Utah State senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named to the Manning Award Watch List, announced by the committee and the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Thursday.
The list includes 32 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2014 season. The winner will be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowl games.
Keeton is one of three Mountain West quarterbacks named to the list, along with Garrett Grayson from Colorado State and Nevada's Cody Fajardo. Keeton is also one of two from Utah, joining BYU's Taysom Hill to be recognized.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of 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.
Entering his senior season, Keeton, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback from Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS), is also one of 25 college football players named to the first edition of the 2014 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List, one of 17 players named to the 2014 Bleacher Report's Initial Heisman Trophy Watch List, one of 39 players named to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List, one of 77 players named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, one of 40 players named to the College Football Performance Awards Quarterback of the Year Watch List and the Preseason Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year. He is also a first-team preseason all-Mountain West selection by Athlon Sports, Phil Steele and College Sports Madness, which also named Keeton as their MW Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Keeton was one of 30 players named to the first edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List as a junior a year ago but played in just six games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter against BYU on Oct. 4. Prior to his injury, Keeton completed 136-of-196 passes for 1,388 yards (231.3 ypg) with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions, while he rushed for another 241 yards on 55 carries (402. ypg/4.4 ypc) with two more scores. Overall, that completion percentage of 69.4 percent broke his own single-season school record set in 2012, while his 18 touchdown passes ranks tied for ninth all-time in school history.
Through his first five games of the 2013 season, Keeton ranked second in the nation with 17 touchdown passes, while he also ranked first in the Mountain West and second in the nation in points responsible for (22.8 pg), second in the MW and 22nd in the nation in passing efficiency (161.6), third in the MW and eighth in the nation in completions (26.4), third in the MW and 11th in the nation in completion percentage (.710), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in total offense (317.2 ypg), and fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing (272.4 ypg). Keeton tied the school record with five touchdown passes in a game twice during his junior year, doing so in a 52-20 win at Air Force and again in a 70-6 home win against Weber State.
As a sophomore in 2012, Keeton earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors after ranking 17th nationally in total offense (307.1 ypg), 18th in passing efficiency (154.7) and 29th in passing (259.5 ypg). During the 2012 season, Keeton set single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), completions (275), completion percentage (.676) and total offense (3,992 yards), while he tied the single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 121 yards at Louisiana Tech.
Utah State opens the 2014 season Sunday, Aug. 31, at Tennessee and plays its first home game the following weekend against Idaho State on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. USU's first Mountain West game will be at home against Air Force on Saturday, Oct. 11, and the Aggies conclude the regular season at MW foe Boise State on Saturday, Nov. 29. The Mountain West Championship game will be held Saturday, Dec. 6, at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff Committee ranking.
Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.