In a highly anticipated season opener, redshirt junior Noah Kim stepped onto the field as the starting quarterback for the Michigan State Spartans, leading them to a resounding 31-7 victory over Central Michigan.
The transition from the seasoned Payton Thorne to the relatively inexperienced Kim had some fans questioning the team’s prospects. However, Kim’s performance on that Friday night left no room for doubt.
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The Battle for QB1
Before the game, head coach Mel Tucker confirmed that Noah Kim had won the starting quarterback position over redshirt freshman Katin Houser. Tucker praised Kim’s understanding of the offense and the close competition between the two quarterbacks. With this affirmation, Kim stepped into the spotlight, ready to prove his worth.
Noah Kim’s Collegiate Journey So Far
Kim’s journey to becoming Michigan State’s QB1 wasn’t an easy one. In his collegiate career, he had only seen limited action as a backup to Payton Thorne. Last season, Kim played sparingly, with just 38 snaps to his name. However, these limited opportunities provided him with valuable experience that would prove crucial in the season opener against Central Michigan.
Kim’s Previous Performances
Kim’s previous appearances in 2022 showcased his potential. Against the formidable Ohio State Buckeyes, he went 6-for-10, tallying 82 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Montorie Foster. His precision continued with a 6-of-7 performance against Minnesota, resulting in 70 yards and another touchdown. Kim also shone against Akron, completing 2-of-2 passes for 22 yards, which included his first career touchdown pass to wide receiver Tre Mosley.
Friday Night Lights: Kim’s Triumph
In the season opener against Central Michigan, Kim seized the moment. He completed 18 of 31 passes for an impressive 279 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. His quarterback rating stood at 155.
Remaining Cool Under Pressure
Despite Michigan State’s slow start – with the Spartans failing to score in the first quarter and only breaking through with their first touchdown with less than a minute left in the first half – Kim never let frustration get the better of him. Even when Michigan State fans booed the offense’s performance, he remained calm.
One standout moment that highlighted Kim’s mental fortitude was when a receiver dropped a perfectly placed pass that would’ve surely turned into a touchdown. Rather than showing frustration, Kim calmly returned to the huddle, maintaining his focus on the task at hand. This ability to maintain composure under pressure is a hallmark of a great quarterback and bodes well for Michigan State’s future.
Furthermore, the running game struggled to provide much relief for Kim, at least until the second half when Nate Carter found his rhythm. Despite these challenges, Kim’s poise never wavered. His ability to handle adversity and stay focused on executing the game plan is a testament to his mental toughness and leadership qualities.
Kim’s Poise and Potential
Noah Kim’s performance against Central Michigan not only showcased his poise but also hinted at his immense potential as a quarterback. While some skeptics lamented the departure of Payton Thorne, Kim demonstrated that he is more than capable of leading the Spartans to victory.
One aspect of Kim’s game that stood out was his lack of foolish decisions. In his first start of the season, he displayed impressive decision-making, opting for smart plays over risky attempts. Kim’s ability to read the field, identify open receivers, and make accurate throws contributed significantly to the team’s success.
His patience was a key factor in Michigan State’s win. Rather than trying to force plays or taking unnecessary risks, Kim consistently made measured decisions, ensuring that he didn’t jeopardize his team’s lead. This level of maturity on the field is often seen in seasoned quarterbacks, and Kim’s ability to exhibit it in his first start is a promising sign for the Spartans.
In the win, Kim did have a few overthrows, but these are minor hiccups in an otherwise stellar performance. With more experience and game time, Kim has the potential to refine his accuracy and become an even more formidable quarterback for Michigan State.
Kim’s poised and calculated performance in the season opener demonstrated that he has what it takes to lead Michigan State to success. His ability to handle pressure, make smart decisions, and stay patient underlines his potential as a rising star in college football. As the season progresses, Kim is poised to continue evolving and proving his worth as the Spartans’ QB1.