Eight Quarterbacks Named Manning Award Stars of the Week

NEW ORLEANS (September 20, 2021) – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, has named eight quarterbacks as its “Stars of the Week.” College football fans can now go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page to vote for what they think was the best performance from this past weekend. When voting closes on Thursday at 11 a.m. (Central), the top vote-getter will be announced as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.


The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting. Since the Manning Award started recognizing Stars of the Week in 2011, 424 different quarterbacks from 129 schools have been recognized. Seventy-three players from 66 different schools were honored during the 2020 season.

This week’s eight Manning Award Stars of the Week are:

Holton Ahlers, East Carolina (30-of-48, 368 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 67.5)
Ahlers sparks the Pirates to erase a 17-point fourth-quarter comeback by running for a short score and then catching a 27-yard TD pass on a trick play as ECU shocks Marshall, 42-38, on the road.

Sean Clifford, Penn State (28-of-32, 280 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 88.7)
Clifford, who notches a career-high in completions while tallying his 14th career 200-yard game, leads the Nittany Lions to a 28-20 win over No. 22 Auburn as Penn State has two wins over ranked opponents in its first three games for the first time in history.

Matt Corral, Ole Miss (23-of-31, 335 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 97.8)
Corral adds 68 rushing yards and four more touchdowns as he sets the school record for TDs while playing less than three full quarters and leading the Rebels to a 61-21 victory over Tulane.

Jaxson Dart, USC (30-of-46, 391 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT, QBR: 69.1)
Dart, a true freshman making his collegiate debut, sets the school record for passing yards and TDs in a debut as he sparks a Trojan comeback from an early 14-0 deficit in a 45-14 Pac-12 road win at Washington State.

Jake Haener, Fresno State (39-of-53, 455 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 73.5)
Haener, the national leader in passing yardage, tallies his seventh career 300-yard game and drives the Bulldogs 75 yards with less than a minute to go, connecting on a 13-yard touchdown pass to lift Fresno State to a 40-37 win over No. 13 UCLA, the highest-ranked opponent it has beaten since 2004.

Sam Howell, North Carolina (14-of-21, 307 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 93.9)
Howell is just the second player since 2004 to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 in two straight games as he also rushes for a career-high 112 yards helping the Tar Heels outscore Virginia 35-11 in the second half to run away for a 59-39 ACC victory.

Tanner Mordecai, SMU (36-of-48, 395 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 72.4)
Mordecai, the national leader in touchdowns passes, sets career-highs in nearly every category and closes the day by driving the Mustangs 73 yards on six plays, including a 33-yard Hail Mary game-winning TD pass on the final play of the game, in a wild 39-37 road win over Louisiana Tech.

Payton Thorne, Michigan State (18-of-31, 261 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 85.8)
Thorne, who tallies his career-high for TD passes for the second straight game, helps the Spartans to a 21-point fourth-quarter rally as they go on the road to upend No. 24 Miami, 38-17.

While the Manning Award selected 32 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List later in the season. Ten finalists will be selected and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.

In its first 17 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 13 different schools and from four different conferences. The Southeastern Conference (Mac Jones, Joe Burrow, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) leads the way with six Manning Award honorees, while the Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) has had five winners. The Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Burrow and Russell), Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield) and Texas (McCoy and Young) have each had two different winners.

All the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.