Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell entered the 2021 college football season with Heisman Trophy ambitions and hopes to be drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Both campaigns began reluctantly.
Rattler and Howell each threw several interceptions. Oklahoma beat No. 2 Tulsa at home and lost at No. 10 UNC Virginia Tech Road.
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Of course, the lowest in these quarters is very soon. Both players have received a lot of hype for good reason, including successful pasts, and they have shown off their talents with NFL-skills.
But let’s look at how everyone in the season performed in their debut:
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Rattler had almost three interruptions because one was called back due to a questionable pass interruption call. And his team almost lost to his opponent at the conference in the United States. The Green Wave seized the lead in Oklahoma in the fourth quarter.
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Virginia Tech was a tough road environment, but Howell and Tar Heels seemed to be the lottery offense at a 17-10 loss. He was sacked six times, did not help him in his attacking line-up and was forced to fight in several games, but he was able to score more points in a team.
What do these two changes do to change the waves?
In early 2020 Rattler threw three hurdles in the 2nd week against Kansas State and another hurdle against Iowa State in these two defeats of Oklahoma the following week. He calmed down and finished a strong season with 3,031 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns and seven interceptions.
On Saturday, Rutler passed several, trying to force him to face a Tulsa guard. He needs to improve his decision as to when to throw down, when to cross the border or when to land on the field.
For Howell, this season may require some adjustments. Two of his favorite goals last season, Thiami Brown and Toss Newsom, are no longer on the team. He had a solid partnership with Josh Downs, who caught eight and one touchdown in nine innings for 123 yards, but struggled to find Emery Simmons, who caught nine three goals for only 46 yards. Kafre Brown, who returned to the most popular yards in a year with 337 yards, was targeted once and made no catches.
Howell set the record for most touchdown passes in UNC history with his 69th Friday, and his 68 touchdown passes at the beginning of the year were already more than a quarterback at L’ACC in the first two seasons. He already has a lot of success and needs to get back on track with some new faces.
Many future first-round quarters struggled in the first week of the season before the draft came out. Josh Allen went 17 for 40 with 23 passing yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions in 2017. Ben Rothlisberger threw four interceptions and a touchdown in 2003.
As for Heismann’s paradoxes, this is a little more complicated. Since 2000, only three-quarter Heismann winners have interrupted their first match (Eric Cruz, 2001; Carson Palmer, 2002; Jason White, 2003). Johnny Manzil is the only quarterback to miss the first game of the season, and he, Cruz and Palmer are the only winners who have not conceded multiple touchdown passes.