One of the top visiting quarterbacks to ever visit Bronco Stadium will go against the Broncos this Wednesday when Bowling Green takes on Boise State. Omar Jacobs (6-4, 224) of Bowling Green has been battle-tested, going against #23 Wisconsin before 82,138 in the season opener. Jacobs was 30-51 for 458 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Falcons ran out to leads of 14-0 and 21-7 on the road against the nationally ranked Badgers before losing 56-42. He was one of four nominees for the ABC/ESPN National Player of the Week. Jacobs threw for 428 yards and another 5 scores in a 40-31 win over Ball State. And he's just a junior!
Jacobs, nicknamed "Fantastic 4" because he wears No. 4 and his exploits have a superheroic quality, was named second-team preseason All-American by The Sporting News and is also on the Watch List for the 2005 Maxwell Award given annually to the College Football Player of the Year as well as being on the Watch Lists for the Davey O'Brien Award and Walter Camp Award.
He makes great decisions, has the athletic ability to get out of trouble (he runs a 4.59 40), and is big and strong-armed enough to make all the throws. Jacobs is in complete command of the Falcon offense, always looking for receivers downfield and goes through his progressions to hit the open man. Jacobs is an expert at reading defenses, often making throws at the receivers' break, rather than having them wait to catch the pass. His attitude is typical of what you want from a quarterback, "What I do is take what they give me," he says. "If they give me the corner route, I take the corner route. If they give me the hitch, I throw the hitch. If there is nothing there, I throw it away and live to fight another day."
The Bowling Green Heisman Trophy candidate and a potential #1 pick in next year's NFL Draft, Jacobs is 11th in the nation in passing efficiency with a 170.7. His career efficiency is currently ahead of that of Bronco standout Ryan Dinwiddie, who holds the all-time NCAA Division I-A record with a sparkling 168.79. Jacobs is also 3rd in career completion percentage, hitting 65.92% of his passes.
He is 2nd in the nation in touchdown passes with 10, Total Offense with an astounding 440 yards per game and also 2nd in the country with 28.5 completions per game. Jacobs is 7th in passing yards with 886 and 13th with 9.4 yards per attempt.
Jacobs threw 400 passes last year and was only sacked 13 times. Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez had this to say about why defenses can't get to him, "You know, normally from what I see, the ball is released by the time people get there. It's not like a Daunte Culpepper where you bounce off of him, although he is a big, strong guy and you see him run through some things. But he's in the shotgun. A lot of it is quick releases. A lot of it is sprint-outs, where it's hard to sack him.
Alvarez went on to say about Bowling Green's offensive success "I think more than coverage busts, I think you see a lot of consistent types of coverages, and I see mismatches. You see where you've got linebackers who can't cover a back, your nickelbacks can't handle some of the receivers, and people don't have enough quality athletes to put them out on the field to match up with them. That's kind of the thing I've seen in the last couple years. And then you'd better be good enough and just not forget about the running game. That's the first thing I'll tell our defense, you better stop the run."
Jacobs was a CNNSI.com honorable mention All-American and MVP of the 2004 GMAC Bowl last season. He was voted first-team All-MAC, named MAC Offensive Player of the Year, leading the nation in touchdown passes with a MAC-record 41. The Bowling Green star finished second nationally in total yards per game with a 358.5 average and was also 2nd with 4,002 yards passing. Jacobs also ranked third nationally in passing efficiency (165.47), completing 309 of 462 passes (66.9%) with just four interceptions. His 41 TD's to four interceptions thrown was the best ratio in NCAA IA history. During the season, Jacobs completed a school-record 224 passes without an interception during the season.
At this point in the season, Bronco fans hoped the Heisman Trophy candidate would be wearing blue; instead, he'll be in the visiting uniform shooting for 600 yards passing against the Bronco defense.