Two B1G QB-head coach duos considered among the best combinations in college football by ESPN
Having an offensive-minded head coach and a elite-level quarterback is one of the most dangerous combinations in college football. The result is usually a lot of points, which translates to several wins.
ESPN picked out some of the best quarterback-head coach duos for the 2020 season. The network listed the five-best combinations in the sport, and two B1G tandems earned recognition.
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Trevor Lawrence took the top spot, but Ohio State’s Ryan Day and Justin Fields were next on the list at No. 2. This will be the second year for both guys in their respective roles, after the duo helped lead the Buckeyes to a 13-1 season, a B1G title and a College Football Playoff berth.
Here’s why ESPN has Fields and Day tabbed as No. 2:
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Ohio State won the Big Ten and nearly knocked off Clemson in the College Football Playoff in Day’s first year as a head coach and Fields’ first season as a starting QB. That’s a pretty strong debut, and the relationship between coach and QB was at the heart of the Buckeyes’ success.
After a rocky freshman campaign at Georgia, Fields went in search of a new home, and he said that he instantly hit it off with Day, and by season’s end, Fields said that he was closer to his head coach than any man except his father.
That’s the foundation for a 2020 season where Fields is an early favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, and Day’s Buckeyes are as well-positioned as any team in the country to win it all.
Two spots down on the list was the Minnesota combination of P.J. Fleck and Tanner Morgan. Last season, Morgan’s unbelievable growth under center helped lift the Gophers to an 11-2 season, which included an upset win over Penn State and a victory over Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
With another year under their belts, Fleck and Morgan could team up for another big year in Minneapolis. From ESPN:
Somewhere along the line last season, Row the Boat transitioned into Throw the Ball, and it worked out beautifully for the Gophers. Fleck’s offense jelled behind Morgan, who upended the traditional run-heavy attack in the Big Ten to produce the league’s first-ever pair of 1,000-yard receivers. Fleck, Morgan and one of those receivers, Rashod Bateman, are back for 2020, and the offensive fireworks figure to be just as explosive.
Unfortunately, the only way we’ll be able to see these two B1G quarterback-head coach tandems square off against each other would be in the B1G Championship Game. Ohio State’s crossover games include contests against Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois.
Minnesota will have cross-division games against Michigan, Michigan State and Maryland.
You can view ESPN’s complete top five list here (subscription required).