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Jordan Love, the Best QB in the Group of 5?

Aug 31, 2018; East Lansing, MI, USA; Utah State Aggies quarterback Jordan Love (10) looks to throw the ball during the second half of a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Another season of college football has come and gone, and with it some of the nation’s best players. With names like Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins gone, there’s open spots for the best QB, but who is going to fill that spot?

I put in a vote for Utah State QB Jordan Love. Well, maybe not the best in the country, but maybe the best of the Group of 5? At least the best in the Mountain West. Utah State finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 11-2, racking up a New Mexico Bowl win. The leader of this team was redshirt sophomore QB Jordan Love, who threw for 32 touchdowns to power one of the country’s fastest scoring offenses with 29 scoring drives under one minute. Add in the rushing yardage from Darwin Thompson and Gerold Bright plus the 7 rushing touchdowns from Love and the Utah State offense finished the year ranked #11 in total offense. The USU offense set 19 school records this year, and is statistically the best offense that Logan, Utah has ever seen, eclipsing their iconic 2012 season under QB Chuckie Keeton.

As of late, every USU quarterback is automatically compared to Chuckie Keeton, as he was a savior from a rut in QB play in recent years and became the best QB in school history, breaking every passing record and leading USU to their first conference championship. Although, at this point the 6-foot-4, 225 pound Love has eclipsed Keeton in almost every single season statistic, so maybe we need to compare him to somebody outside of USU. Let’s think about the best QBs in college football last year. Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Trevor Lawrence come to mind when I think about top tier QBs. Obviously, Dwayne Haskins is an outlier but let’s compare all these guys. We’ll throw in Brett Rypien as a Mountain West comparison as he was named First Team All-Mountain West over Love, even after Jordan won MW Offensive Player of the Week over Rypien almost every week.

Jordan Love

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yards

Avg

TD

INT

Long

Sacks

267

417

64.0

3,567

8.6

32

6

88

9

Drew Lock

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yards

Avg

TD

INT

Long

Sacks

275

437

62.9

3,498

8.0

28

8

86

13

Trevor Lawrence

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yards

Avg

TD

INT

Long

Sacks

259

397

65.2

3,280

8.3

30

4

74

11

Brett Rypien

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yards

Avg

TD

INT

Long

Sacks

301

447

67.3

3,705

8.3

30

7

74

32

Kyler Murray

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yards

Avg

TD

INT

Long

Sacks

260

377

69.0

4,361

11.6

42

7

86

18

Dwayne Haskins

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yards

Avg

TD

INT

Long

Sacks

373

533

70.0

4,831

9.1

50

8

78

20

Apart from Haskins, who is much more of a pocket passer, and the Heisman winner Kyler Murray, Love was statistically better than or close to most of these guys. So where is the all the love for Love? The number one concern about the high powered Utah State offense is SOS this last season, only 5 of their 12 opponents had .500 or higher seasons. However, Love’s true test is coming this next season with games against Wake Forest and LSU headlining USU’s much tougher schedule.

Without key players such as Darwin Thompson, Dax Raymond, Ron’Quavian Tarver, and Jalen Greene, can Love replicate the production he had in 2018? Or can he produce more? The 6’4 QB is only a sophomore coming off his first year as the full season starter. He played in 12 games with 6 starts his redshirt freshman season, in which he broke the USU school record for most passing yards by a freshman with 1,631, adding 8 TDs to that. With Gary Andersen coming back to Logan for his second stint with the Aggies, as well as bringing in Mike Sanford as OC and QB coach, Love’s future is uncertain but I don’t think anybody is expecting regression from the will-be junior QB. But just how good will he be? Best in the Mountain West? Best in the Group of 5? Best in college football?

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