Ranking Big Ten quarterbacks through three weeks

·5 min read

Week 3 went well for some Big Ten teams like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State. But other teams fell flat on their face: Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan State, and Purdue.

The entire Big Ten East has started out the season 3-0, save for Michigan State who lost Saturday night to Washington. But teams like Rutgers and Indiana — who usually don’t get off to hot starts — are looking pretty good through three games.

When you look at why teams are off to great starts it’s due to the quarterback position. Teams like Ohio State, Michigan, and Maryland are having great success early throwing the ball.

While other teams like Iowa haven’t had a solid start out if its quarterback.

I’m going to rank the Big Ten starting quarterbacks through three weeks in this article.


Players of the game: Michigan vs. UConn

Spencer Petras - Iowa

Photo: Isaiah Hole

The Iowa offense has been a joke this season. It scored 27 on Saturday against Nevada and Petras finally had a respectable game, but overall, it’s been sad.

Petras is averaging 125 yards passing per game and he has a 88 quarterback rating through three.

Evan Simon - Rutgers

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Simon has been respectable so far this season, but nothing game-changing.

Simon has 266 yards and two touchdowns in three games. The key is, that the Scarlet Knights’ young signal-caller hasn’t thrown an interception.

Casey Thompson - Nebraska

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska has played four games this season and it sits at 1-3.

Scott Frost brought Casey Thompson in from Texas to lead the Corn Huskers’ offense but Thompson has had his struggles this season. He has 995 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions in four games.

Connor Bazelak - Indiana

Rich Janzaruk-The Herald-Times

The Hoosiers are out to a 3-0 start to the season.

The Missouri transfer has 891 yards passing in his first three games playing for Indiana. Bazelak has five touchdowns and two interceptions this season.

The only downfall for the Hoosiers’ quarterback is that he has the second-lowest rating for Big Ten starting quarterbacks this season with a 120.8.

Ryan Hilinski - Northwestern

Photo: Isaiah Hole

The Northwestern quarterback is second in the Big Ten in terms of passing yards with 962 — but the Wildcats have played four games.

Hilinski is a much-improved passer this season averaging 320 yards-per-game. He has thrown three interceptions so far this season and has a 128.5 quarterback rating which is the third-lowest for Big Ten starters.

Tommy DeVito - Illinois

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse transfer has done a fine job for Illinois this season in three games. DeVito has 622 yards and six touchdowns and just two interceptions.

DeVito has a solid 137 QB rating.

Payton Thorne - Michigan State

Payton Thorne
Payton Thorne

Sep 17, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies defensive lineman Tuli Letuligasenoa (91) tackles Michigan State Spartans quarterback Payton Thorne (10) for no gain during the second quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Thorne is sixth in the Big Ten averaging 256 yards per game.

But the Spartans’ quarterback leads the Big Ten with four interceptions through three games.

Tanner Morgan - Minnesota

Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota is one of the hottest teams in all of football starting off 3-0 in convincing fashion.

The Gophers lean heavily on their run game with Mo Ibrahim, but Tanner Morgan has gotten the job done this season. He is fourth in the Big Ten with a 190.7 QB rating and he has thrown for 618 yards, four touchdowns, and only one interception.

Sean Clifford

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Sean Clifford has always battled injuries, which rings true again this season, but Clifford is one gutsy gunslinger.

Clifford has thrown for 673 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception. The Nittany Lions have found their star in the making with freshman running back Nicholas Singleton, but Clifford has done a nice job so far.

Graham Mertz - Wisconsin

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Mertz had a down game against Washington State, but the former five-star has been surprisingly good.

Mertz is completing 71% of his throws and has six touchdowns, along with only two interceptions in three games. Mertz has a terrific 190.8 QB rating.

Taulia Tagovailoa - Maryland

(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Taulia Tagovailoa is second in the Big Ten completing 77% of his passes through three games. The Terps have a high-flying offense and a big thanks go to Tagovailoa.

He has thrown for 895 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions.

Aidan O'Connell - Purdue

Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Aidan O’Connell is leading the Big Ten with 1,000 passing yards for the pass-happy Purdue Boilermakers.

Purdue is just 1-2 this season, but O’Connell has been good throwing eight touchdowns to only one interception.

J.J. McCarthy - Michigan

Photo: Isaiah Hole

McCarthy has only started two games, but boy, the Michigan offense has been prolific with McCarthy under center.

The sophomore quarterback is first in the Big Ten completing 88% of his throws and he leads the conference with a 234 QB rating. McCarthy has thrown three touchdowns and hasn’t turned the ball over.

C.J. Stroud - Ohio State

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

C.J. Stroud has been tremendous for Ohio State to start the season. He leads the Big Ten with 11 passing touchdowns and he hasn’t thrown an interception through three games.

Stroud has the second-highest QB rating with 208.6.


Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire