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Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz: Facing McSorley ‘Like Playing 12 Guys’

Trace McSorley consistently gives opposing defenses fits with both his arm and legs, but it seems like Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz takes the term “dual-threat quarterback” a bit more literally than others.

Ferentz was asked how concerned he was about McSorley’s running ability on top of the Nittany Lions’ many other weapons on offense, and responded by comparing Penn State’s starter to Braxton Miller — Ohio State’s longtime quarterback who threw for 5,295 yards and rushed for 3,315 more.

“I’ve said it before, when you think about Braxton, some of the guys like that, it’s like playing 12 guys,” Ferentz said. “[McSorley] can make a play out of nothing. He’s got that ability — that’s why he’s such a dangerous performer.”

The Ashburn, VA, native has thrown for 1,462 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He’s also added 554 yards and eight scores on the ground. McSorley became the Nittany Lions’ all-time leader in passing yards during their loss to Michigan State on October 13 and is just one of 11 players in conference history to gain 10,000 total yards of offense.

“He can beat you with his hands or his feet or his arm,” Ferentz said. “A really good quarterback brings a lot of value to the team, are meaningful to a team’s success. I think he epitomizes that.”

Ferentz is clearly well aware of McSorley’s value on the stat sheet. However, he also sees how much he means to Penn State from a leadership standpoint, particularly during its game-winning drive at Kinnick Stadium last season.

“If he’s in the huddle, I can’t read minds, but my guess is all 11 of those guys felt like they were going to get it done last year against us,” he said. “Obviously we were hoping it was going to be the other way. We were trying as hard as we could. Somehow they prevailed. It literally was the last play of the game.

“Bottom line, he’s a winner. Every time he’s out on the field, they have a good chance to win.”

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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