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Winning Games with each Mississippi State Football Quarterback: Nick Tiano

The biggest unknown of the quarterbacks is Nick Tiano, but he also might have the most potential.

Northwestern State v Mississippi State Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Of the four quarterbacks on the Bulldogs’ roster, the most unknown to fans is redshirt freshman Nick Tiano. Because we have seen so little of Tiano, many have just assumed he won’t get the job. Shortly before I left Maroon and White Nation, I wrote about why I think Nick Tiano is going to be a factor in the quarterback battle.

Tiano is the most “Dak-like” of the four on the roster. He has similar skills and size to Prescott, and there have been people close to the team who have said Tiano has commanded the respect of the players in ways that are similar to Prescott.

I say all that to say if you aren’t giving Nick Tiano much of a chance to win the quarterback job, you’re mistaken. He has the tools and demeanor to get the job done. The only question with Tiano is if his lack of experience is going to cost him a chance to win the job.

The biggest obstacle standing in his way will be lack of playing time. Tiano likely will get the least amount of playing time of the four in the opening game against South Alabama. He’ll need to make a big statement in limited playing time if he wants to have a chance to win the starting quarterback spot.

If he should do that and surprise everyone by becoming the starter in 2016, expect the offense to look a lot like it did in 2013 when Dak Prescott was a sophomore. Prescott was more comfortable making plays with his feet that season, and I would expect Tiano to have similar confidence levels.

Projections with Tiano

  • Passing yards: Around 2,000
  • Completion percentage: 55% to 60%
  • Rushing Yards: 700 to 900
  • Passing Touchdowns: 12 to 15
  • Rushing Touchdowns: 10 to 12
  • Interceptions: 6 to 9
  • Win Total: 6 to 9

Tiano is the wild card of the bunch. The potential is high, but due to a lack of experience and playing time, the chances for mistakes that could cost the Bulldogs is also high. Therefore, if Tiano wins the job, figuring out how many games the team wins is a lot more difficult. For Tiano to win the job, he’s going to have to make some big plays when given the opportunity because Dan Mullen has some more experienced players that are known commodities he can rely on in 2016.