Trevor Siemian: From Hawkeyes' punching bag to Broncos' starter

Ex-Northwestern QB is 1-0 as successor to Peyton Manning

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Go figure. Trevor Siemian, starting quarterback for the reigning Super Bowl champions?

Trevor Siemian, the guy who quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to an opening-night 21-20 win over the Carolina Panthers and reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Cam Newton Thursday?

Yes, Trevor Siemian, who got pummeled and did next to nothing as a senior in Northwestern’s 46-7 loss at Iowa two years ago.

Siemian was 8 of 18 passing for a meager 68 yards, and was sacked five times when he was yanked by coach Pat Fitzgerald with 13:47 left in the game and the Wildcats down 41-7 to the Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium in November 2014.

“We weren’t moving the ball,” Fitzgerald said about his quarterback change.

The star of that game was Iowa defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat, who had three sacks. He went on to sign with the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams. He is on injured reserve this season.

Siemian finished the season with seven touchdown passes and 11 interceptions for a team that went 5-7. He was a seventh-round draft pick of Denver’s in 2015. Last night, he started. And got the job done. It’s a great story.

I didn’t see that coming. I can’t be the only one.

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