On Saturday, Flathead High School graduate Brock Osweiler will become the first quarterback to start as a true freshman for Arizona State University since Jake Plummer in 1993. Most football fans are aware of Plummer, who led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl and went on to the NFL. When Osweiler suits up against No. 13 Oregon on Saturday night, he will be just the fourth true freshman to start at quarterback in school history.
If it looks like Osweiler is being thrown to the wolves by making his first start against a highly ranked Oregon team on the road, keep in mind that Osweiler already dealt with perhaps fiercer wolves when he played the second half of last weekend’s game against formidable USC. In that game, he was 11 of 27 for 153 yards with a touchdown and interception in a 14-9 loss. On the season he is 19 of 45 for 235 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Here’s a quote from head coach Dennis Erickson in the Arizona Republic:
“We’ll let it fly (with Osweiler) in about as bad an environment as you’ll ever get,” at intimidating Autzen Stadium, Erickson said.
And then this:
“It’ll be a tremendous learning experience for him.”
After breaking numerous school records at Flathead High School, Osweiler graduated early so he could get a head start on winter conditioning and spring ball in Tempe. The move appears to be paying off. Osweiler has won the hearts of fans and bloggers down there, and obviously he has earned the trust of Erickson.
At 6-8 and 240 pounds, with supreme talent and the added mystique of being from Montana, fans have long chanted for Osweiler to play over starter Danny Sullivan, who is a senior. Now, with Sullivan nursing a bicep injury, fans will get their wish and Osweiler will get his chance.
The game will be televised at 8:20 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on ESPN. Tune in and cheer for a local kid making history.