QB Controversy or Diversity?By Craig R. Turner
Published: November 3, 2012
The old adage is the most popular guy on ant football team when things are not going well offensively is the backup quarterback. It is a commonplace thing in the NFL like with the New York Jets – Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez, the Kansas City Chiefs – Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel, Mike Vick and Nick Foley in Philly.
It has even drifted down to the BCS college level at third ranked and undefeated Notre Dame between quarterbacks Tommy Rees and Everett Golson.
Rees, a backup pocket passer and one time two-year starter had stepped in for Golson, a read option guy, when things got bogged down offensively with a few nagging injuries followed then with a flood of turnovers under Golton began to pile up.
After sitting the youngster down for a couple of games, the Golden Domers stayed with Rees, coming from behind in three straight games in big games to stay unbeaten.
Coach Brian Kelly, although having winning some tight ball games in forgettable fashion under Rees, knew going into last week’s game against #7 ranked Oklahoma, he had to add a new dimension to his offense that would make the Sooners think long and hard about how they could or would apply pressure to a stationary pro set if the Irish were stay with their base offense.
So Kelly completely changed gears in midstream and went with the more athletic Golson, known for his quick feet, his ability to run the difficult to defense read option offense, to make plays impromptu when breakdowns occurred, and picked his spots with just enough passes of a high percentage variety to keep the chains moving and to hit a big play down the field in the vertical passing game a time or two.
However, most importantly, Kelly decided to go with a quarterback that presented least of a chance of turnovers and more big play potential against a quality opponent and in literally in one night transformed Notre Dame from a three yards and cloud of dust attack into a pretty dog gone explosive offense.
Golston delivered and delivered big time with a tremendous performance after not touching the ball for nearly a month.
Rod Broadway made such a move lst week when starter Lewis Kindle tossed three unforced interceptions and put the Aggies into a hole trailing 9-7 in their homecoming games a week ago.
After some halftime adjustments to the offense, Broadway junked the pass happy pro set and went with true freshman Kwashaun Quick who rattled, befuddled, and picked apart a good Norfolk State defense.
NSU’s Coach Pete Adrian staff simply could not get their hands around the 6-3, 205 pounder who opened up a turnover prone offense that had only gained 45 yards in total yardage by halftime but ended up with 256 yards in rushing by games end.
A one hit wonder on homecoming or was this very shot in the arm the Aggies needed after going six consecutive quarters without a touchdown and having only eight turnovers to show for it?
Quick have showed some potential starting for a suspended kindle in the opener against Coastal Carolina but had only seen very spotty duty after that first week.
Last Saturday, the former Scotland County All-State QB did what he does so well by making people miss with his quickness, control the tempo of the game, throwing just enough to keep the defense honest and respect the pass, not commit turnovers, and make the key plays to keep the chains moving without forcing the issue.
This week A&T will go against FAMU. Whether Quick starts or not is not the big deal a lot of people make it out to be but the fact that he is going to play more and more is the real news story this week.
If Broadway can find a balance to utilize this talented freshman more and more into his offense, the Aggies will be hard to defend against not knowing if Kindle will be the focus or not.
I beg to differ with the old adage if you have two quarterbacks you don’t have any. You just need that one hot at the right time be it a fourth year junior or a true freshman. Options are always preferable to having no choice at all.
The Aggies will be taking on a FAMU team that had the week off and needs to win this week to have any chance of catching Bethune-Cookman for the regular season title.
The Rattlers hopes depend on how healthy a pretty banged up Damien Fleming will be quarterback and if he can be perform effectively and for how long against the nation’s second best FCS defense.
When healthy, the A&T secondary have been all that and a bag of chips as they were last week led by the junior defensive backfield of Travis Crosby, D’Vonte Graham, Isiah Martin, and Ayodeji Olatoye.
This goup picked off five passes last week against four NSU quarterbacks. Graham had particularly spectacular day with his record breaking 100 yard touchdown return of a missed field goal last week and he already owns the longest punt return for score in Aggie history of 92 yards from 2010.
The Rattlers also have very good special teams but the one big weakness they have to deal with has been their lackluster running game and their inability to stop power running teams.
If A&T can continue to stop the run, make FAMU one dimensional with the pass and create shorter fields as they did last week against NSU, they can have some decent success against the Rattlers.
This should be a very good game and coaching chess match between Joe Taylor and Rod Broadway.
Expect Taylor to pull some old trick plays and few fakes so the Aggies need to be prepared for those. I think they will be. Look for A&T’s special teams to make the difference down the stretch.
N.C. A&T – 31
FAMU – 18