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Monday, September 28, 2009

Ranking Russell's Performances

I was thinking back on the Pitt game, wondering where Russell Wilson's performance -- where he racked up 413 total yards and threw for four scores -- ranked among his best performances to date.

The conclusion I came to is that Saturday may have been the most complete football game played in his young career.

In my mind, his top three games are the 2008 Miami game, the 2008 UNC game and the Pitt game. The ECU game was a solid game as well, and is worthy being included in the top three discussion.

When I force myself to slot them, here's how I rank them:

3. 2008 UNC: I realize the final score, and I realize that Russell made the Heel defenders look silly at times, but this one didn't make the top slot on the list because the game was decided more by turnovers than Russell's incredible play.

2. 2008 Miami: This was Russell's most dazzling rushing performance. His 58 official rushing yards aren't a true gauge of his total rushing stats...add back in the 35 yards surrendered through five sacks and it's a more representative total of 93 yards. His 29-yard touchdown was awe inspiring as he spanned sideline to sideline. The deceptively quick Wilson left Miami defenders haplessly diving for his ankles. Wilson only threw for 220 yards and two scores, but his rushing and juking ability cemented his place as a phenomenal talent in the league.

1. Pitt: I know it's only been a few days so it's fresher in my mind, but this was Wilson's most complete game from start to finish. He made plays with his feet (the HUGE 4th and 12 conversion) and plays with his arm (Jarvis Williams' touchdown catch and his 3rd down conversion toss over the middle in the face of Pitt's blitz). Wilson showed his complete repertoire and regained that confidence to tuck and run the instant it called for it, unlike the hesitancy he showed in the South Carolina game. This was a pure clinic from start to finish.

I may be wrong, and I want to hear your thoughts on the matter.


  1. I cant really disagree with your top three RW games, my line up though looks a bit different.

    3: 2008 ECU: This is when (at least for me) most State fans realized they had a special player in RW and not another Jay Davis,Harrison Beck and so on. He showed the poise and talent to lead our team to a come from behind victory in OT against a very good ECU team. He also showed his leadership, and for the first time since the River years I felt confident that our offense could score any given time they took the field.

    2: 2008 Wake Forest: This will not be a popular pick for a lot of people but I just felt it should be there. Even though RW did not have the best game of his career he did not have a bad one. It always seemed when things were going right for the Wolfpack we would have a meltdown game against an opponent (and we still do AKA USC game). RW showed that he could be consistent and does not make stupid mistakes at the worst possible time. This game for me let me have confidence in RW.

    1: Pitt: When all your fans wondered if you have been over coached,having the sophomore slump or just being a one season hit after a dread full opener RW showed the toughness and resilience to come back and have one of the best games in his career. To prove everyone wrong and to show that he is still in control of his team and good enough to make people still look silly.

  2. I'll take the miami game as #1, needing it for bowl eligiblity, conference game, and that RUN...he felt like he was running forever around cones (miami defenders) that couldn't move.

    The ECU game seemed he seemed to be more of a 'manager' of the game. The wake game is an interesting choice because of his late fumble.

    I'd put UNC in there because even though all the turnovers, RW came in and went for the jugular with that kickoff muff to essential seal the game.

    PITT game was impressive but the run in that miami game has stick in my mind as his best play to date...

  3. "PITT game was impressive but the run in that miami game has stick in my mind as his best play to date... "

    I agree with that. It was incredible and is the one play that stands out in my mind when someone asks me about Russell Wilson.

  4. I dont blame RW for the fumble at the wake game, I blame the O-line.

    Still though he lead the offense down the field when we needed to and beat a really good core of LBs.

    That run at the Miami game was pretty damm good.