NFL Draft 2023: Spencer Rattler leads win over No. 5 Tennessee, Will Levis impresses against Georgia

The final weeks of the college football regular season have arrived. Shortly, each quarterback’s full season work will be available and the next phase of the grading process will begin. For a handful of quarterbacks, Saturday was another opportunity to impress, and South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler did just that with a convincing win over No. 5 Tennessee.

Here’s a look at how a handful of quarterbacks fared over the weekend:

Will Levis, Kentucky: Stock up

Stats (16-6 loss to #1 Georgia): 20 of 31 passes completed, 206 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 5 carries, 26 yards

Kentucky fought Georgia valiantly for more than a half, but didn’t have enough offensive firepower to keep up, despite showing increased pace of play. For the first time this season, the Wildcats used Levis’ legs on scheduled runs, and it worked. The Penn State transfer rallied 26 yards on five carries. His accuracy was inconsistent throughout the game. He dropped a nice pass to freshman wide receiver Barion Brown on the right touchline, but missed on a handful of other shots. There were a few passes that should have been intercepted, including a potential big gainer who pinned Jordan Dingle by the seam edge.

Levis showed plenty of toughness against Georgia and did a good job of getting the ball out quickly when the play call warranted it.

Bo Nix, Oregon: Stock up

Stats (20-17 win over #10 Utah): 25 of 37 passes completed, 287 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 2 carries, -3 yards

Nix has found good downfield connection in recent weeks, with wide receiver Dont’e Thornton recording over 46-yard receptions each. The Auburn quarterback transfer carried Thornton 58 yards down the left touchline in Saturday’s win against No. 10 Utah. Nix completed a few downfield attempts. The story of his season, however, was his efficiency at or near the line of scrimmage. He averaged 7.19 air yards per attempt against the Utes and 153 of his 287 passing yards were yards from the catch. He completed 67.6% of his passing attempts and showed great leadership in the win.

Leading 7-3 in the second quarter, Nix showed some spontaneous play ability and situational awareness. He faked a handoff, began sprinting to the left, pulled up in front of a defender, and threw a pass over the top for a Ducks touchdown.

Nix has increased his draft inventory with strong play this season.

Spencer Rattler, South Carolina: Stock up

Stats (63-38 win over No. 5 Tennessee): 30 of 37 passes completed, 438 yards, 6 TD; 5 carries, 16 yards

Rattler played like the top-of-the-line version of what so many expected of him a year ago. It looked like he had all the answers for the test. The Oklahoma transfer threw all three levels of the field with touch and anticipation. He may not have had a bad pass under the lights. Though he tied up some big plays in the field, he was never confident enough to turn down the checkdown for a more dangerous option.

On this particular play, he throws a back shoulder fade to wide receiver Josh Vann for an 18-yard touchdown.

Neither Rattler nor the South Carolina offensive had shown anything to indicate that kind of offensive blast was coming. He climbed a bit and even caught a pass. The Volunteers got a little grumpy with him after a few plays, but Rattler stayed calm, cool and clinched a win at the end of the night.

CJ Stroud, Ohio: Stocks are flat

Stats (43-30 win in Maryland): 18 passes completed of 30, 241 yards, 1 TD; 4 carries, -6 yards

Stroud threw for 66 yards on the Buckeyes’ first drive — more than a quarter of his passing yards that day — which resulted in a touchdown for running back TreVeyon Henderson. According to TruMedia, he completed 3 of 7 passes during the game for more than 10 yards and only one of those attempts was between hashes. Stroud was blitzed on 57.6% of his dropbacks, which certainly contributed to his tendency to get the ball out quickly. He threw efficiently behind the blitzing player’s head to create yards after catch opportunities.

Maryland had a chance to win that one until linebacker Steele Chambers recovered and returned a fumble for a touchdown with 9 seconds left. The country’s No. 2 team survives and advances to play No. 3 Michigan at home next week. The Buckeyes certainly want revenge for last season’s uproar.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA: Stocks are flat

Stats (48-45 loss to No. 7 USC): 23 passes completed of 38, 309 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT; 14 carries, 81 yards, 2 TD

Thompson-Robinson has become more comfortable on offense this season, showing improved mechanics at the stitch point and balance in the pocket. He looks most comfortable throwing in infalling patterns and leading up the seam; TruMedia supports this statement.

His ball placement could have been better on a few occasions and decision making needs to be improved. In one of his interceptions, the placement was bad. In his other two interceptions, he didn’t see a defender fall out of the box. There was a fourth turnover-worthy game in which he was pressured and threw a prayer ball off his back foot for cover. Thompson-Robinson has a good top speed, but direction changes aren’t as smooth. However, he is an incredibly talented player.

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