College Football: Power Ranking the Big Ten Quarterback Performances In Week 1
It was a pretty good start to the season for Big Ten teams (9-2 week one record) and also for their quarterbacks.
Established starters such as Terrelle Pryor of Ohio State, Ricky Stanzi of Iowa and Kirk Cousins of Michigan State led their teams to comfortable victories while a host of newcomers also left their mark in week one.
Week one also showed that the conference has diverse set of quarterbacks, some of whom with their arms, some of whom use their legs, and others who excel with both appendages.
No. 11 Nathan Scheelhaase of Illinois
Team Result: 23-13 loss to Missouri
Passing Stats: 9 of 23 for 81 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions
Rushing Stats: 16 carries for 76 yards
Scheelhaase actually led his team to a 13-3 halftime lead, but things fell apart for the Illini in the second half. Right now he appears to be far more comfortable running the ball than throwing it.
No. 10 Adam Weber of Minnesota
Team Result: 24-17 win over Middle Tennessee State
Passing Stats: 10 of 17 for 150 yards
Weber wasn’t much of a factor against MTSU, as the Golden Gophers used their size advantage against the smaller Blue Raiders to churn out 281 rushing yards.
Minnesota dominated time of possession, holding the ball for over 45 minutes. They take on South Dakota next week.
No. 9 Robert Marve of Purdue
Team Result: 23-12 loss to Notre Dame
Passing Stats: 31 of 42 for 220 yards and two interceptions
Rushing Stats: 10 carries for 10 yards and one touchdown
Mr. Marve spent most of Saturday afternoon running for his life against the Fighting Irish, as Notre Dame frustrated the Purdue quarterback into four sacks and two interceptions.
Even after he rushed for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to pull Purdue close, he was penalized for celebrating.
No. 8 Scott Tolzien of Wisconsin
Team Result: 41-21 win over UNLV
Passing Stats: 15 of 20 for 197 yards and one interception
Tolzien posted decent numbers, but was largely ineffective against the Runnin’ Rebels. The Badger quarterback helped keep the game close in the first half by throwing at 19-yard pick six.
The Badgers pulled away in the second half behind their stout run game, led by John Clay, who rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 7 Ricky Stanzi of Iowa
Team Result: 37-7 win over Eastern Illinois
Passing Stats: 18 of 23 for 229 yards and one touchdown
Stanzi was solid in his first game as Hawkeye running back Adam Robinson stole the show with three first half touchdown runs. Stanzi made Iowa fans hold their collective breath after he slipped to the turf in the second quarter and limped to the sidelines.
As it turns out, he was fine and was ready to go in the next series. Iowa takes on in-state rival Iowa State next week.
No. 6 Ben Chappell of Indiana
Team Result: 51-17 win over Towson
Passing Stats: 16 of 23 for 182 yards and two touchdowns
Chappell led the Hoosiers to 38 first half points as they routed the Tigers. Indiana actually put up all those points without standout receiver Tandon Doss.
The Hoosiers take on another cupcake in Western Kentucky next week.
No. 5 Kirk Cousins of Michigan State
Team Result: 38-14 win over Western Michigan
Passing Stats: 13 of 21 for 186 yards and one touchdown
Cousins performance was also overshadowed by a running back, as freshman Le’Veon Bell ran for 141 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns to spark the Spartan offense.
After a sluggish start, Cousins found converted quarterback Keith Nichol for a 20-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to give Michigan State a 14-7 lead.
No. 4 Dan Persa of Northwestern
Team Result: 23-21 win over Vanderbilt
Passing Stats: 19 of 21 for 222 yards and three touchdowns
Rushing Stats: 17 carries for 82 yards
Persa was magnificent both in the air and on the ground in his first start, leading the Wildcats to a hard-fought win against Vanderbilt.
He started out the game on fire, completing his first four passes and rushing for 42 yards on his first seven carries. Northwestern battles Illinois State next week.
No. 3 Robert Bolden of Penn State
Team Result: 44-14 win over Youngstown State
Passing Stats: 20 of 29 for 239 yards with two touchdowns with one interception
A very nice debut for the first true freshman to start a season-opener for the Nittany Lions in 100 years. He took care of business against an overmatched Penguins squad.
The Big Ten co-freshman of the week faces a stern test Saturday against No. 1 Alabama
No. 2 Terrelle Pryor of Ohio State
Team Result: 45-7 win over Marshall
Stats: 17 of 25 for 247 yards and three touchdowns
Before the season started, Pryor would have been No. 1 on this list and very easily still could be. He did everything he needed to in the opener, hitting the open man, checking down when necessary and occasionally using his legs.
The only negative was Pryor threw a few passes up for grabs. He looks ready for Miami on Saturday.
No. 1 Denard Robinson of Michigan
Team Result: 30-10 Win over Connecticut
Passing Stats: 19 of 22 for 186 yards and one touchdown.
Rushing Stats: 29 carries for 197 yards and one touchdown
“Shoelace” Robinson’s starting debut as a quarterback puts him in the top spot. He absolutely shredded the UConn defense all day long, something I was convinced would not happen.
He also did a nice job of putting the ball in the air. The Wolverines take on Notre Dame on Saturday.