Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Still no QB news at Oregon, Arizona State
By Ted Miller
Only two Pac-10 teams entered fall camp not knowing who their starting quarterback would be: Oregon and Arizona State. That remains the case with just over three weeks until the season begins.
The process seems to have bogged down a bit at Arizona State, with Brock Osweiler and Steven Threet flashing ability but failing to be consistent (as for third option Samson Szakacsy: It's not good that his arm is giving him trouble again). Said coach Dennis Erickson to the Arizona Republic, "Like I told them today, we're still missing too many things. We're going to miss throws; that's a natural thing. But we're missing too many reads right now that we need to get better at."
Doug Haller also collected this telling and amusing quote from offensive tackle Dan Knapp "I really wish they would speed up the process and name a starter so everyone would stop worrying about it and the quarterbacks would stop stressing."
Osweiler started camp with what seemed like a slight lead, but the pecking seems even more of a toss-up today.
Same thing at Oregon, where senior Nate Costa and sophomore Darron Thomas continue to battle. Some writers are picking sides, but this one still seems too close to call even after the sorta-scrimmage Tuesday.
While Costa led all three TD drives in the redzone, that doesn't mean he had a decisively better day, writes Rob Moseley: "Thus, Costa did the superior job getting the offense into scoring position Tuesday. But Thomas had some explosive moments in the run game and was 25-of-35 passing by one unofficial tally; Costa was 18-of-35 on the day. Thomas, however, twice took sacks in the late-game scenarios."
So Thomas had perhaps slightly better numbers but made more mistakes. And didn't get into the endzone.
Ken Goe, thankfully back on the college football beat, throws up his hands and admits he has no idea who's going to win the job.
I've long though Costa would eventually earn the nod. Fans love playmaking upside, but my experience through the years is talented young QBs lose more games because of mistakes than they win with fancy playmaking. The Ducks aren't playing for the future. It's now-time for this team.
That said, I'm feeling more like Goe these days. The only guy who's got a clue on who will eventually get the call is coach Chip Kelly, and I'm not sure he's that close to anointing anyone.
Still, Kelly wants to name one guy, and that one guy will be challenged by a road trip to Tennessee in week two. Even if the Volunteers are down, that stadium is something else -- trust me on that.
Arizona State, on the other hand, might be better off taking advantage of its unusual schedule: Two games against FCS foes to start the season. Read: preseason games -- the Sun Devils aren't going to lose to either Portland State or Northern Arizona. It might be worthwhile then to play both quarterbacks and see how they manage things under fire for eight quarters, then name a starter for the tough road trip to Wisconsin.
As it is, it appears that both competitions won't be settled until the final week of preseason camp. If then.