ACC All Access: Russell Wilson tops power rankings for ACC quarterbacks
Russell Wilson (16) (Ethan Hyman, MCT / September 11, 2010)
While ACC quarterbacks have failed to lead their teams to the much-needed, eye-catching, non-conference win this season, a few big-time statistical efforts by quarterbacks have been sprinkled in among the early season games.
North Carolina's T.J. Yates passed for 412 yards on Sept. 4 in a 30-24 loss against Louisiana State. Wilson already has three 300-plus yard passing games, and Duke's Sean Renfree has two such games. Four ACC players (Taylor, Yates, Wilson and Clemson's Kyle Parker) are among the nation's 30 most efficient quarterbacks through the first month of the season.
As we head into October, here's a look at the ACC quarterback power rankings to this point:
1. Russell Wilson, Jr., N.C. State No quarterback in the nation values the ball more than Wilson, who yet again has an astounding touchdown-to-interception ratio (11-to-1) this season while completing 60 percent of his passes. For his career, he has 59 touchdown passes and just 13 interceptions. This season, he has passed for 306 yards or more in three games, and he's leading the ACC with an average of 299 yards of total offense per game.
2. Tyrod Taylor, Sr., Virginia Tech Considering he's atop the ACC in passer efficiency (15th in the nation), it lends credence to last season's end-of-the-season passer efficiency rating (best in the ACC and 13th in the nation). He's completing 65 percent of his passes this season (close to his stated goal of 70 percent). The Hampton High graduate has thrown just seven interceptions in his last 330 pass attempts (one every 47 attempts), leads Tech quarterbacks in career rushing yards (1,738) and he's one win away from tying Bruton High graduate Bryan Randall for the most wins (26) as a starting quarterback under coach Frank Beamer.
3. Kyle Parker, So., Clemson Took a beating against Auburn two weekends ago, but still managed to complete 20 of 34 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-24 overtime loss on the road. He's the second-most efficient quarterback in the ACC this season, completing 58 percent of his passes for 503 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception.
4. Christian Ponder, Sr., Florida State He has taken a big dip in total offense numbers (322 yards per game last season to 191 this season), but has a good chance to rocket up this list as the season progresses. He struggled Sept. 11 in FSU's biggest challenge thus far, completing just 11 of 28 passes for 113 yards and two interceptions in a 47-17 loss at Oklahoma.
5. Joshua Nesbitt, Sr., Georgia Tech Though he's not going to wow many observers with his arm strength, he's extremely effective at what he's asked to do, which is run the option. He leads the ACC with 362 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He needs just 330 more rushing yards to become the ACC's all-time leader among quarterbacks.
6. T.J. Yates, Sr., UNC Thus far, he could qualify as the most improved quarterback in the conference. He's completing an ACC-best 68 percent of his passes for an average of 275 yards per game, five touchdowns and just one interception.
7. Jacory Harris, So., Miami His completion rate is sitting at an impressive 64 percent, but he has six interceptions to go along with six touchdown passes. On Sept. 11, he threw for 232 yards, a touchdown and a disastrous four interceptions in a 36-24 loss at Ohio State.
8. Sean Renfree, So., Duke Figures the starting quarterback in an offense crafted by coach David Cutcliffe might fling the ball around a bit, and Renfree is doing it with decent results other than his interceptions. He has completed 62 percent of passes for an ACC-best average of 278 yards per game, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.
9. Marc Verica, Sr., Virginia After throwing 16 interceptions and just eight touchdowns in 2008 during his last full season as a starter, the picks were going to have to vanish this season for him to have a chance to soar. He's doing an admirable job, completing 61 percent of his passes for 697 yards, five touchdowns and one interception, but the one pick was costly in the end zone in U.Va.'s 17-14 loss at Southern California.
10. Jamarr Robinson/Danny O'Brien, Maryland Gotta see more of Maryland's offense, which is last in the ACC in time of possession (average of 25 minutes, 34 seconds per game 115th in the nation) to really get a good read. O'Brien started last weekend's win against Florida International and may start Saturday against Duke. He has completed 62 percent of his passes for 329 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions this season. Robinson, who is struggling with a sore throwing shoulder, started the first three games and has completed just 49 percent of his passes for 308 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
11. Tanner Price/Ted Stachitas, Wake Forest Injuries are causing coach Jim Grobe all kinds of headaches. Price, a freshman who has started Wake's last two games, is doubtful for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech due to a concussion. Stachitas started the first two games of the season, but he's hampered by bruised ribs. Redshirt freshman Brendan Cross and junior Skylar Jones could be options for Grobe in the Georgia Tech game. As a group, Wake's quarterbacks have completed just 49 percent of their passes for 523 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.
12. Mike Marscovetra/Chase Rettig/Dave Shinskie, Boston College It's a mess up in Chestnut Hill, Mass., where Shinskie was benched last weekend for ineffectiveness early on against Virginia Tech. Coach Frank Spaziani said he's going to go with Marscovetra or Rettig on Saturday against Notre Dame. A source told the Boston Globe this week Rettig, a freshman, will get his first start. Shinskie and Marscovetra have combined to complete 55 percent of their passes for 621 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions.