Your team is reeling. You haven’t started a game not on a video console since 2006. Your offensive mates have been abysmal in the red zone, and cannot close drives. The other green QB has failed to instill confidence in even his dog, and now, the head coach has turned to you.
Still want to play?
Oh, by the way, did we mention that you will go in knowing your best offensive weapon is lost for the season, into a place that has been a graveyard for UA teams past, against a team your school has beaten exactly once since you started noticing girls? One last thing—your starting running back will be injured on his first carry. This is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
Good luck kid.
One could very well have pictured Nick Foles arriving at Oregon State’s Reser Stadium, going to his locker, and finding an iPOD with this very message. He was thrust into his very own Ethan Hunt role, with the added disadvantage of having 46,000 enemies surrounding him, and knowing where he was at all time.
They never had a chance.
There were two weapons that could not be pulled from him; poise, and command. As allies fell all around, he seemed to create playmakers out of whole cloth. Greg Nwoko was an afterthought in the first three games. Saturday Night, he was a bazooka that cratered space for Foles to operate. And while he was reloading Nwoko, he kept them at bay with Nick Booth.
He played with the confidence of a gunfighter who got to sabotage the other guy’s weapon.
Under Matt Scott, the Wildcats looked like a 1-AA offense, the sucker at a Poker table with 9 sharks. Under Foles they looked like a contender with all the answers, the impish hustler who vexes all the other players because he is always just one card better. Dealer, are these cards marked?
They threw blitzes, he threw screens. They cheated up, he threw the out and up (to Terrell Turner). They backed off, he checked off. They flushed the pocket, he bought time.
Of course, sometimes the first mission is often the easiest. Your enemy does not know you. Defensive Coordinators, though, are the Lex Luthors of football, insidious disruptors whose job it is throw off young quarterbacks by any means necessary. Nick Holt of Washington gets his shot next, the second of nine.
They’d better have a better hand.