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NCAAF · 21 days ago

College Football: Big Ten Quarterback Rankings After Week 1

Danny Mogollon

Danny Mogollon

College Football: Big Ten Quarterback Rankings After Week 1

Each team in the Big Ten opened their 2023 campaign in college football’s Week 1. Here’s how the Big Ten starting quarterbacks stack up going into Week 2:

1. JJ McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines (Yards Per Play: 9.33/EPA Per Play: 0.70)

It wasn’t against the toughest competition but was as crisp as we’ve seen McCarthy throw the football. He showed off a strong arm with pinpoint accuracy and had a certain calm about him that has me believing he’s ready for a massive season for the Wolverines.

Week 1 Stats: 26/30, 280 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 95.4 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. East Carolina 30-3

2. Drew Allar, Penn State Nittany Lions (YPP: NA/EPAPP: NA)

It was a stellar debut start for Allar, who can spin the football. He never looked flustered, handled pressure well when it came, and was incredibly comfortable throwing the football on the move with zip and accuracy. He leads an explosive PSU attack.

Week 1 Stats: 21/29, 325 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 86 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. West Virginia 38-15

3. Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland Terrapins (YPP: 7.88/EPAPP: 0.39)

The Big Ten’s most experienced passer looked the part in Week 1. Most of Tagovailoa’s production came in the first half, including all four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing).

Week 1 Stats: 22/33, 260 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 86.4 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. Towson 38-6

4. Cade McNamara, Iowa Hawkeyes (YPP: 6.48/EPAPP: 0.29)

It was a quick start – 2 TDs midway through the first quarter – but things slowed down for McNamara and company the rest of the way. Still recovering from a quad injury, McNamara is at less than 100 percent as he plays through what he calls a “manageable injury.”

Week 1 Stats: 17/30, 191 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 35.9 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. Utah State 24-14

5. Hudson Card, Purdue Boilermakers (YPP: 8.47/EPAPP: 0.31)

In his Purdue debut, Card put up enough points for the Boilermakers to win, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. He gained 128 of his 254 yards (more than half) on two passes.

Week 1 Stats: 17/30, 254 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 66.4 QBR

Week 1 Result: Lost vs. Fresno State 39-35

6. Luke Altmyer, Illinois Fighting Illini (YPP: 7.54/EPAPP: 0.25)

I was very impressed with Altmyer’s running ability (69 yards, 7.7 YPC) in his Illinois debut after transferring from Ole Miss. His passing numbers got a big bump on his miracle 33-yard pass to Casey Washington on fourth down, which saved the game for the Illini.

Week 1 Stats: 18/26, 211 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 79.2 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. Toledo 30-28

7. Kyle McCord, Ohio State Buckeyes (YPP: 7.27/EPAPP: 0.20)

The former five-star flashed his arm talent, but overall, it was mostly uninspiring. Marvin Harrison and Emeka Egbuka need more than five catches for 34 yards (how?) between the two.

Week 1 Stats: 20/33, 239 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, 78.1 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. Indiana 23-3

8. Noah Kim, Michigan State Spartans (YPP: 8.32/EPAPP: 0.14)

After a plodding start, Kim found his rhythm with the deep ball late in the second quarter and finished with impressive numbers. He averaged a healthy 9.0 yards per pass, which includes some drops, and the Spartans picked up 15.5 yards per completion.

Week 1 Stats: 18/31, 279 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 60.6 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. Central Michigan 31-7

9. Tanner Mordecai, Wisconsin Badgers (YPP: 5.90/EPAPP: -0.28)

The SMU transfer had one of the more disappointing debuts in the Big Ten in Week 1. Multiple interceptions and way too many dinks and dunks. The Badgers had three players with three-plus receptions who averaged 5.8 yards or less per catch. How?

Week 1 Stats: 24/26, 189 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 36.0 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. Buffalo 38-17

10. Athan Kaliakmanis, Minnesota Golden Gophers (YPP: 4.07/EPAPP: -0.12)

He played better than his numbers, but if the Gophers are going to rely on the pass nearly this much, they need to be much more efficient than 4.5 yards per pass, which wasn’t all the quarterback’s fault.

Week 1 Stats: 24/44, 196 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 53.1 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. Nebraska 13-10

11. Jeff Sims, Nebraska Cornhuskers (YPP: 5.18/EPAPP: -0.67)

The Georgia Tech transfer was a dynamic runner (91 rushing yards, 4.8 YPC) whose legs are a real weapon. But the passing game was extremely limited, and we can’t ignore the turnovers (3 INTs), which have been a career-long issue for Sims.

Week 1 Stats: 11/19, 114 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions, 34.9 QBR

Week 1 Result: Lost @ Minnesota 13-10

12. Gavin Wimsatt, Rutgers Scarlet Knights (YPP: 5.62/EPAPP: 0.24)

The junior quarterback had arguably the best performance of his young career. Wimsatt looked much improved from last season, but his 5.6 yards per pass remains a very pedestrian number if we’re not grading him on a curve.

Week 1 Stats: 17/29, 163 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions, 81.9 QBR

Week 1 Result: Won vs. Northwestern 24-7

13. Ben Bryant, Northwestern Wildcats (YPP: 4.22/EPAPP: -0.49)

It was a terrible start for the Cincinnati transfer, who could never get going. Bryant didn’t get any help from his teammates, but he needs to improve, and we expected better.

Week 1 Stats: 20/36, 169 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 14.8 QBR

Week 1 Result: Lost @ Rutgers 24-7

14. Brendan Sorsby, Indiana Hoosiers (YPP: 4.11/EPAPP: -0.02)

Sorsby split time with Tayven Jackson (1 of 5, 24 yards, 9.3 QBR), who was worse. The Indiana offense was inept and didn’t even try to push the ball down the field with Sorsby, who averaged a meager 3.9 yards per pass.

Week 1 Stats: 8/15, 58 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 28.0 QBR

Week 1 Result: Lost vs. Ohio State 23-3