Big Ten Conference Quarterback Power Rankings After Week 2

Zach Dirlam@Zach_DirlamSenior Analyst IISeptember 10, 2012

Big Ten Conference Quarterback Power Rankings After Week 2

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    The Big Ten Conference took a huge hit this weekend as the nationally-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers and Wisconsin Badgers were upset by mediocre Pacific 12 Conference teams on the road and the Iowa Hawkeyes failed to score a touchdown in a 9-6 loss to in-state rival Iowa State Cyclones. The Illinois Fighting Illini were beaten down out west by the Arizona State Sun Devils, and although the Michigan Wolverines and Northwestern Wildcats managed to emerge from the weekend victorious, neither team looked all that impressive.

    All that aside, how did the quarterbacks fare in a tough weekend for the Big Ten? Click to the next slide in order to find out.

No. 12 : Reilly O'Toole, Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Ranking Last Week: Not ranked

    Week 2 Result: Lost 45-14 at Arizona State

    Week 2 Stats: 10-14, 54 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

    The Illinois Fighting Illini were without starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) for their Week 2 matchup, which gave sophomore signal-caller Reilly O'Toole yet another chance to take the No. 1 spot on the depth chart from his teammate.

    Unfortunately, O'Toole could not keep the Fighting Illini offense moving against the Arizona State Sun Devils and only managed to throw for 54 yards and one touchdown. 

    At one point in the game, O'Toole came out and junior third-stringer Miles Osei took over without much success either.

    Head coach Tim Beckman is a great offensive mind and will recruit playmakers to play for Illinois, but judging from the quarterback play in the Fighting Illini's first two games it is going to be a struggle to score points all year.

No. 11: Kain Colter, Northwestern Wildcats

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 10

    Week 2 Result: Won 23-13 over Vanderbilt

    Week 2 Stats: 7-15, 42 yards and zero touchdowns. Thirteen carries, 66 yards and one touchdown.

    After another dismal performance throwing the football, Northwestern Wildcats junior quarterback Kain Colter may not be hanging around in the power rankings for very long.

    Colter completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes and threw for fewer than 50 yards. In fact, the only reason the Denver, Colo., native still made the cut this week is because of his 29-yard touchdown run that sealed the Wildcats second victory of the 2012 season.

    Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian relieved Colter late in the second half for the second straight game and looked impressive throwing the football. Siemian completed 10-of-16 passes for 91 yards, but failed to lead Northwestern into the end zone.

    Northwestern's quarterback situation will definitely be interesting to monitor as the season progresses. 

No. 10: Cameron Coffman, Indiana Hoosiers

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    Ranking Last Week: Not ranked

    Week 2 Result: Won 45-6 over Massachusetts (at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.)

    Week 2 Stats: 16-22, 159 yards and one touchdown.

    Indiana' Hoosiers starting quarterback Tre Roberson threw for 76 yards and one touchdown before breaking his leg in the second quarter of the Hoosiers rout of the Massachusetts Minutemen over the weekend.

    With Roberson out, and expected to be out for the rest of the season according to, sophomore quarterback Cameron Coffman stepped in and kept the Indiana offense moving with his arm.

    Although Coffman lacks Roberson's ability to scramble and make plays with his legs, however the 6'2", 191-pounder threw several accurate passes and managed to rack up 159 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown toss to senior tight end Charles Love III in the fourth quarter.

    Expect Coffman to assume the starting quarterback duties for Indiana in its upcoming game against the Ball State Cardinals.

No. 9: Danny O'Brien, Wisconsin Badgers

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 4 

    Week 2 Result: Lost 10-7 at Oregon State

    Week 2 Stats: 20-38, 172 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

    Danny O'Brien was remarkably efficient in the Wisconsin Badgers' season-opening win over the Northern Iowa Panthers. However, the former Maryland quarterback could not duplicate that effort over the weekend as the Badgers fell on the road to an average Oregon State Beavers team.

    The Wisconsin defense kept the Oregon State offense out of the end zone on all but one possession, but O'Brien continued to throw inaccurate passes and failed to get the Badgers on the scoreboard until less than two minutes remained in the fourth quarter.

    At this point in the season, O'Brien does not look like he can win games for Wisconsin unless Montee Ball and James White are running all over opposing defenses.

No. 8: Robert Marve, Purdue Boilermakers

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 3 

    Week 2 Result: Lost 20-17 at No. 22 Notre Dame

    Week 2 Stats: 11-18, 119 yards and one touchdown. 

    Robert Marve did not stack up impressive numbers this weekend against on the road against the No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish , but the sixth-year quarterback led Purdue on a 13-play, 58-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at 7-7 going into halftime.

    Unfortunately, Notre Dame's front seven put too much pressure on Marve in the second half and completely shut down the Purdue Boilermakers' rushing attack.

    Senior signal-caller Caleb TerBush started the game for Purdue, but it was Marve that managed to drive the Boilermakers deep into Fighting Irish territory late in the third quarter. The former former Miami (Fla.) transfer was 4-for-4 on that drive, which eventually stalled at the Notre Dame 16-yard line. Kicker Sam McCartney converted on a 33-yard field goal attempt to bring the Boilermakers within seven points with 14:57 remaining in the fourth quarter.

    Marve got careless with the clock and only went 1-for-3 on Purdue's next two drives, which forced TerBush back onto the field for the Boilermakers. TerBush led the Boilermakers on a 15-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at 17-17 late in the final quarter of play after the Purdue defense forced a fumble.

