Jack Tuttle and Connor Bazelak are in a tight race for starting quarterback for the Hoosiers. The Missouri transfer, Bazelak looks to have the lead as he has more time on the field to give him an edge. Bazelak completed 479 of his 722 passes for 5,058 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions during his time as the Tigers’ signal caller. The Hoosiers need Bazelak to improve those numbers to compete in the mighty Big Ten East and get back to their 2020 form of not only making a bowl game but fighting for a division crown.
The Terps are going to depend on a guy who is out to prove he’s more than his older brother’s younger brother. Taulia Tagovailoa had a great year in 2021. He completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 3,860 yards and 26 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions. With these good numbers and being in easily one of the two best divisions in college football, Maryland was able to claw to a 7-6 record in 2021. If Taulia Tagovailoa has a similar season this year, look to see Maryland upset a top power or two in the conference this year.
The Wolverines’ success in 2021 was largely because Hassan Haskins carried the offense on his back. Given the history of their offenses under Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines will look to duplicate that strategy with Blake Corum. As a solid backup last year, Corum had over 1,000 yards of offense and a dozen touchdowns. As the featured back he may even have a better performance than his predecessor Haskins did. The Wolverines success will depend on their running game.
With Walter Camp Player of the Year winner Kenneth Walker III gone, the Spartans will have to rely on their quarterback Payton Thorne. With the junior coming off of a season with 3,240 passing yards and 31 total touchdowns to only 10 interceptions, Spartan fans will be more than happy to do just that. And like last year, a top three finish in the division and being only a game out of or actually in the title tussle in Indianapolis in December is a realistic expectation for the Spartans with Thorne leading the way.
It’s very easy to get lost in the offensive fire power returning this season for the Buckeyes. With C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and TreVeyon Henderson (for starters) one of them would be thought to be the key for the Buckeyes in 2022. I however think it will be Zach Harrison, defensive end. Stroud, Henderson, and Smith-Njigba were NOT the problem for Ohio State in their two losses in 2021. The defense however was a liability. The best season in the Ryan Day Era was in 2019, when that defense was led by the great Chase Young. The Buckeyes will be looking to duplicate that year’s defensive success and that will start with Zach Harrison, the Buckeyes best returning pass rusher. If Harrison can get the defense rolling, no one will be able to stop the Buckeyes.
Sean Clifford. The Cincinnati native is looking to become Penn State’s first 10,000 yard career passer as well as the owner of most of their passing records with another season like 2021 and 2019. Clifford has 7,839 passing yards and 72 total touchdowns for his career. The Nittany Lions offense will go straight through him. Clifford heading into his fourth year as a starter won’t be phased by the murderers row of a schedule either. Penn State looks to have a competent field general to pin their 2022 hopes on.
Noah Verdal looks to carry the hopes of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. In his college career at multiple universities Verdal has 3,789 yards and 26 total touchdowns. His team will need him to minimize his turnovers (16 interceptions in 2020 and 2021) in order to reach their goal of a second consecutive bowl game. Verdal doesn’t lack experience and looks to go out with a bang against a tough schedule.