Austin Sumner had just thrown for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns… and by looking at and listening to the SDSU quarterback you would not be able to tell if the Jackrabbits had just beaten Butler 55-14 (they had) or had just lost at Northern Iowa (they did last year).
“Rusty in the first half… just fundamental stuff… real stupid stuff that I’ve got to fix to be better,” he said as softly and humbly as a star player can.
He is not soft.
He got in the weight room this summer and put on muscle, but he is listed ten pounds lighter (220) than he was last year. He played through last season with a thumb injury that we all know was worse than he ever let on, but something that he never did and never will use as an excuse for not throwing for 4,000 yards like a lot of people thought he should.
He is humble.
He is not going to tell you if he had a great game. He will tell you if he thinks he played crappy, but not in a way that gives you the impression he is getting down on himself. Just in the same way he kind of steps outside of himself and analyzes his performance after a great game… “a lot to improve on… can always get better…”.
Terrell Owens (“I loves me some me.”) would not be impressed by Sumner’s lack of self-congratulation.
Nonetheless… you gotta dig that laid-back but bulldog-competitive attitude from the guy who is most likely going to destroy the SDSU career passing yards record and make a serious run at the Missouri Valley Conference record, as well.
Sumner is 6th on the SDSU list right now with 5,151 career yards.
He needs 26 yards today (Saturday) against North Dakota to move past Dan Fjeldheim into 5th place… 227 to move past Andy Rennerfeldt (5,377) into 4th… and 232 to move past Brad Nelson (5,382) into 3rd.
Then, only Ted Wahl (6,016) and Ryan Berry (6,023) are in front of Sumner. At a fairly conservative 200 yards per game, Sumner would become the Jacks all-time passing yards leader on Hobo Day (October 5) against Southern Illinois.
Granted, Sumner is the only QB on the SDSU list that started as a freshman. Today will be his 22nd career start. Berry had 25… Nelson and Rennerfeldt had 22. Not sure about Wahl because the stats I could find don’t go back that far. (I was at SDSU at that time in the late 80s when Wahl was slinging it, and I think he started for three years… in between Mike Busch and Shane Bouman.)
Anyway..… if Sumner only does in his second two years what he has done in his first two he would end up with 9,650 career yards… and beat the SDSU record by more than 3,500 yards.
And..… 9,650 would put him second on the Missouri Valley Conference all-time list. Matt Brown, who graduated last year from Illinois State (and had 45 career starts), is the top guy right now at 10,591 yards.