    The Boilermakers went on to lose 20-17 and although Marve's statistics did not raise any eyebrows the Tampa, Fla., native looked as though he could end Purdue's on-going competition at quarterback.

No. 7: Matt McGloin, Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 8

    Week 2 Result: Lost 17-16 at Virginia

    Week 2 Stats: 19-35, 197 yards and two touchdowns. 

    Matt McGloin completed some key passes on the Penn State Nittany Lions' 17-play, 75-yard scoring drive on the opening possession of their tilt with the Virginia Cavaliers, in addition to hitting standout wide receiver Allen Robinson for a 30-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

    The Scranton, Penn., native looked sharp at times, but still struggles with his consistency and the fact that he could not make enough plays earlier in the game put Penn State's chances for a road victory on the foot of sophomore kicker Sam Ficken, who missed a 42-yarder as time expired.

    McGloin and Penn State will try and notch their first win of the 2012 season in Happy Valley this Saturday against the Navy Midshipmen.

No. 6: James Vandenberg, Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 11

    Week 2 Result: Lost 9-6 to Iowa State

    Week 2 Stats: 20-42, 236 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

    Senior quarterback James Vandenberg was ranked near the bottom of last week's power rankings because of his poor statistics against a mid-major opponent. While two interceptions and zero touchdowns are nowhere near great numbers, it is clear that the Iowa Hawkeyes do not have enough weapons around their starting signal-caller to beat slightly above average defensive teams.

    Iowa State's defense held Iowa to 68 yards on the ground, which put the game squarely on Vandenberg's shoulders. His receiving corps is lacking the game-breaking receiver the Hawkeyes have had the past few seasons.

    Vandenberg should be able to put up solid numbers against in-state foe the Northern Iowa Panthers this coming Saturday.

No. 5: MarQueis Gray, Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 6

    Week 2 Result: Won 44-7 over New Hampshire

    Week 2 Stats: 6-8, 100 yards and two touchdowns. Seventeen carries, 109 yards and two touchdowns.

    Senior quarterback MarQueis Gray rushed for 109 yards, threw for 100 yards and found the end zone four times in the first half of the Minnesota Golden Gophers' 44-7 blowout victory over the New Hampshire Wildcats.

    Gray showed off his dual-threat ability on a 75-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter, which allowed the Golden Gophers to gain momentum and take score 35 unanswered points to close out the game.

    Expect to see Gray in a similar spot in the rankings next week unless some of the other quarterbacks ranked ahead of him stumble a bit in their games.

No. 4: Taylor Martinez, Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 1

    Week 2 Result: Lost 36-30 to UCLA.

    Week 2 Stats: 17-31, 179 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. Thirteen carries,111 yards and one touchdown.

    Dual-threat quarterback Taylor Martinez and backup running back Ameer Abdullah, who started for the injured Rex Burkead, combined for 229 rushing yards and three touchdowns, but the Corona, Calif., product struggled with his accuracy through the air as the Nebraska Cornhuskers fell on the road to the UCLA Bruins.

    Martinez had to fall back in this week's rankings after his lackluster performance, in addition to some strong performances from the other quarterbacks in this slideshow.

    The 6'1", 200-pounder should be able to run all over the Arkansas State Red Wolves' defense this weekend, however fans should continue to monitor whether or not Martinez can be efficient consistently enough to lead the Cornhuskers to a Legends Division title in 2012.

No. 3: Andrew Maxwell, Michigan State Spartans

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 9

    Week 2 Result: Won 41-7 at Central Michigan

    Week 2 Stats: 21-32, 287 yards and two touchdowns.

    The Central Michigan Chippewas' defense is nowhere near as talented as the Boise State Broncos', however junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell did not make mistakes in a hostile environment in Mount Pleasant, Mich. over the weekend and allowed the Michigan State Spartans to easily defeat the Chippewas.

    Maxwell threw for close to 300 yards before being pulled at the end of the game.

    Michigan State's late night matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this weekend will give fans a real indicator as to whether or not Maxwell can be good enough to make the Spartans national title contenders this season. 

No. 2: Denard Robinson, Michigan Wolverines

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 5

    Week 2 Result: Won 31-25 over Air Force

    Week 2 Stats: 14-25, 208 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Twenty carries, 218 yards and two touchdowns.

    Denard Robinson looked like his old self again in the Michigan Wolverines' closer-than-expected victory over the Air Force Falcons at the Big House.

    The Deerfield Beach, Fla., native rushed for over 200 yards and threw for another 208 yards, which accounted for all of Michigan's total offense on Saturday. Robinson also had highlight reel touchdown runs of 79 and 58 yards.

    Michigan's upcoming game against the Massachusetts Minutemen will give Robinson a chance to stuff the stat sheet once again, but unless the No. 1 quarterback from this week's rankings falters the Wolverines field general will be in the same position in the power rankings come next week.

No. 1: Braxton Miller, Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Ranking Last Week: No. 2

    Week 2 Result: Won 31-16 over Central Florida

    Week 2 Stats: 18-24, 155 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Twenty-seven carries, 141 yards and three touchdowns.

    It is safe to say that sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller is a perfect fit in head coach Urban Meyer's spread offense and the Huber Heights, Ohio, product showed off his full arsenal again in the Ohio State Buckeyes' 31-16 victory over a pesky Central Florida squad.

    Miller carried the ball more than usual due to the ineffectiveness of the Buckeyes group of running backs, but he made the most of his extra opportunities by scoring four total touchdowns and rushing for close to 150 yards.

    Ohio State will be tested again this weekend when California comes to the Horseshoe and Miller should be able to dazzle fans for a third straight game.