Well well well. Tonight the NFL season opens on NBC with a barn burner – a Super Bowl rematch of the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton versus…Trevor Siemian?!
Yes, that’s right, Trevdog Siemian is actually starting at QB tonight for the defending Super Bowl champions. When he was drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL draft it was a pretty big shock – there were only seven other QBs picked in that draft, and Siemian hadn’t arguably been one of the top seven QBs in the Big Ten that year. For him now to be a starting NFL QB is almost inconceivable, and especially for a good team. Denver had an historically good defense last year – if they are even close to that level again this year they will win quite a few games (as long as their QB can keep it together).
The NU fan base is in a state of shock and awe. This player who we saw develop over the years, who made some brilliant throws mixed in with boneheaded decisions, is now playing at the elite level. And we’re all rooting him on tonight! The first QB from Northwestern to start an NFL season since Otto Graham (1955). Let’s take a walk down memory lane and take a look at Trevor’s top 5 games for the ‘Cats.
5. Syracuse, 2012
Trevor’s Stats: Passing: 8-11, 78 yards, 1 TD Rushing: 3 rushes, -1 yard
It was the opening game of the 2012 season and the ‘Cats were in a hole. Down our starting QB Kain Colter who had been injured, and down by six late in the game, Trevor stepped in and calmly led the offense down the field through the air. He threw a gorgeous game winning TD pass to Demetrius Fields, and a Jeff Budzien XP sealed the game for the ‘Cats. Though Trevor didn’t play a ton in this one, he was the hero.
4. Gator Bowl, 2013
Trevor’s Stats: Passing 12-21, 120 yards, 0 TD 1 INT Rushing: 2 rushes, 14 yards, 1 TD
While TrevDog’s numbers may not have been stellar in this game against Miss St, it is ranked as one of his best performances for two reasons. First, it was a huge game for the ‘Cats and our first bowl win in 50 years – Trevor was a big part of making that happen. Second, Trevor actually turned the tide in this one. After the ‘Cats raced out to a 13-0 lead, the Bulldogs had bitten back and tied the game up in the third quarter. Northwestern fans were thinking “here we go again” before Siemian stepped up big time. He had an enormous third down conversion where he bided time in the pocket and threw off his back foot to Christian Jones to pick up a first. Then he had two great throws to Demetrius Fields and Danny Vitale to take NU into the red zone, where we eventually scored a TD and never looked back. Trevor really showed the arm strength in this one and came up big to lift the bowl win monkey off our backs.
3. Syracuse, 2013
Trevor’s Stats: Passing: 15-19, 259 yards, 3 TD 0 INT Rushing: 1 rush, 4 yards
A nice statistical game for Trevor – the ‘Cats dominated this one and looked well on their way to a great season in 2013 before the bottom fell out (see Ohio State). The Warriors don’t remember the specifics of this one too well because of a few too many soda pops, but hey it looks like a good game on paper right?
2. Illinois, 2013
Trevor’s Stats: Passing: 31-44, 414 yards, 4 TD 0 INT Rushing: 5 rushes, 19 yards
With the ‘Cats having dropped six straight, Siemian rallied the troops with his best statistical performance in an end of season win at Illinois. Kain Colter was injured, leading to Trevor’s start in the last game of the year. TrevDog was lights out in this one – unfortunately it came after the ‘Cats had already been eliminated from bowl contention.
- Notre Dame, 2014
Trevor’s Stats: Passing: 30-48, 284 yards, 1 TD 2 INT Rushing: 10 rushes, 32 yards, 1 TD
No brainer. Siemian capped off his senior year with a win in South Bend. TrevDog was nails down the stretch and came up with the biggest plays when he needed to. His rushing TD late in the game started a furious NU rally that Jack Mitchell finished in OT with the game winner. Unfortunately his NU career came to an end one week later with a torn ACL during the Purdue game. Any NU quarterback that wins against Notre Dame is an absolute hero – now Trevor is looking to bring his heroics to Denver. Here’s one fan hoping Trevor can celebrate postgame with some Chik Fil A tonight.