Brian Lewerke Breaks Michigan State Passing Records in Loss

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brian lewerke

Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke made his first ever start in a 54-40 loss to Northwestern last season, a football game that was truly drunk. That 2016 contest wasn’t just drunk, it was a sailor on his first evening of shore leave style inebriated, with 28 points being scored over a five minute stretch in the third quarter.

Tonight was a wild one as well, with Northwestern outlasting #16 Michigan State 39-31 in triple overtime.

brian lewerke

Lewerke finished just 12-19 passing for 99 yards in that game, seeing the bench in favor of Tyler O’Connor. Lewerke was State’s leading rusher on that day though with seven carries for 30 yards.

One year later at Northwestern for the rematch, Brian Lewerke has come a very long way, putting up video game numbers at NU, finishing with 39 completions (school record) out of 57 (attempts) for 445 passing yards (school record), four TD passes, one interception.

He still has some strides to make however.

“He played well in the first quarter, but in the second quarter he kind of faded a little bit so we went with the older guy,” said Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio on the weekly B1G call this week, in reference to last year’s Homecoming loss to Northwestern.

“He’s a year deeper into our play book and basically the offensive terminology and conceptually. He’s grown immensely, he’s got big game experience which is invaluable to a quarterback.”

Lewerke came in as the team’s second leading rusher behind tailback L.J. Scott, having been the Spartans most prominent ground gainer halfway into the season; rare for a quarterback.

Lewerke is definitely a dual threat quarterback, coming into the Northwestern game fourth in the B1G in total offense.

He’s led the Spartans in rushing four times this season, and his 81 yards on the ground against Western Michigan is the most yards rushing for a quarterback since Drew Stanton in 2006.

mark-dantonio

Passing wise, he has 14 touchdown passes against three interceptions on the season. In other words, the 6-3, 212 redshirt sophomore has been very impressive. However, there’s a lot of room left to grow.

Today was definitely Dickensian for Brian Lewerke- you had “the best of times,” but there was also “the worst of times.”

First, let’s run through the good:

-his 45 yard completion to Cody White, which was over 60 yards in the air, whipping the ball out from the shadow of his own end zone midway through the fourth quarter

-the chemistry with White in general, as he connected with him for 60 yards on the opening drive, State’s longest play of the year. White caught nine balls for 165 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

-the last drive to force over time, in which he had ice in his veins. His run to convert a first down on fourth and three, was “seasoned- “LAWRY’S!” as Kanye West would say.

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The crowd of 39,369 at Ryan Field, of mixed partisanship, also saw some bad, including:

-he over-threw a couple wide receivers who had nothing but green ahead of them, another wide open target just alligator-armed another pass, which wasn’t his fault, but still these missed opportunities were costly

-the Northwestern defensive backs dropped three Lewerke balls that easily should have been intercepted

-his lack of composure after the strip on the final play of the game, as he recovered it, only to then just throw the ball up for grabs, and essentially tossed the game away to the Cats. It was only second down, and he acted like it was fourth. Additionally, he threw across his body into midfield, which always leads to bad things.

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Coming to East Lansing, the Phoenix native out of pinnacle high school was a very highly rated recruit. ESPN tabbed him the #11 pocket passer in the nation and the #43 best overall prospect in the western region, The current economics major at MSU was pegged the #19 pro style quarterback by 24/7 Sports.

It remains to be seen whether or not Lewerke reaches the Connor Cook or Kirk Cousins level at the top of the modern era Michigan State quarterbacking pantheon. However, he definitely seems well on his way to the Jeff Smoker, Drew Stanton, Tony Banks, Jim Miller, Brian Hoyer, Bill Burke tier.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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