Nebraska Football: Ranking Top 5 QBs Cornhuskers Will Face in 2012
Quarterback is generally the most important position for any football team.
As goes the quarterback, so goes the team’s offense.
In 2012, the Nebraska Cornhuskers will face some of the most dynamic and dangerous quarterbacks in the nation.
In looking forward to Nebraska’s upcoming season, let’s take a look at the five best signal-callers NU will face in 2012.
5: MarQueis Gray, Minnesota
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I know the Gophers aren’t very good, but quarterback MarQueis Gray is.
Gray makes Minnesota a dangerous team to face. He threw for 1,495 yards and ran for another 966 yards in 2011. Adding a junior college running back in James Gillum should make Minnesota’s rushing attack more respectable, which in turn should give Gray additional room to maneuver and make plays.
Under head coach Jerry Kill, Minnesota is a team on the rise, and a player like Gray could be responsible for the Gophers claiming a big upset in 2012.
4: Kain Colter, Northwestern
Kain Colter seems primed to inherit the mantle as the Purples’ starting quarterback following the departure of Dan Persa.
Colter was very effective in Northwestern’s first three games of 2011 at quarterback, and did admirably when asked to take snaps during the rest of the season.
Nebraska fans will remember—not very fondly—how Colter helped engineer the Purples’ upset in Lincoln.
Colter ended the season with a 66.7 completion percentage and rushed for 4.8 yards per carry. He provides Northwestern with a dangerous double-threat.
3: James Vandenberg, Iowa
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Vandenberg bucks the trend in the Big Ten as far as mobile quarterbacks are concerned.
He is much more of a true pocket passer, with a strong arm, good accuracy, good pocket presence and good decision-making ability.
Last year, Vandenberg completed 58.7 of his passes, throwing for 3,022 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Returning receivers such as Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley should only bolster the Hawkeyes' passing attack.
If Iowa can get any production and stability from its running game, which has been challenging over the past few years, the Hawkeyes offense could be one of the most potent in the Big Ten in 2012.
2: Braxton Miller, Ohio State
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Meyer’s spread offense is almost tailor made for a quarterback of Miller’s size and skill set. As a freshman, Miller put up 1,159 yards passing with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for an additional 715 yards and seven touchdowns.
With a year of experience under his belt, and with Meyer calling the plays, Miller could be setting the stage for the Buckeyes’ return to national prominence after this year’s tattoo-gate exile.
1: Denard Robinson, Michigan
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Determining the top spot in this list wasn’t difficult.
Shoelace is head-and-shoulders the most dynamic offensive weapon in the Big Ten, and possibly in the country.
Denard Robinson threw for 2,173 yards and 20 touchdowns last year, and ran for 1176 yards and 16 touchdowns. Producing a total offense of 3,349 yards and 36 touchdowns in a season is enough to give any defensive coordinator nightmares.
Yes, he’s not the most accurate quarterback, with only a 55 percent completion rate and 15 interceptions. However, the upside that Robinson brings makes the negatives more than worth taking on.
Andrew Maxwell, Michigan State
Brett Hundley, UCLA
Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State
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