Clayton Thorson Named Starting Quarterback

And thus ends a quarterback saga which had been ongoing since the Wildcats ended their 2014 season with a home loss to Illinois. Thorson, who redshirted last season, beat out more experienced signal-callers Matt Alviti and Zach Oliver to earn the starting nod.

Oliver served as Trevor Siemian’s primary backup last season, but he struggled in his only start against the Illini, throwing three interceptions.

Alviti appeared in several games last season, completing only two passes and running for a short touchdown against Notre Dame.

Thorson rated as the ninth-best pro-style quarterback in the class of 2014, according to 247 Sports. He hails from nearby Wheaton, Illinois and impressed throughout spring practice.

The youngster’s first assignment will be a challenging one, as the physical Stanford defense comes to Ryan Field. The Cardinal allowed only 178 passing yards per game last season, 8th-fewest in the country.

WNUR will have coverage of the Wildcats’ season-opener against Stanford on September 5. Game time is 11 AM.

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