Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA TODAY Sports

College QB Power Rankings - Week 4

Darnold takes the top spot afte a rough week for several quarterbacks

September 28, 2017 - 6:21 pm

Derek Kramer

Week 4 of the college football season wasn't really a banner week for several of the draft-eligible quarterbacks. But the season is still young and these quarterbacks will have plenty of chances to bounce back. While the Bills (and Chiefs) keep winning games, that does not mean we ignore the quarterback class, it's still pretty deep. 

USC's Sam Darnold has finally taken hold of the top spot. The presumed first overall pick is looking better by the week. Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph had a rough game this past week against TCU and drops a spot, but he still looks solid. It was the depth of the quarterback class that really got beaten down the worst. But like it was stated earlier, the season is still young.

Let the fourth set of quarterback Power Rankings begin! Make sure to "COLLEGE" to 550-550 in order to keep up with anything new Jeremy White sees from the college quarterbacks!

1.) Sam Darnold - USC
Week 4 Stats: 26 of 38, 223 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT vs. Cal

While it wasn't the big eye-popping stat line, Darnold made more than enough plays after a slow start against Cal. However, Darnold was more willing to stay in the pocket and made more impressive throws than not. However, that one interception was a terrible underthrow behind his receiver. He didn't have any other passes that had much danger attached to them. Overall, it was a solid, clean game that had one (pretty bad) mistake. His effort, coupled with the uneven game from Mason Rudolph, brings Darnold to where many expected him to be. Next up is a potential track meet with Luke Falk and Washington State. 

NEXT GAME: Friday at #16 Washington State - 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)


2.) Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State
Week 4 Stats: 22 of 41, 398 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 1 fumble lost vs. TCU

While the massive numbers of yards were still present, there was one major, consistent issue with Rudolph's game against TCU. The Horned Frogs' defense got to Rudolph in the backfield often enough that Rudolph started sensing "phantom pressure" and leaving clean pockets. Rudolph was knocked off of his rhythm and he felt the need to leave pockets and had difficulty sensing pressure after a while. Worse for Rudolph, his accuracy dips significantly when he is forced to throw on the move. With one problem compounding another, it was not a good showing from Rudolph, who still kept his team in it late. As conference play goes on, Rudolph will need to keep chucking passes because the Cowboys defense is flat-out bad. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday at Texas Tech - 8 p.m. (ABC)


3.) Josh Rosen - UCLA 
Week 4 Stats: 40 of 60, 480 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs; 3 carries, 15 yards vs. Stanford

Poor Josh Rosen. His UCLA team is just so bad that the guy has to chuck 60 passes simply to try and keep up. Rosen, for the most part, looked a lot better than last week, when he threw for more touchdowns but made some crushing decisions with the football. Against Stanford, Rosen got battered and beaten up by the Cardinal defense with plenty of hits and knockdowns. But Rosen kept standing tall in the pocket, didn't bail out and didn't try to force too much. In a recurring theme, Rosen also had a pass get picked off that went through the hands of his own player. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday vs. Colorado - 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2) 


4.) Lamar Jackson - Louisville
Week 4 Stats: 18 of 22, 299 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT; 8 carries, 34 yards vs. Kent State

Jackson did what he had to do, beat up on a soft opponent. Jackson has had some issues with putting the ball on the turf in the last two games, but that will happen with a quarterback charged with running so often in the offense. The biggest thing with Lamar Jackson is this - when he is on, he is dangerous in the air and on the ground. His mechanics continue to show improvement, and his decisions are getting better. However, when Jackson misfires, it's often a terrible misfire. That was the case with Jackson's second interception (the first interception was a drop from his receiver). Jackson seems to overthrow his man by five-yards, and it lands in the arms of a defender. Jackson faces Murray State next, so I doubt he'll get a full game in this one either.  

NEXT GAME: Saturday vs. Murray State - 3:30 p.m.


5.) Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma
Week 4 Stats: 13 of 19, 283 yards, 3 TDs vs. Baylor

While the Baylor offense made sure to make a game out of it, Mayfield and the Sooners offense just cashed in big play after big play to carve the Baylor defense. Mayfield threw some nice passes, but plenty of the Oklahoma attack was predicated on yards after the catch and big plays, which explains the lack of pass attempts in this game. Mayfield gets some time off, then it's a nice test against an underrated Iowa State. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday October 7th, vs. Iowa State - Time to be determined


6.) Luke Falk - Washington State
Week 4 Stats: 36 of 47, 478 yards, 5 TD vs. Nevada

Luke Falk is back. After being benched against Boise State in Week 2, Falk has thrown for 874 yards and 11 touchdowns in two games. In this game against Nevada, Falk dropped some beautiful long balls right into the arms of his wideouts, as well as sharp progressions and decision making. There were several times where Falk quickly moved from his first read to his third and made the throw accurately. Falk's hot streak will need to continue, as Sam Darnold and USC come to town. Expect the Falk will have a stat line that looks less video game-like. We'll see if Falk can carve up the talented USC defense and make a big jump in the rankings. 

NEXT GAME: Friday vs. #5 USC - 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)


7.) Jake Browning - Washington
Week 4 Stats: 11 of 21, 160 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT vs. Colorado

Not a great game from Browning, despite the points racked up by Washington in this game. Browning's touchdown was a brilliant read, finding the man downfield and putting the ball up for his receiver to make a play. However, Browning got off to a slow start, and then wasn't needed as the running game took over and dominated Colorado. Up next is a game against Oregon State, who has been quite leaky, giving up 47.5 points per game. This would be a good tune up before having to face Cal, UCLA and Oregon.  

NEXT WEEK: Saturday vs. Oregon State - 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)


8.) Riley Ferguson - Memphis
 Honorable mention
Week 4 Stats: N/A - Game Cancelled

Ferguson moving up despite having off for the week just shows how rough it was for other quarterbacks. Nick Fitzgerald (Miss. St.) was terrible against Georgia, Drew Lock (Missouri) didn't impress in a win over Purdue. Josh Allen (Wyoming) struggled yet again, this time against Hawaii. Kenny Hill (TCU) was not the main catalyst in beating Rudolph and Oklahoma State. 

Ferguson gets a prime time look this weekend against UCF, so it'll be a good chance to see him again after out-dueling Rosen in the upset over UCLA. 

NEXT WEEK: Saturday at UCF - 7 p.m. (ESPN)


Honorable Mentions:
No honorable mentions, it was rough looking for someone who shined away from the spotlight. Let's fix this next week, guys! 

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