (1st, .741), passing yards (2nd, 2,709) and passing touchdowns (T-3rd, 24). He has thrown for at least 400 yards in four straight games, and is 132-of-183 (72.1) for 2,036 yards and 21 touchdowns before halftime this year.
LSU’s Brandon Harris has led the Tigers to a 6-0 start in his first season as full-time starter. On the year, the sophomore has thrown for 812 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions while rushing for 160 yards and three scores. He has thrown four TD passes over his last two starts, including two in the win over No. 8 Florida.