Week 14 B1G QB Rankings: League's top passers feast on weak defenses
As the weeks gets chillier and chillier in the Midwest, the quarterback play becomes even more critical. Throwing the football around the field in the middle of November is no easy task, making accuracy all that much more important.
Several of the B1G’s top quarterbacks didn’t have much of an issue throwing the football around the field this past weekend. Five quarterbacks threw the ball 30 times or more on Saturday, and a few others racked up some high totals without the attempts. It was kind of interesting to see how these guys handled their opponents and the colder weather.
Next week we’ll produce our final quarterback rankings for the 2019 season. But first, here’s where each guy stands as we head into Rivalry Week.
Unranked this Week
Andrew Marty, Northwestern
13. Josh Jackson, Maryland
Last week vs. Nebraska: 4-of-12, 33 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
It’s been nearly two months since Jackson has completed more than 50 percent of his passes in a game. It was more of the same this weekend against Nebraska. There was really no excuse for Jackson to be this ineffective in the passing attack.
Last week: No. 12
12. Johnny Langan, Rutgers
Last week vs. Michigan State: 8-of-20, 57 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Rutgers finished the day with 140 total yards and Langan accounted for 107 of those, rushing for 49 and throwing for 57 in a shutout loss. Even as the losses continue to pile up, Langan continues to be a huge part of the Scarlet Knights offense.
Last week: No. 11
11. Brandon Peters, Illinois
Last week vs. #17 Iowa: 16-of-31, 125 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
What Peters wasn’t able to do through the air, he was able to accomplish on the ground, giving Illinois a shot at another upset win. Peters missed some easy throws and his receivers dropped a couple of catchable passes, really hurting the Illini’s chances against a good Hawkeyes defense. If we’ve learned anything about Peters this season, it’s that he’s certainly more mobile than we’ve given credit.
Last week: No. 9
10. Aidan O’Connell, Purdue
Last week vs. #12 Wisconsin: 26-of-43, 289 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Regardless of who has been under center for Purdue, he’s been forced to carry a heavy work load. O’Connell accounted for more than 40 passes this week, giving the Boilermakers offense some life, especially early in the game. The former third-string quarterback couldn’t keep things rolling in the second half, though. After some big performances the last few weeks, he could be a guy contending for the starting job next season in West Lafayette.
Last week: Unranked
9. Brian Lewerke, Michigan State
Last week vs. Rutgers: 21-of-30, 239 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Nothing quite like a game against Rutgers to get back on the right track. Michigan State’s offense wasn’t great, but it was able to move the football and put some points on the scoreboard. Lewerke was a big reason behind that, throwing three touchdown passes in a shutout win over the Scarlet Knights. Now, the Spartans need just one ore win to get to bowl eligibility.
Last week: No. 10
8. Jack Coan, Wisconsin
Last week vs. Purdue: 15-of-19, 203 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Mr. Consistency has reared his head again in Madison. Coan threw an interception late in the game against Purdue, keeping the Boilermakers alive. But that was one of just four incompletions on the afternoon. That’ll be good enough to win almost every time. Coan is still hovering around that 73 percent completion mark for the year, a remarkable stat.
Last week: No. 7
7. Adrian Martinez, Nebraska
Last week vs. Maryland: 16-of-25, 194 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
With the postseason on the line, Martinez took control of this game and helped Nebraska pile on the points against a bad Maryland defense. Martinez accounted for nearly 300 yards of total offense and three touchdowns by himself in the lopsided victory in College Park. If he’s that effective with is arm and legs next week against Iowa, the Huskers have a shot.
Last week: No. 8
6. Peyton Ramsey, Indiana
Last week vs. #13 Michigan: 17-of-29, 217 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Ramsey has been outstanding all season long as an accurate passer and an outstanding runner for Indiana’s offense. However, the one knock on the junior is his inability to convert on deep passes to stretch the field. Lack of execution in that area allowed Michigan’s defense to cheat a little bit and hurt the Hoosiers in the second half. Not the best day for Ramsey, but he was playing a pretty good defense, too.
Last week: No. 6
5. Nate Stanley, Iowa
Last week vs. Illinois: 18-of-35, 308 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Unfortunately, Stanley’s career at Kinnick Stadium ends without a touchdown pass in his final home game. Other than that, though, he was the reason Iowa got the win on Senior Day. He threw for over 300 yards and added 22 on the ground with his legs. He certainly missed some targets throughout the day and had chances to get the Hawkeyes in the end zone a few more times, but he did enough to get a win. That’s all he’ll care about.
Last week: No. 5
4. Sean Clifford, Penn State
Last week vs. #2 Ohio State: 10-of-17, 71 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
There’s no question Clifford struggled against Ohio State on the road. That’s to be expected for a first-year quarterback in that kind of environment in a game of that magnitude. Clifford also departed the game early with injury, so hopefully he’s healthy enough to get back on the field soon.
Last week: No. 4
3. Tanner Morgan, Minnesota
Last week vs. Northwestern: 15-of-23, 211 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
A week after struggling to get the ball past the defensive line and taking numerous sacks, Morgan was able to regroup and throw for over 200 yards with four touchdown passes in a convincing Minnesota win over Northwestern. The question for Morgan was whether or not he’d be able to bounce back after facing a little adversity. He certainly answered that this weekend.
Last week: No. 2
2. Shea Patterson, Michigan
Last week vs. Indiana: 20-of-32, 366 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
Not many quarterbacks are slinging the football quite as well as Patterson right now. In the last four games, Patterson has thrown 12 touchdown passes with no interceptions. His accuracy has been on point and he’s been picking apart defenses relentlessly. If this was the same quarterback that started the season, Michigan would have a case for the College Football Playoff right now. Does he have enough juice to lead the Wolverines to an upset this weekend?
Last week: No. 3
1. Justin Fields, Ohio State
Last week vs. #8 Penn State: 16-of-22, 188 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Still the most dominant offensive player in the B1G right now. Not only was Fields putting passes on the money against a pretty good Penn State defense, he was picking up big chunks of yardage on 3rd-and-long situations for most of the game. Fields did look a little sloppy times at times, particularly on a few fumbles, but he went 10 games without much of a hiccup. We’ll give him a break for a few mishaps in the biggest game he’s played in during his career.
Last week: No. 1