Notre Dame Football and 5 Other Teams Not Set at Quarterback After Spring Games
They say quarterback is the most important position in all of sports. That's one of the reasons it's the most-watched position in college football when determining who the starter will be come September.
Every team in the country loses starters each season, but when the quarterback position is unsettled, it's kind of a big deal. You have to make sure that the right decision is made and the person leading your team is capable of getting the job done at a very high level.
Spring practice is over with, and some teams are still going back and forth between candidates for their starting quarterback job.
Here are some of the quarterback battles you're going to hear all about as we get closer to the start of the regular season.
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Who is going to replace Andrew Luck? He was one of the best college football players we've seen in a very long time, and we all want to know who is going to be the lucky guy to fill those shoes.
When the spring first began, it seemed like Brett Nottingham was the front-runner for the job. After all, he did back up Luck and completed 5-of-8 passes last season (for whatever that is worth). But things are getting very interesting with Josh Nunes taking all of the snaps with the first team during the spring game.
Is this a sign that Nunes is leading the competition?
“We just made that decision [to let Nunes run with the first team] going into it,” coach David Shaw said via CBS Sports. “It's hard to say who has an edge right now [in the competition].”
You can take that for what it's worth.
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The word around town is that David Ash will be the starter for the Longhorns and not Case McCoy, as argued by Cedric Golden of the Austin American-Statesman. But until head coach Mack Brown releases any information, all we can do is speculate. Right now, he's not saying a word.
We do know that Ash is the more polished quarterback of the two and showed many bright spots throughout the season last year. He also is capable of beating you with his legs, which is something any team has to like. McCoy is still a young quarterback and makes terrible decisions with the football.
In the spring game, Ash only threw a total of six passes. McCoy was given more time, but struggled to move the football and threw a pair of interceptions.
Don't be surprised if Ash is named the starter at the end of fall camp, but until then, we're going to have to keep guessing.
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Auburn opened up the season with a quarterback battle between Clint Moseley and Kiehl Frazier. Moseley has the most experience of the two considering he saw quite a bit of time last season, completing 61 percent of his passes and throwing for five touchdowns.
Frazier is the dual-threat quarterback who has fantastic athletic ability and reminds many of Cam Newton with his style of play. He played fantastic in the spring game, completing 7-of-9 passes and even showed off his footwork by running for 21 yards.
While the sophomore may have the lead in the competition, head coach Gene Chizik won't make a decision anytime soon.
“I’ll never put a timeline on it, but we’re not ready to pull the trigger any time soon that I see,” Chizik said via The Gadsden Times.
True freshman Zeke Pike also has an outside chance of winning the competition, but it appears it's between Moseley and Frazier at this point.
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The Gators played both Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett last season as true freshmen, knowing that one of them was going to be named this year's starter. After the spring, the coaching staff is nowhere closer to making a decision.
Brissett threw for over 200 yards and scored a couple of touchdowns. Driskel threw for 147 yards and rushed for a touchdown. Neither of them turned the ball over, which was probably the surprise of the day.
Head coach Will Muschamp says he's confident either one of these guys can lead this team this season. Via the Miami Herald:
“I think today you saw both those guys take command of our football team. Both guys made vertical plays down the field, good decisions where they took the ball,” Muschamp said. “You saw what I’ve been seeing from 14 practices previous to today. I’ve said before, we can win with both guys.”
Both have strong arms, but it's Driskel who has that dual-threat ability. This should be an interesting battle throughout the fall for a team in the SEC that's trying to climb back on top.
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Much like Stanford, the Boise State Broncos have the huge task in trying to replace a legend in Kellen Moore.
Joe Southwick looks to be the favorite in the race. He was Moore's backup last year and played well in mop-up duty the last two seasons, completing 70 percent of his passes. In the spring game, Southwick threw for over 140 yards and led all three of the Broncos' scoring drives.
One of the more telling stats is that no other quarterback threw more than eight passes, while Southwick threw 19. The other two quarterbacks in this competition include Grant Hedrick and possible true freshman Nick Patti.
While it may appear that Southwick is the starter, head coach Chris Petersen says don't let the hype of the spring game fool you. Via the Idaho Statesman:
“A scrimmage carries a little more weight than a practice. It’s a time to really see if you can make great decisions when you now are live and the ball is going to be moved down the field. It changes it. It’s more than just a normal practice,’’ Petersen said.
“But if the No. 4 guy, whoever that is, had a great scrimmage, does he become No. 1 or No. 3? No, not necessarily. It’s just another way that we evaluate.”
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Notre Dame has struggled over the years and a lot of that is because of poor quarterback play (particularly the last two seasons under Brian Kelly). The Irish entered this season with several quarterbacks who have a shot, but you won't get an answer anytime soon from head coach Brian Kelly.
"There were some strides made, but clearly we're not there yet," Kelly said via the Chicago Tribune. "We've got a lot of work to do with all the quarterbacks to get them to the level that we want."
Tommy Rees was last season’s starter, but had a spring game similar to his previous season: very inconsistent. He completed 50 percent of his passes and threw an interception—something that has haunted Irish quarterbacks lately.
Everett Golson is a young dual-threat quarterback, who many believe will end up being the starter and give the Irish the best chance to win. He completed 11-of-15 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. He also didn't turn the ball over.
Andrew Hendrix threw for over 50 yards and a touchdown in the spring game as well. Notre Dame will also get another quarterback candidate in the fall in 5-star recruit Gunner Kiel.
It seems like the Irish are loaded at this position; it's just critical they make the right choice because it could determine success or failure for Notre Dame this season.
UPDATE, May 3, 2012: After Tommy Rees' reported arrest, perhaps Notre Dame has the greatest quarterback controversy in the nation.