Thursday, September 13, 2012
Ranking the Big 12 quarterback debuts
By David Ubben
Colleague Travis Haney took a look at his top 10 early debuts for quarterbacks , and two Big 12 quarterbacks made the list.
The order, though, was a bit curious in my opinion.
Haney pegged Oklahoma State's Wes Lunt at No. 5, followed by Baylor's Nick Florence at No. 6.
Through two games, Lunt has completed 48-of-71 passes for 565 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, the majority of those numbers coming in last week's loss to Arizona.
The Cowboys lost, and there's no escaping that, but there's plenty of reason to believe that loss came for reasons other than the quarterback.
It's true, but I'd take Florence ahead of Lunt's debut.
Through just one game, Florence is 21-of-30 for 341 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in a 59-24 win against SMU.
He's got a tough task in replacing Robert Griffin III, but through one game, he's done as well as anybody could imagine.
Here's how I'd rank the Big 12 QB debuts. I defined "debuts" as any quarterback who wasn't his team's full-time starter a year ago.
1. Florence: He made some questionable decisions and got away with them against the Mustangs, but Lunt was slingin' it in the blowout win. His experience showed, and the weapons around him are absurd. Don't be surprised if he challenges Geno Smith and Landry Jones by season's end as the Big 12's best quarterback.
2. Lunt: He's only going to get better, but the one interception that was his fault was a big mistake in a game full of them, and put the Cowboys out of it. His play early on kept OSU in a game that could have been much worse, considering the way the defense played.
3. David Ash, Texas: Ash hasn't been asked to make a ton of huge plays for the Longhorns, but he's completing more than 70 percent of his passes and doesn't have a turnover yet. That's exactly what Texas needs him to do, and busting 49-yard touchdown runs is pretty impressive, too.
4. Steele Jantz, Iowa State: Jantz has been a speedy playmaker for the Cyclones, but nearly cost ISU the game with a red-zone interception last week against Iowa. That was his third interception of the season, but he's been much more accurate this year. He's completing 69 percent of his passes and has a rushing score, too.
5. Dayne Crist, Kansas: No doubt about it: Crist has been disappointing thus far. Kansas has played a pair of opponents that are nothing like what KU will find in the Big 12, but his numbers haven't been up to par. He's thrown just two touchdown passes and three picks, while completing just 51.6 percent of his passes, the lowest number of any Big 12 starter. Additionally, the Jayhawks lost to Rice.