The overall stat line on Bison quarterback Easton Stick looked solid, but nothing that would make you keep talking about his performance if you went out for dinner or sat around a bar table with buddies after the game. In a couple of games this season the most dangerous Bison back as a runner, he had only five yards on seven rushing attempts, with a minus 15 of those on quarterback sacks. But there was more to his game than the basic stats.
He was extremely efficient with his passing attempts completing 13 of 17, with one of those being a dropped pass. Of the 13 completions, seven went for first downs on a day when the Bison were just 3 of 11 on third down conversions. They seven passes covered yardage of 11, 12, 12, 19, 11, 11 and 16. Therein lies the difference in the right arms of Carson Wentz and Stick. Wentz has the ability to complete more passes than Stick attempted, but as long as the freshman keeps the chains moving, the passing game is essentially a wash in that department.
I keep comparing Stick’s overall game to that of Brock Jensen — it’s just more West Coast offense-like. Jensen would rarely go crazy with passing yardage, but his strength was more those clutch third down completions that kept drives going, especially in his last two years at NDSU. Stick appears to have a penchant for that and he’s just seven games into his career. All Ws, by the way.
Against Montana, his 49-yard touchdown run came on third-and-3. He was only 7 of 13 passing, but six went for first downs including a fourth down play. The Bison got separation from the Grizzlies thanks to a kickoff return and interception return for touchdowns, but Stick on the other side did not throw a pick. His ratio of 11 touchdowns to two interceptions is not what you normally see from a freshman quarterback. NDSU is also not putting the ball in his hands and saying “go win this game.” Wentz has the talent to do that but he’s also been around the program for a while. If you were to compare Stick to other quarterbacks in their freshman season, so far, you would have to say he’s on his way to a fine career.