Ranking the Pac-12 QBs through Week 5: The preseason favorite finally takes over


The quarterback rankings are beginning to take shape as the season approaches the halfway point. But we have to remember, Pro Football Focus uses the entire season and not just a couple of good games to figure out these numbers.

After watching UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson against Washington, most would agree he probably belongs a little higher in these rankings. If he keeps this up, the Bruin quarterback might battle his crosstown rival for the No. 1 spot.

And since the entire season is taken into account, one has to wonder where Bo Nix would land without that season opener against Georgia. He's been great since that game and should continue this coming week with a trip to Arizona.

Here's a look at where PFF sees the balance of power amongst Pac-12 passers:

Owen McCown - Colorado


Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 45.2

Run: 54.4

Overall: 45.1

Last week - The win wasn't there, but Owen McCown is showing he probably should have been the starter coming out of camp. It was a decision that most likely contributed to coach Karl Dorrell being shown the door. In the 43-20 loss to Arizona, McCown was 14-of-30 passing for 186 yards and a touchdown.

What's next? A much-needed bye week for the 0-5 Buffaloes.

Cameron Ward - Washington State


James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 52.0

Run: 74.2

Overall: 46.6

Last week - Cameron Ward keeps rack up the yards and touchdowns, but interceptions keep popping up. He threw two picks against California, but they didn't hurt much in the Cougars' 28-9 win. Ward also threw for 343 yards and a trio of touchdowns.

What's next? In their biggest road game in quite some time, WSU travels down to Los Angeles to take on No. 6 USC. Ward's interceptions will hurt in this game should they occur.

Emory Jones - Arizona State


Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 66.6

Run: 65.2

Overall: 68.6

Last week - Emory Jones kept his team in the game and that's a testament to how well he played. Sure, ASU (1-4) went down 42-25, but the Sun Devils could have easily rolled over considering the turmoil within that program. Jones was 23-of-32 for 243 yards and a touchdown. But he threw an interception and was sacked five times.

What's next? The Sun Devils host No. 24 Washington.

Jack Plummer - California


James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 66.1

Run: 74.0

Overall: 69.8

Last week - Like Oregon's Bo Nix the week before, Cal's Jack Plummer managed to move the ball against the WSU defense in between the 20s. But unlike Nix, Plummer couldn't find the end zone. He was 23-of-33 for 273 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, and was sacked four times.

What's next? At 3-2, Cal enters their bye week.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson - UCLA


Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 67.2

Run: 67.8

Overall: 70.6

Last week - We have to remember these analytical ratings cover the entire season, but based on last week's performance, DTR has proven he's one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-12. In the 40-32 win over Washington, he was 24-of-33 for 315 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 53 yards.

What's next? We get to see if 5-0 UCLA is definitely for real as they host conference favorite Utah in the biggest game in the Pac-12 so far this season.

Bo Nix - Oregon


Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 68.0

Run: 78.3

Overall: 75.9

Last week - Nix showed everyone that he's much more than a pocket passer in the 45-27 win over Stanford. He had an 80-yard touchdown run that seemingly came out of nowhere. Nix was also 16-of-29 for 161 yards and two scores. That long touchdown run helped Nix finish the game with 141 yards on the ground.

What's next? Unless something weird happens in the desert, and that's happened before, Oregon and Nix should have a fun time at Arizona.

Chance Nolan - Oregon State


Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 80.7

Run: 60.4

Overall: 79.7

Last week - Just two weeks ago, Nolan was at the top of these rankings. But after two poor performances against USC and Utah, the shine has dimmed. The Beaver quarterback played just a few minutes before being pulled due to a neck strain. But he wasn't playing great before that, going 2-of-7 for 26 yards and two interceptions.

What's next? - Oregon State travels down to The Farm to take on Stanford.

Michael Penix, Jr. - Washington


Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 80.6

Run: 55.8

Overall: 80.0

Last week - In his first Pac-12 road game, Penix, Jr. wasn't bad. He was just outplayed by the opposing quarterback in the 40-32 loss at UCLA. Penix, Jr. was 33-of-48 for 345 yards, four touchdowns, but he was picked off two times and fumbled in the end zone resulting in a safety.

What's next? Washington goes out on the road again, this time to Arizona State.

Jayden de Laura - Arizona


Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 76.6

Run: 76.5

Overall: 80.3

Last week - The Arizona signal caller had a field day in Boulder as Jayden de Laura went 33-of-46 for 484 yards and six touchdowns. At 3-2, the Wildcats are already the biggest surprise of the season.

What's next? A very different matchup and defense as the Oregon Ducks come to Tucson to face the Wildcats.

Tanner McKee - Stanford


Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 82.1

Run: 54.2

Overall: 81.0

Last week - Except for a couple of late touchdowns, Tanner McKee was just okay inside Autzen Stadium. But you need to be better than just okay to defeat Oregon on the road. McKee was 19-of-33 for 166 yards and two touchdowns in the 45-27 loss in Eugene.

What's next? Stanford goes back home to face Oregon State.

Cameron Rising - Utah


Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 81.1

Run: 77.4

Overall: 85.6

Last week - People thought this was going to be a close one, but Oregon State failed to show up and Utah took advantage. Rising was an efficient 19-of-25 for 199 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 73 yards and another score.

What's next? Utah goes to Pasadena to face the surprising Bruins in a huge Pac-12 affair.

Caleb Williams - USC


Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pass: 83.2

Run: 75.8

Overall: 87.5

Last week - The only surprise is that it took Caleb Williams this long to reach the top of these rankings. In the 42-25 win over Arizona State, Williams went 27-of-37 for 348 yards and three touchdowns. He was picked off one time, however. Unless USC suffers a bad loss, expect Williams to stay here.

What's next? The Trojans host Washington State.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire


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