Ryan Burns, QB, Stanford
Stats: 137 YDS (66 on final drive), 1 TD, 1 INT in 22-13 win at UCLA
In a game that was decided in the final minutes, it was Burns, not McCaffrey, that powered Stanford to a win over UCLA. Honestly, whichever team won this game would have had their most prominent player featured in this list. If UCLA won, it would have been Josh Rosen. But in a game where everyone was looking at McCaffrey for Stanford, Burns came into his own during the masterful two-minute drill he led to give Stanford the lead. Atypically, Stanford has struggled with a significant quarterback controversy this year, as Keller Chryst and Ryan Burns have tried to see which of them can command a Stanford offense and team loaded with talent, poise, and experience. If Burns can play the way he did in the final two minutes of Saturday’s game, Stanford should be looking at another Pac-12 title.
Steven Montez, QB, Colorado
Stats: 23-32, 333 YDS, 3 TD in 41-38 win at Oregon
In a true program-defining win if there was one, Colorado proclaimed to the college football world that they sick, tired of, and DONE being a doormat in the Pac-12. Without stud starter Sefo Liufau, Colorado knocked off Oregon at infamously home-team friendly Autzen Stadium behind backup Steven Montez, who played brilliantly. A week after pushing Michigan to the brink, Colorado knocked off a storied team on its home field, and had to drive the ball down the field late in the game to do so. Montez was a big factor in said drive, accounting for all its yards. This was after Colorado blew a 33-17 lead. They still managed to win the game, and Montez did an exceptional job ensuring that Colorado did not take a step down due to Liufau’s absence.
Troy Williams, QB, Utah
Stats: 21-34, 270 YDS, 2 TD, Rush TD Win 31-27 win vs. USC
Can you sense a theme? Williams was another signal-caller that led his team to a big come-from-behind victory against a (supposedly) challenging opponent. He accounted for three total touchdowns on the day, none bigger than his throw to Tim Patrick with 16 seconds remaining that sealed the game for the Utes. Utah is still undefeated, and looks to continue to pursue the Pac-12 South title this Saturday in Berkeley against Cal.