A seven-touchdown first-half performance stole the show last week, while a return to health has two top-10 quarterbacks on the rise. Here's how that impacted Week 11's FCS quarterback rankings.
The top FCS quarterbacks entering Week 11
1. Lindsey Scott Jr. | UIW | Prev: 2
You might confuse the top of the rankings for an Aaliyah song the way Lindsey Scott Jr. and Tim DeMorat are going back, back, forth and forth atop the FCS quarterback rankings. However, another standout first-half performance from Scott earns him the top spot. Scott earned FCS Player of the Week honors after completing 15 of 20 passes for 319 yards and seven touchdowns in the first half.
2. Tim DeMorat | Fordham | Prev: 1
Tim DeMorat threw for 346 yards and five touchdowns in Fordham's latest win. Yet, every pass counts in a neck-and-neck race for No. 1, and two interceptions have DeMorat slipping.
3. Michael Hiers | Samford | Prev: 3
Michael Hiers has Samford in the SoCon driver's seat entering the final two weeks of the season. Hiers has completed 73 percent or more of his passes for six straight weeks.
4. Shedeur Sanders | Jackson State | Prev: T-4
Shedeur Sanders completed 22 of 30 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns, rushing for another score. Week after week, Sanders overpowers his competition.
5. Matthew Sluka | Holy Cross | Prev: T-4
Matthew Sluka had another game where he threw for 100 yards and a score while rushing for 100 yards and a score in Week 10. The signal-caller has led Holy Cross to its fourth straight Patriot League title.
6. Tommy Mellott/Sean Chambers | Montana State | Prev: 6
With Sean Chambers out again, Tommy Mellot had a day accounting for 298 total yards and rushing for three touchdowns.
7. Nolan Henderson | Delaware | Prev: 10
When healthy, Nolan Henderson is the best quarterback in the CAA. He proved that with six total touchdowns to just six incompletions last week. Delaware will need Henderson to remain on his A-game during pivotal games to close the season.
8. Reece Udinski | Richmond | Prev: 7
Reece Udinski threw for three touchdowns as Richmond picked up a ranked CAA win. The Spiders have a chance to win the conference and maybe, just maybe, earn a seed in the playoffs.
9. Parker McKinney | Eastern Kentucky | Prev: 8
Parker McKinney has Eastern Kentucky rolling, completing 19 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns. In the wild race for the ASUN-WAC auto bid, the Colonels have a chance with McKinney at the helm.
10. Lucas Johnson | Montana | Prev: 16
Lucas Johnson returned to action and did not disappoint, accounting for four touchdowns in Montana's blowout win. Johnson was a top-10 quarterback before his injury, and he returns to the top 10 this week.
11. Paxton DeLaurent | Southeast Missouri State | Prev: 11
Paxton DeLaurent only had one incompletion (13 of 14 passing) in Southeast Missouri State's latest win. The Redhawks didn't need DeLaurent to be spectacular with running back Geno Hess having a monster day.
12. Gevani McCoy | Idaho | Prev: 14
The Gevani McCoy-Hayden Hatten connection was the gift that kept on giving last week, with the pair connecting for four touchdowns. The freshman signal caller continues to make his case for the Jerry Rice Award.
13. Jake Dunniway/Asher O'Hara | Sacramento State | Prev: 13
Jake Dunniway didn't play poorly, completing five passes for 69 yards and a score, but Asher O'Hara stole the show between the QB tandem. O'Hara completed 10 of 13 passes for 162 yards and a score, rushing in for another two touchdowns. Together, the duo picked up their third straight ranked win.
14. Matthew McKay | Elon | Prev: 12
Matthew McKay failed to complete a touchdown in Elon's latest win, but completed 16 of 24 passes for 132 yards. McKay has shown throughout the season that he can do whatever it takes to get that job done. The quarterback has Elon firmly in the hunt for an at-large bid to the playoffs.
15. Fred Payton | Mercer | Prev: 15
Fred Payton and Mercer had a bye last week. Payton will need elite performances down the stretch to keep the Bears in the playoff hunt.
MORE RANKINGS: See Week 11's HBCU football power rankings
The top 25
Here are the next 10 quarterbacks just outside the list:
(listed alphabetically by last name)
- Cade Brister | Lindenwood
- Mike DiLiello | Austin Peay
- Mark Gronowski | South Dakota State
- Kasim Hill | Rhode Island
- Preston Hutchinson | Chattanooga
- Tyler Huff | Furman
- Davius Richard | North Carolina Central
- Trae Self | Stephen F. Austin
- Darius Wilson | William & Mary
- Dresser Winn | UT MArtin
Cade Brister joins the next 10 quarterbacks after throwing for 303 yards and five touchdowns in his last outing. Brister is putting together a solid season for a Lindenwood team in its first year at the FCS level. Davius Richard is also on the rise after accounting for five touchdowns of his own during North Carolina Central's homecoming win.
Dresser Winn falls from No. 9 to outside of the top 15 after throwing an alarming five interceptions — with costly turnovers in the clutch — in UT Martin's loss to Kennesaw State. Villanova's Connor Watkins drops from the top 25 after only completing seven passes for 68 yards and an interception in a loss.
So there you have it, 25 quarterbacks, with the top 15 ranked in order. With two weeks left in the season, the race for the top quarterback in the FCS rages on. I've been tracking every quarterback's performance throughout the year, so stay tuned for the top-50 list come the season's end.
How the 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 top-10 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
- Rushing ability