Connect with us


Quarterback to Back: Nic Shimonek and Mason Rudolph Have Taken Two Very Different Paths



Two quarterbacks will face off on Saturday night in a potential guaranteed shootout in Lubbock and they could not be any less alike. While their numbers are similar and their styles may be comparable (from an outsider looking in), that’s about where the two part ways.

If the two stood back-to-back you would see similarities — minus the tattoos. Rudolph is 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. Shimonek is 6-4, 225. Both have a rocket for an arm and a knack for being elusive in the pocket. Both have led a couple of the more prolific offenses to this point in the season.

And their numbers are pretty close.

Back to Back Att Comp Pct. Avg. Yards Yards/Att TD INT Rating Total QBR
Mason Rudolph 135 90 66.70% 383.3 11.4 13 3 189.40 89.1
Nic Shimonek 125 92 73.60% 416.0 10.0 11 1 184.91 85.9

Shimonek has played one less game than Rudolph but has attempted just 10 less passes and completed two more. If we’d have looked at the two through three games (before the TCU loss) they would have been even closer. Before Saturday, Rudolph held a 72.3-percent completion rate and had 11 TDs to one pick. The two currently rank second and third in the nation in total QBR behind only Baker Mayfield.

Glenn Spencer talked about what Shimonek provides Tech on the field and in a leadership role.

“They’ve got an experienced guy,” said Spencer. “He’s been around there forever even though he hadn’t had a ton of snaps. He’s like a seasoned vet even though he’s had an all-pro guy in front of him probably. He leads well. He’s got his progression. He knows who to go to fast. He knows where his hots are at. There’s not a lot of bad throws. Very accurate.

“So it’s not like he’s a first-year guy, not in my book. If you study the reps he did get, he was always effective during games. He just had an all-pro guy in front of him.”

Freshman cornerback Rodarius Williams talked about another way Shimonek compares to the QB1 he shares a locker room with.

“I’ve seen that he can adjust and make plays out of no play,” Williams said. “So that’s why we have to stay with our wide receiver because the quarterback, he can scramble and throw the ball.”

Where the similarities end

One was a four-star recruit robbed out of SEC country and was forced into action as a true freshman — to the dismay of some fans. But he would turn his football program around and captain it to one of its most successful stretches in history. Rudolph’s been tabbed from Heisman dark horse to a favorite as little as seven days ago and while his projection at the next level is complicated if not polarizing, he’s a shoe-in to hear his name called during the NFL Draft.

On the other hand, you have Shimonek. The three-star pro-style QB from the class before Rudolph’s held offers from only Lamar and Iowa. He accepted the latter. But after sitting for a year on the Hawkeyes’ bench, Shimonek decided to ditch the full-ride for a chance to walk on at Texas Tech, a school much closer to home but in the midst of its own quarterback carousel. In 2013, Tech split reps between Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield and a year later Patrick Mahomes pushed his way into the history. To this point there isn’t much NFL buzz and even less for Shimonek as a Heisman candidate, despite the gaudy numbers.

While Rudolph began his assault on Oklahoma State’s record books, Shimonek spent 2014 riding the pine in Iowa City. As Rudolph’s star continued to rise, Shimonek spent the next three years watching as Pat Mahomes polished off a career that found him as a first-round selection of the Kansas City Chiefs. Now the two seniors will meet for the first time in a tortilla-crazed stadium with a lot on the line.

For Rudolph’s Cowboys it’s a chance to prove that the TCU game was “just a hiccup” or, more importantly, a chance to avoid proving the opposite. For Shimonek’s 3-0 Red Raiders it’s a chance to step out onto a the national stage and prove his offense, which seems like it may be more balanced than those over the last few years, is enough for Tech to finally compete in the Big 12.

But regardless of their differences, the two senior QBs have one thing in common. Each knows his performance on Saturday will go a long way toward determining his team’s fate, both this week and for the rest of the season.

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media