Northwestern, which was the runner-up last season to Greenwood in the South Carolina Class AAAA Division II Championship Game, opened its 2013 season against Gaffney, the South Carolina Class AAAA Division I champion for 2012, on a national internet broadcast on ESPN3. The Trojans beat Gaffney 51-19.
Rudolph was sensational and he has really gained a solid control over the pass-happy, spread, no-huddle, up-tempo Air Raid attack at Northwestern run by head coach Kyle Richardson.
"Yes, it was a little like slow motion, but after you get used to this offense it becomes much better to operate. It was still an intense game because of how good Gaffney is and how their defense is always going to be good," said Rudolph.
"We just ran the offense well and had all of our options open to us almost anytime. The wide receivers did great and the offensive line opened it up for us. It was a really good team win to start the season."
Rudolph had spoke in the spring and early summer about how important this season was for he and his teammates coming off that heartbreaking 31-24 loss to Greenwood in the title game last Dec. 1. That was a major reason he decided not to chase some of the national preseason honors and competitions that quarterbacks can.
He paid attention to his recruiting but more so to throwing with his receivers, some young, and practicing with his team at Northwestern.
"That was good, and we had a really good spring," said Rudolph. "That is a major reason we got it together."
Asked about the game being on national internet on ESPN3, Rudolph did tell us that he doesn't know of any of Northwestern's other games being televised like that, on TV or Internet, but it was fun last night.
"Oh yeah, it was fun, kind of a bummer it wasn't on TV. But it was cool today because we watched it back," he said.
The season is off and running for Rudolph and the Trojans as they will play Charlotte Catholic next Friday for game two. They do have an open week after their fourth game of the season and before they jump into region play.
When he committed to Oklahoma State, Rudolph mentioned part of the reason was wanting to clear his agenda to focus in on this season.
"Yes, that definitely relieved me of a big burden," answered Rudolph. "I still talk to Coach (Mike) Yurcich and the OSU coaches regularly, but it has allowed all of my focus to be on the Northwestern Trojans, and I am really focused on making this season what we all want it to be."
I've said this before, and it's only an opinion for now, Oklahoma State chose wisely in recruiting a quarterback for the 2014 class. ESPN has Rudolph in its ESPN 300 and Scout.com has him rated as a three-star quarterback.
Rankings aside, as the season continues to unfold, I think Rudolph with his play and the success of his team will prove he is one of the very best quarterback prospects in the country. He and Northwestern certainly got off to a strong start.