Sep 15, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on the field prior to the game against the Texas Christian Horned Frogs at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Mich. St., Rutgers starting QBs a mystery in Big Ten clash

Big Ten football fans waited a little longer than most for their favorite programs to take the field this fall amid concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Backers of Michigan State and Rutgers should get used to practicing patience if they want to know the starting quarterbacks for Saturday’s season opener in East Lansing, Mich.

Coaches Mel Tucker of Michigan State and Greg Schiano of Rutgers both remain coy on that front.

Tucker, who makes his debut following the offseason retirement of Mark Dantonio, didn’t make his depth chart public early in the week.

Schiano, who begins his second stint with the Scarlet Knights following stops in the NFL and elsewhere in the college ranks, used a questionable conjunction in assessing his program’s situation under center.

Tucker reiterated that his focus lies with developing “as many players as we can.” That includes at quarterback, where four Spartans — sophomore Theo Day, true freshman Noah Kim, junior Rocky Lombardi and redshirt freshman Payton Thorne — vie for the starting job.

No matter who gets the call, Tucker is eagerly awaiting his chance to lead Michigan State.

“I can’t help but smile,” he said. “This is a dream come true for me.”

Rutgers scored an average of just 13.3 points per game last season, second lowest in the country.

While incumbent quarterback Artur Sitkowski has started 13 games over the past two seasons, including the 2019 opener, the redshirt sophomore competed with Nebraska transfer Noah Vedral in preseason camp. However, the team’s official depth chart released Monday listed “or” between the QB candidates’ names.

“My use of ‘or’ is for several reasons,” Schiano said. “It could be injury. It could be competitive. It could be for not certain. I won’t go into depth what the ‘ors’ are – they are what they are. We’ll find out at game time.”

The Spartans would be wise to prepare for both quarterbacks.

“At any position, really, we’re going to do what gives us the best chance to win,” Schiano said. “So if I felt (playing multiple quarterbacks) was the best chance to win, we would do it.”

Schiano steered Rutgers to nine victories in 2011 before departing to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL. He guided the Scarlet Knights to at least eight victories in five seasons and six bowl games from 2005-11. The program played in just one bowl game before Schiano became head coach in 2001.

Things have been dire since. Rutgers boasts just three victories in the past two seasons, as Chris Ash went 8-32 in three-plus seasons before Nunzio Campanile was 1-7 when finishing the 2019 campaign after Ash was fired.

Tucker said he had lots of respect for Schiano.

“He’s an outstanding football coach, a great man, and he’s a proven winner,” Tucker said.

Michigan State leads the all-time series 8-3, and Saturday marks the seventh meeting between the schools in Big Ten play. The Spartans rolled past the Scarlet Knights 27-0 in last season’s matchup.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Aug 27th, 12:00 PM

Austin Peay

WKU

@

Aug 27th, 12:30 PM

Nebraska -10.5 -107

Northwestern +10.5 -107

@

Aug 27th, 3:30 PM

Idaho State

UNLV

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Nevada -16.5 -110

New Mexico State +16.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

Wyoming +8.5 -110

Illinois -8.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

UCONN +29.5 -110

Utah State -29.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 5:00 PM

Duquesne

Florida State

@

Aug 27th, 7:00 PM

Charlotte +5.5 -110

Florida Atlantic -5.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 8:15 PM

Florida A&M

North Carolina

@

Aug 27th, 9:00 PM

North Texas -4 -110

UTEP +4 -110

@

Aug 27th, 10:30 PM

Vanderbilt -4.5 -110

Hawaii +4.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 6:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Akron

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Ball State +27.5 -110

Tennessee -27.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Central Michigan +19 -110

Oklahoma State (11) -19 -110

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

West Virginia +7.5 -107

Pittsburgh (16) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

South Carolina State

UCF

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Bryant

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

LIU

Toledo

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

VMI

Wake Forest (19)

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

LA Tech +16 -107

Missouri -16 -107

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Penn State -3.5 -107

Purdue +3.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

NIU

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Alabama A&M

UAB

@

Sep 1st, 9:00 PM

New Mexico State +37.5 -107

Minnesota -37.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 10:00 PM

Northern Arizona

Arizona State

@

Sep 1st, 10:30 PM

Cal Poly

Fresno State

@

Sep 1st, 10:30 PM

Portland State

San Jose State

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Virginia Tech -7.5 -107

Old Dominion +7.5 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Michigan +20 -107

Michigan State (14) -20 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

William & Mary

Charlotte

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

Temple +6.5 -110

Duke -6.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee Tech

Kansas

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Illinois +3.5 +103

Indiana -3.5 +103

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

TCU -9 -107

Colorado +9 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Sam Houston State

Texas A&M (7)

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Rutgers +9 -110

Boston College -9 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

NC State (13) -10 -110

East Carolina +10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

North Carolina -4 -110

Appalachian State +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

South Dakota State

Iowa

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Buffalo +20.5 -110

Maryland -20.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Colorado State +30 -110

Michigan (6) -30 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Central Connecticut State

UCONN

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Delaware

Navy

@

Sep 3rd, 12:30 PM

Richmond

Virginia

@

Sep 3rd, 1:00 PM

Northern Iowa

Air Force

@

Sep 3rd, 2:00 PM

Southeast Missouri State

Iowa State

@

Sep 3rd, 2:30 PM

Bowling Green +3 -110

UCLA -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Cincinnati (22) +7.5 -107

Arkansas (23) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (12) +16.5 -107

Georgia (3) -16.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Arizona +10 -110

San Diego State -10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

UTEP +39 -110

Oklahoma (9) -39 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Bethune-Cookman

Miami-FL (17)

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

North Dakota

Nebraska

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Houston (25) -6.5 -110

UTSA +6.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Tulsa -1.5 -110

Wyoming +1.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Norfolk State

Marshall

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

Troy +21.5 -110

Ole Miss (24) -21.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

UC Davis

California

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

BYU -13 -110

USF +13 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 5:00 PM

Nicholls State

South Alabama

@

Sep 3rd, 5:30 PM

Texas State +11 -110

Nevada -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Rice +33.5 -110

USC (15) -33.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Middle Tennessee +4.5 -110

James Madison -4.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Morgan State

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Florida Atlantic -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Mercer

Auburn

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Utah (8) -1.5 -107

Florida +1.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Miami-OH +20 -110

Kentucky (21) -20 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Elon

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Albany-NY

Baylor (10)

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Illinois State

Wisconsin (20)

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Massachusetts +31.5 -110

Tulane -31.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Army +3 -110

Coastal Carolina -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Liberty -4 -110

Southern Miss +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Grambling State

Arkansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Southeastern Louisiana

Louisiana-Lafayette

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Utah State +34.5 -106

Alabama (1) -34.5 -106

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Memphis +12.5 -110

Mississippi State -12.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Georgia State +11 -110

South Carolina -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Notre Dame (5) +13.5 -107

Ohio State (2) -13.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

SMU -7.5 -110

North Texas +7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Colgate

Stanford

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +37 -110

Texas (18) -37 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Murray State

Texas Tech

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Louisville -4 -110

Syracuse +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Maine

New Mexico

@

Sep 3rd, 9:30 PM

Idaho

Washington State

@

Sep 3rd, 10:30 PM

Boise State +4 -110

Oregon State -4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 10:30 PM

Kent State +21.5 -110

Washington -21.5 -110

@