DALLAS (FWAA) Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud was named the fourth annual recipient of the FWAA Freshman Breakout Performance Award presented by Chris Doering Mortgage for his performances against Michigan State and Utah.
The FWAA Freshman Breakout Performance Award is awarded annually to the college football freshman with the best single-game performance of the season.
Stroud, a Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien Award finalist and the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year, was a unanimous selection with two performances worthy of the breakout award.
Stroud dominated a late-season battle for Big Ten supremacy with then-No. 7 Michigan State on Nov. 20, completing 32 of 35 passes (91 percent) for 432 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions in the Buckeyes' 56-7 win. Of those 432 yards, only 39 came in the second half before he was pulled from the game with Ohio State holding a 49-0 lead.
Stroud's six first-half TD passes made him one of only five Buckeyes quarterbacks to throw for six scores in one half en route to Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week honors. It was such an incredible performance that even Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes took notice in real-time, using his Twitter account to share a laughing emoji and point out Stroud had six touchdown passes, 400 yards and only two incompletions in the first half.
Incredibly, Stroud outdid himself on an even bigger stage in the Grandaddy of Them All, the Rose Bowl. Stroud was 37-of-46 passing for 573 yards with six touchdowns and one interception against Pac-12 champ Utah in the Buckeyes' 48-45 shootout win.
"That quarterback is terrific," Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game. "Statistically, the best in the country, as far as quarterback rating system, and he proved it tonight."
Stroud's unflappable poise was as impressive as his golden arm as Ohio State rallied from a 14-0 deficit entering the second quarter. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound redshirt freshman from Inland Empire, Calif., shattered Rose Bowl records in the win. Stroud's 573 yards passing established a new Ohio State single-game record. Stroud finished the season as the Buckeyes' single-season leader in passing yards per game at 369.6 and pass efficiency (186.6). Stroud's Rose Bowl Game records include most passing yards and most touchdown passes.
The Utah head coach couldn't say enough about Stroud when asked to compare him to former Oregon first-round NFL pick and current San Diego Chargers star Justin Herbert.
"The kid (Stroud) is tremendous," Whittingham said. "The QBR, the quarterback rating system that ESPN uses which in my estimation is the most accurate and the most telling of statistics for determining how well your quarterback's playing · he leads the nation. I think you saw why tonight."
Ohio State (11-2) made its ninth straight New Year's Six Bowl Game appearance with Stroud directing the offense and ranked as the top offense in the nation with 561.5 yards per game.
The previous winners of the Breakout Freshman Award are Kayshon Boutte (LSU, 2020), Jayden Daniels (Arizona State, 2019) and Rondale Moore (Purdue, 2018).
Chris Doering Mortgage, based in Gainesville, Fla., was established in April 2007 as a residential lending company providing mortgage products including conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loans. The branch is a division of MortgageAdvisors.com 3940 NW 16th Blvd., Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32605 · NMLS 70168/1937321. FHA Lender ID 2631500094. Chris Doering Mortgage is committed to skillfully and ethically delivering the highest quality customer service throughout the mortgage process, with a team of professionals that strive to exceed the expectations of clients and business partners while continually educating and adapting to the changing needs of the industry. For more information, visit ChrisDoeringMortgage.com.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.