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Stan Becton | | October 18, 2022

Mercer's Fred Payton enters the top 10 of Week 8's FCS quarterback rankings

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There are new risers in the FCS quarterback rankings entering Week 8  after big games and big wins. Let's take a look.

The top FCS quarterbacks entering Week 8

T-1. Tim DeMorat | Fordham | Prev: 1

Tim DeMorat had a pedestrian day by his standards, ONLY completing 27 of 39 passes (69 percent) for 371 yards and three touchdowns. Fordham also won the game 45-14. For most quarterbacks on this list, a performance like that in a win would be spectacular. However, when evaluating DeMorat, he's raised the standard for what spectacular means.

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T-1. Lindsey Scott Jr. | UIW | Prev: 1

Lindsey Scott Jr. played his previous school, dominating Nicholls 49-14. Against his former program, Scott completed 27 of 36 passes (75 percent) for 327 yards and five touchdowns. After back-to-back five-plus passing touchdown games, Scott is only one passing touchdown behind the FCS lead.

3. Shedeur Sanders | Jackson State | Prev: 3

While Shedeur Sanders tied a season-high in passing touchdowns (5) in a 48-8 rout of Bethune-Cookman, he set a season-high in interceptions (2). After the last two weeks, the gap between Sanders and the top two FCS quarterbacks is widening.

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4. Matthew Sluka | Holy Cross | Prev: 4

Matthew Sluka and Holy Cross had a bye week.

5. Nolan Henderson | Delaware | Prev: 5

Nolan Henderson and Delaware had a bye week.

6. Michael Hiers | Samford | Prev: 7

Michael Hiers and Samford had a bye week.

7. Dresser Winn | UT Martin | Prev: 8

Dresser Winn and UT Martin had a bye week.

PAST RANKINGS: WEEK 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7

8. Fred Payton | Mercer | Prev: 11

Fred Payton makes his first appearance in the top 10 after throwing five touchdowns in Mercer's 55-33 win over ETSU. The dominant win sent a statement to the SoCon as Mercer continued to show off its explosive offense. With Payton at the helm, Mercer now has the sixth-best scoring offense in the FCS.

9. Lucas Johnson | Montana | Prev: 6

Lucas Johnson drops in this week's rankings after throwing a costly interception in the fourth quarter that ultimately put the game out of reach. Johnson only completed 20 of 37 passes (54 percent) for 186 yards, throwing two interceptions in Montana's first loss. 

10. Matthew McKay | Elon | Prev: 9

Elon suffered its first FCS loss, falling to Rhode Island 17-10. In the loss, Matthew McKay failed to throw a touchdown and threw a season-low in passing yards and completion percentage.

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11. Tommy Mellott/Sean Chambers | Montana State | Prev: 12

Tommy Mellott made his return to the Montana State lineup and was very efficient. Mellott completed 16 of 20 passes (80 percent) for 217 yards and three touchdowns, adding 40 yards on the ground. With Mellott returning, Sean Chambers saw a decreased role, but he still threw and ran for a touchdown. The Bobcats have a two-headed monster at the quarterback position.

12. Parker McKinney | Eastern Kentucky | Prev: 10

Parker McKinney threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns in a close loss to FBS-transitioning Sam Houston, but only completed 21 of 37 passes (56 percent). However, McKinney's body of work throughout the season shows he's a borderline top-10 quarterback in the FCS.

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13. Mike DiLiello | Austin Peay | Prev: 15

Mike DiLiello returned from a bye week to lead Austin Peay to a 52-17 win, accounting for four touchdowns. Through the air, two of DiLiello's three touchdowns went for 78 and 72 yards. Overall, it was a dominant effort from DiLiello.

14. Reece Udinski | Richmond | Prev: NR

In Richmond's 20-10 win over then-No. 16 Villanova, Reece Udinski accounted for two touchdowns, one throwing and one rushing. While Udinski's numbers (104 passing yards) might not pop off the page, he led the Spiders to 13 unanswered points to win the game.

15. Jason Shelley | Missouri State | Prev: 14

Jason Shelley and Missouri State had a bye week.

MORE RANKINGS: Check out the latest HBCU football power rankings


How these rankings are made:

I went through all of the games, highlights and stats, creating a top-10 list that ranks the best FCS quarterbacks so far. This FCS quarterback 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

Bubbling under

Here are the next 10 quarterbacks just outside the list:

(listed alphabetically by last name)

  • Nic Baker | Southern Illinois
  • Paxton DeLaurent | Southeast Missouri State
  • Mark Gronowski | South Dakota State
  • Kasim Hill | Rhode Island
  • Preston Hutchinson | Chattanooga
  • Gevani McCoy | Idaho
  • Davius Richard | North Carolina Central
  • Trae Self | Stephen F. Austin
  • Zion Webb | Jacksonville State
  • Darius Wilson | William & Mary

Big games from Davius Richard and Gevani McCoy have the quarterbacks rising with the most momentum of quarterbacks amongst the next 10. In Week 7, Richard accounted for six total touchdowns while McCoy led his team to a win over the No. 2 team in the country.

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Week 8 quarterback matchups

Here are some intriguing matchups of opposing quarterbacks in Week 8:

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