Leading up the kickoff of college football, Hoosier State of Mind is previewing IU’s key players. Let’s examine starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
No Hoosier is under more pressure this season than junior quarterback Nate Sudfeld. After a season of splitting reps with Tre Roberson, Sudfeld now owns the huddle, as Roberson transferred to Illinois State. With Roberson’s departure, all eyes are on Sudfeld.
Like I wrote a week ago, the time is now for Sudfeld to step up and get the Hoosiers to their first bowl game since 2007. Based on how he performed last year, Hoosier fans should be encouraged at the prospect of Sudfeld being the only QB under center. He threw for more than 2,500 yards and 21 touchdowns with just nine interceptions, all while completing 60 percent of his passes.Now that he will get all of the snaps, he has a chance to be the best quarterback in the conference.
No Big Ten QB has ever thrown for 4,000 yards, but remember, IU’s offense scored almost 39 points per game a season ago. The Hoosiers will be prolific on offense again, and as much as they attack through the air, Sudfeld could become the first to break the 4,000-yard mark.
While Sudfeld is capable of putting up gaudy stats, he still has much to prove. First, he has to limit his mistakes. His late interception against Michigan and backwards pass turned fumble versus Minnesota essentially gave each game away. Second, Sudfeld must show he can do it with a new set of weapons. He still has Shane Wynn and Tevin Coleman at his disposal, but there will be new receivers and tight ends to get accustomed to. These players will look to Sudfeld to lead, and it will be up to him to put the ball in places where they can makes plays.
It’s Sudfeld’s time to show that he’s the real deal. Personally, I think he’s going to flourish. As a junior, he’ much more experienced, and the distraction of a QB controversy is behind him. I forsee “video game” like numbers and conference hardware in his future.
3,650 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 64.0 completion percentage
First-Team All-Big Ten