On this day of rumor mongering by UCLA haters, the real question to be answered is which of our quarterbacks is best suited to make the Pistol go? It seems to me, it is not Prince. So we had better try Bell or Brehaut or both in a hurry or expect to be crushed by Oregon based on past performances.
Why Bell or Brehaut? We know all about Kevin Prince, what he can and cannot do, based upon the approximately 15 of 19 games that he has started. The coaches have no secret advantage on his evalution given what we have seen in games over time. Whatever the totality of reasons or excuses, his overall inconsistent performance is apparent after 1 1/2 years, and the worst passing stats in college football this season are such an outlier that the need for a change at the position seems obvious. If anything, he has seemed to regress this year in his passing efficiency.
Is there any rational reason to expect Prince to play better against Oregon than he did against SUC and Oregon last year or Stanford and Cal this year? To just play Prince again at Oregon is a concession that we simply can't get better, period, and are unwilling to even try and change when the score, based on what Cal and Stanford did to us, could be 70-7 by the end of the game at Eugene if our offense continues to sputter passing the ball..
Arguments over whether the offensive line and wide receiving corps are at fault, too, really miss the point. You can't expect all of the broken parts to fix themselves magically in the seventh game of the season let alone against the number two team in the nation on the road. But if you replace a wide receiver here that is subpar with, say, Josh Smith, and a lineman there that is subpar and the most critical cog, the quarterback, that is subpar, you just might find a combination that incrementally creates a synergistic effect, a radical improvement in results.
The truth is we really don't know what Bell, especially, or Brehaut will do against Oregon, but instead of acting out of fear of the unknown, we should embrace it as an opportunity for improvement. But which one?
The easy answer would be to give Brehaut, the number two, another shot. He did well enough against Washington State to show he can run the offense at least as well as Prince. He just might be able to get us the mere 150 yards passing we need to keep the best defenses honest and score 36 points a game, which is what we averaged in the three games we won. If he does, he's most likely your starter the remainder of the season.
The more intriguing option is Bell. He ran this offense for two years at a JC, and very well. Yes, it was a different level of talent, but the players on his side of the ball at UCLA are at a different level, too. He just has to complement them. But Bell offers something neither Prince nor Brehaut does, a true option threat running the ball that puts even more pressure on a defense stacked to stop the run and could create even more opportunities to make the simple, short passes and occasional long passes that could have a devastating effect on an overcommitted run defense. He also has the legs to escape the rush and make things happen. We see it all the time on other teams with running quarterbacks. Certainly, of the three, Bell is most like the prototypical Pistol quarterback.
Can Bell do it? We really don't know because he has never been given the chance. Can Brehaut do it? Maybe. Again, we really don't know.
But then, did we know John Barnes or Norm Dow would beat SUC? No, but they did because they got the chance. That's the beauty of college football, giving young, hard working men who have labored in the shadows, their chance to shine in the light, sometimes in the biggest of games.
I say try Bell first, then Brehaut, both, in the first half, then go with whoever moved the ball best in the second half. Or if one just made the offense click from the start, just stick with him.
Let's not just be relentlessly positive in words. Let's be relentlessly positive with our actions. Let performance dictate quarterback playing time, just like any other position. Isn't competition what a team sport is supposed to be about? Let's be proactive for once, instead of acting out of fear, and just rerunning the same, sad movie over and over again and somehow expecting a different ending. Frankly, this has been my major criticism of the coaches, being fearful of change instead of embracing true competition. Isnt it time to really show you believe in your whole team and not just invest all of your hopes in one or two players out of fear of the unknown?
I want our coaches to be successful. I encourgage them to be more positive in their actions to do exactly that.
Can Bell or Brehaut do any worse than 70-7? I don't think so. And they just might, just might, shock the world, because I believe we win any game, I mean any game, that we pass for 150 yards out of the Pistol. And that includes the rubber Duckies, people.
GO BRUINS! BEAT OREGON!