Big Ten Returns 7 QB's (or 8, or 9!)

One key to a big season is having a returning quarterback. The Big Ten is remarkable in this area in 2003, with eight returning starters (or part-time starters).

Along with averaging 16 returning starters per team, The Big Ten returns the following starting quarterbacks:

1. Illinois' Jon Beutjer lead the league in passing (228.3 yards per game) in 2002, and was 3rd in total offense (228.5).

2. John Navarre finished 2nd in passing (223.5 ypg), and was 4th in total offense (222.2 ... slightly lower ...).

3. Northwestern's Brett Basanez finished 3rd in passing (220.4 ypg), and was 2nd in total offense (230.0).

4. PSU's Zack Mills finished 6th in passing (185.9 ypg), and was 6th in total offense (201.4).

5. Minnesota's Asad Abdul-Khaliq finished 7th in passing (185.9 ypg), and was 5th in total offense (209.3).

6. Purdue's Kyle Orton finished 8th in passing (173.6 ypg), and was 8th in total offense (177.2).

7. OSU's Craig Krenzel finished 9th in passing (150.7 ypg), and was 8th in total offense (177.0).

Also Wisconsin's Jim Sorgi played the Fresno State and Oregon games early last season when Brooks Bollin ger was injured.

And if MSU's Jeff Smoker makes it back from his substance abuse problems, he'd make nine.

An eye-popping stat! Point once again to the overall sprength of the Big Ten Conference in 2003.

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