clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Spaulding Roundup: The Quarterback Decision & Eliminating Defensive Mistakes

hicalliber makes some excellent points on why it would be reasonable for Neuheisel and Chow to go with Craft to start the game this coming Saturday. I have only seen Brehaut for a series and read about his performance from this past spring and fall camp courtesy of few practice observers with a track record of not sugercoating with homerific povs. Based on those datapoints I can get a sense of Brehaut having an advantage over Craft in terms of athletic potential. 

However, right now the focus should be on winning from week to week. It seems like at this point of time, Craft might have a slight advantage due to the factors hicalliber outlines and also number of other tangibles. As I mentioned above, I don't think Craft has the same athletic abilites as Brehaut. Brehaut made throwns I never saw Craft made in all of the games he started this past season. Still I don't believe Craft's performance (in terms of numbers) is indicative of the kind of QB he is given he received no protection and zero support from the running game.

I am going to bet we are looking at game plan this Saturday, in which coaches will be looking to throw at most 20-25 times a game, get about 130-150 yards passing through passes to backs, TEs and receivers in slant patters, and then get the running game to generate another 150 yards on the ground. For that kind of role Craft could be right fit given his experience from this past season. Here is what CRN said following Thursday's practice (during which Craft again took most of the reps with the first team):

"(Thursday) wasn't about competition," Neuheisel said. "(It) was more about being fluid and seamless, regardless of which quarterback was in there."

More from the LA Times:

Craft and Brehaut spent time after practice picking out footballs for the game -- a chore usually reserved for starter Kevin Prince, who is out because of a fractured jaw. Neuheisel reiterated that he may use both, though that runs counter to offensive coordinator Norm Chow's philosophy.

"I'm not a real two-guy guy," Chow said. "But we're going to do whatever it takes to win."

Neuheisel said he and Chow would make a decision today.

"I got my druthers, he's got his druthers," Neuheisel said. "We're going to try to meld them. Ultimately, it will be my decision. I want his counsel, with all his experience with quarterbacks."

We will see. I think Chow and Neuheisel will make their decision this morning. So keep an eye out for it and post it when the news breaks.  I am going to be all right with whoever the coaches' decide to start. More after the jump.

On the other side of the ball we have talked a lot about how the defense needs to have a better start in terms of eliminating mistakes early on. Per the LAT's report coaches and players have been talking about (and presumably focusing on) it:

"Dumb penalties will kill you," Bullough said.

He said that message has been delivered repeatedly this week heading into Saturday's game against Kansas State.

"The first drive this week, we have to make a statement," linebacker Reggie Carter said. "I think it is anxiousness. Guys are reaching, trying to make plays. It just ends up hurting you. We can't start slow."

Bosworth reiterated the same message:

"If we can get a three-and-out right away this week, that would be huge," Bosworth said. "Guys have been so ready to get out there that as soon as we think the ball was going to be snapped, we were gone. We have to calm down and relax. But you can't overthink it because that does lead to penalties. We can't have three-and-outs turning into seven-and-scores."

We will see if their added attention to this detail pay off against Kansas State. Can't wait to find out.