Under-the-Radar College Football QBs You Need to Know Before Bowl Season

Randy ChambersAnalyst IOctober 10, 2012

Under-the-Radar College Football QBs You Need to Know Before Bowl Season

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    There is nothing like college football's bowl season, when we all get a chance to learn more about players. After all, with the regular season's first chance to do so already breezed by, it's hard to keep up with everything at once. There is a good chance you missed a few things along the way.

    With bowl season quickly approaching, expect to see many quarterbacks that you may not know much about.

    I'm talking about those who don't get the same love as Matt Barkley, Geno Smith and A.J. McCarron simply because they play for teams such as Cincinnati, Louisiana Tech and Fresno State.

    Here are 10 under-the-radar quarterbacks that you should know about before bowl season smacks you in the face.


    Note: All stats come from cfbstats.com unless otherwise noted.

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

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    It is not very often that a freshman quarterback is named the starter right away, but Johnny Manziel earned that role and has replaced first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill under center.

    Despite the fact he is a first-year starter in the SEC, the rookie has done a tremendous job of leading the Texas A&M Aggies to a 4-1 record.

    He is completing 69 percent of his passes, has produced 15 plays of 25 yards or more and has only thrown two interceptions in 150 pass attempts. What makes Manziel even more dangerous is that he can run the football. He is averaging nearly seven yards per carry and has scored seven touchdowns with his legs.

    Overall, his 99 rushing yards per game is third among SEC players.

    With an explosive signal-caller like this, it's no wonder the Aggies are looking good in their first season in the SEC.

Nick Florence, Baylor

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    Speaking of players replacing big-name stars, it doesn't get much more difficult than trying to fill the shoes of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.

    Surprisingly, Nick Florence has done a solid job in running this Baylor offense. He is the reason the Bears jumped out to a 3-1 record and nearly knocked off West Virginia.

    Despite starring on a team that plays no defense whatsoever, Florence has matched opponents score for score. In just four games, the senior quarterback has thrown for over 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns, while completing 63 percent of his passes.

    Some are even considering him a candidate for the Heisman Trophy for the job he has done through the first half of the season.

    Florence doesn't wear Superman socks when he plays the game, but he is doing a great job of keeping the Bears relevant in the Big 12.

Tyler Tettleton, Ohio

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    Ohio is one of the few remaining undefeated teams through the first half of the season. While all of the credit can't be given to just one guy, quarterback Tyler Tettleton deserves his fair share.

    The junior quarterback is doing a much better job of protecting the football this season and is carrying this Bobcats offense on his back. He is completing 62 percent of his passes, has thrown 10 touchdowns and has only one interception after throwing 10 last year.

    It was his three-touchdown performance that helped upset Penn State in Week 1, and a last-second drive helped knock off Marshall to keep the ball rolling.

    Ohio will clinch a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season.

Mike Glennon, North Carolina State

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    Mike Glennon has thrown more interceptions than games played, but you have to take the good with the bad when it comes to the senior quarterback.

    His 1,681 passing yards is third among ACC signal-callers, and he has produced 35 plays that have gone for over 15 yards.

    North Carolina State is currently 4-2, with one of those losses coming in the final seconds against Miami. Let's not forget, though, that it was his last-minute drive that led to a game-winning touchdown in an upset victory over the Florida State Seminoles.

    For a team that has had a sketchy bowl history, the Wolfpack should reach their third consecutive bowl appearance for the first time since 2000-2002.

Zach Maynard, Cal

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    Zach Maynard is much better than what he has shown through the first few games of the 2012 season.

    His nine touchdown passes and five interceptions don't look impressive, but he plays behind an offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 28 times in six games.

    When Maynard has had time to actually throw the football, he has produced 11 plays that have gone for over 25 yards, and he is completing 65 percent of his passes in the red zone. With an experienced offense, this Cal team can really do some great things the rest of the way.

    What's more, the senior quarterback may finally be getting his rhythm down. He completed 83 percent of his passes and threw for four touchdowns in last week’s upset victory over UCLA. That is a scary thought for the remaining Pac-12 teams on the Golden Bears' schedule.

Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech

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    Colby Cameron takes advantage of a solid running game and simply abuses defenses with his arm. While the Louisiana Tech running backs are averaging over five yards per carry, Cameron is the WAC leader with his 291 passing yards per game.

    The senior threw at least three touchdowns in three of the first five matchups of the year, and he has thrown 13 touchdowns without an interception. His touchdown total through five games is equal to all of last season.

    He is completing 68 percent of his passes while leading the Bulldogs to an undefeated record. The program is ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 1999.

    Not a bad start to the season for a quarterback who struggled early on in his career.

Matt Scott, Arizona

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    Arizona has been the top passing team in the Pac-12 over the last two seasons and was certain to be up there again once Rich Rodriguez took over as head coach.

    Can you name the two quarterbacks that currently have more passing yards than West Virginia's Geno Smith?

    Matt Scott is one of them.

    He leads the conference with 2,099 passing yards. He has also produced 47 plays of 15 yards or more and thrown all 13 touchdown passes inside his opponents' territory.

    Although Arizona has lost three games in a row, you can expect the explosive Wildcats to soon turn things around and reach a bowl game for the first time since 2010.

Munchie Legaux, Cincinnati

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    There aren't many better names in college football than Munchie Legaux, and the junior quarterback can also play football pretty well.

    His 55 percent completion rate is the second lowest in the Big East, but Legaux makes plays when he needs to. He threw at least two touchdowns in each of the first four games of the season.

    The dual-threat quarterback is also averaging over six yards per carry, and it was his last-second touchdown drive that helped seal an upset win over the Virginia Tech Hokies.

    Legaux is getting better with each game and is a big reason why the Bearcats are one of three Big East teams that remain unbeaten.

Derek Carr, Fresno State

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    Remember David Carr, the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft?

    Well, Derek Carr has followed in his brother's footsteps and is tearing it up at Fresno State.

    In the new no-huddle offense that head coach Tim DeRuyter has installed, Carr leads all MWC quarterbacks with 1,816 passing yards. His average of 302 passing yards per game is good for 13th in the country. Meanwhile, he has 18 touchdown passes and only three interceptions.

    The junior quarterback is producing these numbers without wide receiver Jalen Saunders, who transferred during the offseason to Oklahoma.

    The Bulldogs missed the bowl season last year, but with this offensive attack, there is little doubt that Fresno State will be rewarded with an extra game in 2012.

Seth Doege, Texas Tech

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    In a conference that is loaded with quarterbacks such as Geno Smith, Landry Jones, Collin Klein and even David Ash, it is easy to forget about somebody like Seth Doege.

    Despite throwing for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns a season ago, the senior still doesn't receive the love some of those other guys do.

    This year, Doege is third in the Big 12 with 1,392 passing yards and is completing 69 percent of his passes. He has 15 touchdown passes in only five games and increases his completion percentage to 72 percent when his team reaches the red zone.

    Texas Tech currently has the seventh-best passing attack in the country, and it's all due to Doege. While everybody is drooling over Geno Smith and company, the Red Raiders are capable of putting up points as well and shocking a couple of teams along the way.