Michigan State’s Rocky Lombardi Named Manning Award Quarterback of the Week
NEW ORLEANS (November 5, 2020) – Rocky Lombardi, a junior at Michigan State University, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.
Facebook Voting Results
Lombardi tallied career-highs in passing yards (the third-most for a Spartan against the archrival Wolverines) and touchdowns completing 17-of-32 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns as he led Michigan State to a 27-24 upset of No. 13 Michigan in a Big Ten road game.
The Clive, Iowa, native, has thrown at least one TD in four of his five starts and he now has multi-TD passes in both games this season. Lombardi’s 53-yard pass play to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jalen Nailor in the second quarter was a career-long for Lombardi, bettering a 50-yard TD pass vs. Rutgers last week, and he also matched the 50-yarder with a pass play to freshman Ricky White on the opening drive of the third quarter, setting up a Spartan field goal.
For the season, Lombardi is now second in the Big Ten in passing yards per game with 321.0 ypg, as well as second in the conference in passing yards per completion (13.38). The Spartan signal caller also shares the Big Ten lead with six TD passes.
Lombardi leads MSU into his home state for the first time as a Spartan when Michigan State returns to face Iowa on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT in Iowa City. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Lombardi won this week’s award over Clemson’s D.J. Uiagalelei and Matt Corral of Ole Miss. Uiagalelei completed 30-of-41 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for a touchdown in his first career start. He led the top-ranked Tigers back from an 18-point deficit, the largest home comeback in school history, as they topped Boston College, 34-28, in ACC action. Corral opened Saturday’s 54-21 win over Vanderbilt with a school-record 19 straight completions. He finished 31-of-34 for 412 yards and six touchdowns marking career-highs in nearly every passing category in less than three quarters of action in the SEC road win.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List later in the season. Ten finalists will be selected and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.
In its first 16 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) and the Southeastern Conference (Joe Burrow, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) lead the way with five Manning Award honorees each, while and the Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Burrow and Russell) joins Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield) and Texas (McCoy and Young) as the only schools with two different winners.
All the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.