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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | September 13, 2022

Lindsey Scott Jr., Tim DeMorat jump to the top of the Week 3 FCS quarterback rankings

FCS football season preview: Players to watch, potential upsets and more

There's a new top quarterback in the FCS entering Week 3 as three new faces join the top 10. I went through all of the games, highlights and stats and have created this ranking of the best FCS quarterbacks right now.

This ranking evaluates quarterbacks from their performances this season, factoring in every game. Here are some — not all — of the criteria evaluated:

  • Counting stats (yards and touchdowns)
  • Completion percentage
  • Quality of competition
  • Performance under pressure
  • Clutchness
  • Rushing ability
  • Wins

That said, let's get into the top 10.

The top 10 FCS quarterbacks entering Week 3

1. Lindsey Scott Jr. | UIW | Prev: 2

The new No. 1 quarterback in the FCS is UIW's Lindsey Scott Jr. Scott led his team to a FCS-over-FBS win, completing 18-25 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-41 win over Nevada. That followed a six-touchdown passing performance against a ranked FCS opponent in Week 1. No quarterback has led his team to more impressive wins with more impressive numbers than Scott in 2022.

PAST RANKINGS: WEEK 2

2. Tim DeMorat | Fordham | Prev: 4

After two games, Tim DeMorat leads the FCS in passing yards (838) and passing touchdowns (11). In Week 2, he threw for 452 yards and six touchdowns, completing 66 percent of his 51 passes. None of DeMorat's passes were more important than his 14-yard game-winning touchdown with 56 seconds to play. DeMorat drove Fordham down the field in just over three minutes to win the game. That's a clutch performance to back up outstanding numbers.

RANKINGS: How the FCS Week 3 rankings shake out after a week of upsets

3. Shedeur Sanders | Jackson State | Prev: 1

Shedeur Sanders played in a defensive battle in Week 2, but still completed 30 of 44 passes (68 percent) for 276 yards and one touchdown in a win over Tennessee State. He's still spreading the ball around well, finding 11 different receivers. Sanders played well enough to hold on to a top five spot when considering his impressive season-opening performance.

HBCU RANKINGS: See the latest HBCU football power rankings

4. Matthew Sluka | Holy Cross | Prev: 12

Matthew Sluka threw a hail mary to secure Buffalo a FCS-over-FBS win for the second consecutive year, but he played well before that pass, throwing two other touchdowns on the day. More impressively, Sluka ran the ball 25 times for 146 yards, accounting for 384 yards total. Sluka has Holy Cross rolling in 2022.

WATCH: FCS program Holy Cross throws hail mary to land FBS upset

5. Lucas Johnson | Montana | Prev: 11

Lucas Johnson joins the top five after stringing together an impressive first two starts for Montana. This week, Johnson completed 22 of 28 (79 percent) of his passes for 180 yards and a touchdown, showing off his dual-threat ability by rushing for 75 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
Unfortunately for Johnson, his defense is so good that he may not play in games where he'll need to pass the ball as much as other members on this list, but when he does throw the ball, he's proven himself proficient.

UPSETS: See every FCS-over-FBS upset

6. Carlos Davis | Western Carolina | Prev: 5

Carlos Davis threw for 233 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, completing 18 of 27 passes (66 percent) against FBS opponent Georgia Tech. I'd like to see Davis not turn the ball over — he had a third-quarter fumble on an errant snap — but against an FBS opponent, he held his own, keeping Western Carolina in a two-score game deep into the third quarter. While an FBS win provides a boost in these rankings, an FBS loss doesn't carry the same weight.

🏆: These 5 FCS teams could be the next first-time national champion

7. Jason Shelley | Missouri State | Prev: 13

Jason Shelley exploded for a five-passing touchdown performance in a ranked FCS Week 2 win. In total, he completed 19 of 24 passes (79 percent) for 297 yards. Two of Shelley's touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, which Missouri State entered trailing. Shelley showed off his touch and accuracy throughout the night, often fitting passes into tight zone-coverage windows between or over the outstretched arms of a man-coverage defender.

After not being tasked with much in a controlled Week 1 win, Shelley reminded everyone he's among the country's elite in Week 2.

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8. Darius Wilson | William & Mary | Prev: 7

William & Mary was in control of its win over Campbell from the first quarter, so Darius Wilson didn't have to do nearly as much as he did in last week's FBS win. Wilson only threw 18 passes, but completed 61 percent of them for 116 yards and a touchdown. 

9. Gunner Talkington | Eastern Washington | Prev: 6

It was a rough day for Gunner Talkington against FBS opponent Oregon in Week 2. However,  the quarterback still threw two touchdowns (with two interceptions). Talkington's Week 1 performance is enough for him to hold on to a spot in the top 10.

MUST-WATCH: The top 12 non-conference games in the 2022 FCS season

10. Nolan Henderson | Delaware | Prev: 10

Nolan Henderson played just well enough to hold on to his 10th spot in the FCS quarterback rankings, edging out Eastern Kentucky's Parker McKinney. In a win over in-state rival Delaware State, Henderson completed 21 of 36 (58 percent) of his passes to nine different receivers for 240 yards and three touchdowns, but did throw two interceptions. Henderson needs to do a better job avoiding pressure and his offensive line needs to do a better job protecting him in future weeks as he was sacked throughout the game.

MOVEMENT: Making sense of FCS conference realignment

Spots 10-20

Here are the next 10 just outside the list:

(listed alphabetically by last name)

  • Mike DiLiello | Austin Peay
  • Zevi Eckhaus | Bryant
  • Michael Hiers | Samford
  • Kasim Hill | Rhode Island
  • Maverick McIvor | Abilene Christian
  • Parker McKinney | Eastern Kentucky
  • Davius Richard | NC Central
  • Connor Watkins | Villanova
  • Zion Webb | Jacksonville State
  • Dresser Winn | UT Martin

Michael Hiers, Connor Watkins and Zion Webb all dropped from the top 10 this week. Mike DiLiello, Maverick McIvor and Dresser Winn are all new entrants into the top 20.

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