5. Oregon State – Chance Nolan or Tristan Gebbia or Ben Gulbranson
Nolan helped lead the Beavers’ return to bowl season, but his claim to the starting role in 2022 isn’t ironclad. Oregon State’s home/road splits aren’t much of a secret at this point, which explains why Gebbia, who started for a time in both 2019 and 2020, and Gulbranson, a former three-star recruit, are being given every chance to seize the job.
4. Air Force – Haaziq Daniels
The Falcons and Broncos have split Daniels’s two starts in this matchup, but he was beguiling in Air Force’s win last season with 83 rushing yards on a season-high 21 carries. He also engineered 307 team rushing yards and three touchdowns in what was mostly a defensive duel, so Daniels can’t be taken lightly in round three.
3. BYU – Jaren Hall
It’s hard to blame Hall too much for last year’s Cougars loss since he threw for 302 yards in the rain after missing two games with injury. He didn’t run much at all as a result, either, with a season-low -3 yards but was pretty good at both on the whole, accounting for 2,890 yards of total offense in ten games.
2. Utah State – Logan Bonner
It’s tempting to say that ironic Bonner had the worst overall game of his season against these very same Broncos, but it speaks to how good the Boise State defense was that he completed 65.6% of his throws in the Aggies’ 11 victories and had no other games with multiple interceptions. Whether they can bottle him up again or not will be one of the season’s most sensational storylines.
1. Fresno State – Jake Haener
Haener, like Bonner, straight up did not have a good time against Boise State in 2021, throwing for 279 yards and two touchdowns while getting picked off three times. Also like Bonner, however, the Bulldogs passing game was strong when firing on all cylinders: Haener completed 69.4% of his attempts and averaged 8.7 yards per throw with 27 touchdowns and, more importantly, two interceptions in the team’s ten victories.