5 Best QB Battles in College Football this Season (2022)
Coming into the 2022 College Football Season, there are a lot of question marks. In a sense, the transfer portal has essentially given us Free Agency — tons of new faces in new places. Arguably, the most important position in sports is the Quarterback. Which of these guys will win the battle and lead their team into the season as QB1?
1. Penn State – Drew Allar vs Sean Clifford
Well, it’s the rookie vs the veteran. Sean Clifford comes back to Penn State after what seemed like a rather disappointing year for PSU: more disappointing because of the number of close games they lost. They lost by 1 possession to Iowa (Clifford out the whole 2nd half), Illinois (in 9 OTs), Michigan, and Michigan State. He finished the year with 3,107 yards, good for 21 TDs and 8 INTs. He will certainly be on a revenge tour this year.
As for the rookie sensation Drew Allar, he seems to be PSU’s highest rated QB recruit in quite some time. He comes in as a 5 star, and looks to snag the job from Clifford. Standing at 6’4 and 230 lbs, with a cannon for an arm, he looks to have a great career at Penn State.
My prediction: Yes, both are talented QB’s. Drew Allar shows great potential and could get some reps in this season. However, I think unless he wins it outright and Clifford has gotten worse, it’s Sean Clifford’s team for one final year. Teach the young gun some stuff, grow a bond, and pass it off to him at the end of the year.
2. Texas A&M – Haynes King vs Max Johnson
Max Johnson comes into College Station looking for a statement year. After a nice year with the Tigers, he finished with 2,815 yards and 27 TD-6 INT’s. Yet, before the bowl game vs KSU, he announced his intentions to transfer somewhere else. I guess it was just his time, some people need a change of scenery. This also came in tandem with his younger brother Jake, who happens to be the #1 TE in the nation, de-committing from LSU and choosing rival Texas A&M. He is looking to provide a good season for the Aggies in a skilled group aiming for some hardware.
Haynes King had the starting role last year but could not catch a break. He got injured in Week 2 vs Colorado, fracturing his leg. King finished the season with 300 yards for 2 TDs and 3 INTs. He has yet to play in more than 2 games in his TAMU career, this season should change that. Haynes King looks to make a statement and lead this team to victory after his unlucky season ending injury.
My prediction – I think that this comes down to the health of Haynes. If he’s healthy, I think he can win the job. If not, then it’s Johnson’s job to lose. It could go either way, just depends on the health of King, will be interesting to see how he looks.
3. Michigan – JJ McCarthy vs Cade McNamara
JJ McCarthy did not see much time last year, appearing in only 5 games. Most of those snaps occurred in garbage time. He finished with 516 yards for 5 TD’s and 2 INT’s, he looks poised to have a good 2022 season if he can win the job. JJ came into the season as a 5-star. However, he lost the job to Cade. He showed promise in his outings, and if McNamara goes down or is benched, Michigan will be in reliable hands.
Cade played in all 14 games last year, showing dominance. He finished the year with 2,576 yards, along with 15 TDs and 6 INTs. Note, he also had Hasaan Haskins on his team, who had a good season as well.
My prediction: I think both of these QBs are very talented, and both can win the job. Cade is more experienced in my eyes, and will start for the Maize and Blue. Watch out for McCarthy, though, because he could see some playing time and make an impact.
4. LSU – Jayden Daniels vs Garrett Nussmeier
Jayden Daniels comes into the season with something to prove. He comes over from Tempe to Baton Rouge looking to revitalize his career and be QB1 for the Tigers. Last season, he finished with 2,381 yards, and 10 TDs-10 INTs. It’s interesting because after his freshman year, it seemed like he was the guy in Tempe, then he regressed. After 2019, he looked to be one of the top QBs in all College Football, but that fell off quickly. Hopefully he can turn it around under Coach Kelly. He has the potential to do so.
Garrett Nussmeier came into Baton Rouge as a 5-star, but did not play much as he sat behind Max Johnson. He finished the 2021 season with 4 games played, 329 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. Garrett has a chance to prove himself this season, though. The freshman would have started the bowl game last season, but chose not to in order to keep his redshirt.
My Prediction: Brian Kelly has said that any of the LSU QB’s can win the job. However, I think that it’s boiled down to Daniels and Nussmeier, no disrespect to Walker Howard or Myles Brennan. I think Daniels provides extra mobility, but I think it’s Garrett Nussmeier’s time. He’s been with the program for a while, and I think he gets the QB1 spot to lead the Bayou Bengals into a tough SEC West.
5. Clemson – DJ Uiagalelei vs Cade Klubnik
DJ Uiagalelei came into Clemson standing at 6’4 and 250 lbs, supposed to be the next big thing in college football. He had one good performance on the road vs Notre Dame, throwing for 425 yards when T-Law had COVID. Yet, after Lawrence graduated, he didn’t look the same. He has always had mechanical issues, even showing in the spring game this season. This past season he threw for 2,246 yards, while throwing 9 TDs. The issue? He threw 10 picks. It was certainly a down year for Clemson (by their standards), only winning 10 games, not even making the ACC title.
The youngster Cade Klubnik comes into Clemson as a potential star. He was a 5-star coming out of Texas, the #1 QB in his class and #6 nationally, according to 247Sports. A decent portion of that rating came after Quinn Ewers reclassified into 2021, enrolling early at OSU.
My Prediction: I think this is a fairly simple one. At a press conference not too long ago, HC Dabo Swinney made a comment that DJ would be their starter Week 1. Here’s the thing – I see DJ starting the first few weeks, then his mechanics will fail him, and he will get benched for Cade. I think this is very similar to the Trevor Lawrence and Kelly Bryant situation in 2018, where Bryant was supposed to be the guy, and didn’t turn out as good as we expected. He got benched, and the rest is history. DJ came in as the #2 QB behind Bryce Young out of high school, but I think his mechanics won’t cut it for Clemson.
All stats in this article are from sports-reference.com/cfb.