Tennessee Football: Could Derek Dooley Make a 2-QB System Work?

John WhiteCorrespondent IIIJune 10, 2011

Phillip Fulmer tried a two-quaterback system, and it didn't work. In fact, it was so disastrous that it was one of the many reasons that eventually lead to his firing.

Eric Ainge/Brent Schaeffer, Eric Ainge/Rick Clausen, Johnathan Crompton/Nick Stephens. All fine examples of why two-QB systems don't work. So why would Derek Dooley attempt something so erratic this early in his career?

And before we get off on the wrong foot, I am not suggesting that this take place, only how it could work. And I don't think Bray and Simms could share a two-QB system. It would be counter productive because they would always be trying to one-up each other, but you need one of them, plus another, but who?

The answer? Nash Nance and Doak Raulston.

OK, before you become completely come unglued consider this. Both Raulston and Nance had decent rushing careers in high school, and yes I know that putting one foot in front of another won't make you Tim Tebow. However, it does open up the opportunity for OC Jim Chaney to seriously consider a few wildcat plays and not have to worry about endangering Bray, Simms or Worley on a short yardage run.

I draw this hypothetical from examining Chris Leak and Tim Tebow. Now, it would be foolish to compare Raulston or Nance to Tebow, but it is reasonable to think that a few plays could be introduced to confuse a Florida or Alabama defense.

Can you imagine Saban watching Bray complete two or three series of one-two first, one-two first. Then Raulston comes out in wildcat formation and fakes the run? Before they realize he's fading into a sideline pocket, Hunter is wide open and bang, TD!

Yes it all sounds very fantastic on paper. But, nobody has really seen the improved athleticism of these two QBs since high school, but their careers were substantial. In Raulston's junior year, he rushed for 345 yards and four TDs averaging 5.1 yards per carry. His senior year he doubled that with 840 yards and eight TDs averaging 7.1 yards per carry.

Trust me, I know what you're thinking. That I woke up this morning and feasted on a bowl of frosted crack-flakes.

You've come this far, so struggle on with me. Nash Nance has 959 career rushing yards from his junior and senior year. And trust me as an on-hand witness, those Class AA kids down in Calhoun, Ga. are lightning quick and the attitude of high school play is on the same level as Texas schools.

Just ask Nance's former and current teammate Da'Rick Rogers. The reason Rogers was recruited so heavily wasn't because he set the state record for receiving. It was because of the competition he faced while doing it. 

Nance faced some of the toughest defenses to come out of northwest Georgia. He is no chump, no matter how many people say he was a "two-fer" for Da'Rick Rogers. If not for Nance knowing Rogers route habits, he would not have received so much national attention, and had Nance not been so flipping quick at evading blitzes and crazed LBs, he would be eating through a straw to this day.

Using either Nance, Raulston or both could be a Trojan Horse if utilized correctly. Tebow got his success because nobody knew if he was going to run or not, but it put everybody on guard because they knew he could scoot.

Most often he did run, just because he was so damn good at shooting the gap, but there were times when all he had to do was flinch and the LBs would lose their minds trying to see who was running into the passing lanes only to see Tebow steam-rolling at them a 12-yard gain.

It's just like the old adage about the Yankee's pinstripes. You could never take your eyes off those dad-gum pinstripes, and by the time you remembered you were playing baseball, Mickey Mantle would slam one by the first baseman and turn it into a triple. 

Remember, I'm not saying these guys are like Tebow. I'm just suggesting they can be used the same way with great effect. Chaney is the man when you start breaking down the spread offense. I'm sure he can find a way to use the flex-bone and give another facet to the offense.

If you do this, it frees up the QB from getting his legs cut off, and it scares the crap out of defenses because they always panic when a QB might run. 

The last time we had a running QB, we won the national championship. Could a couple of plays from unselfish QBs be the difference between another Music City Bowl or a trip to the Sugar Bowl? I'm sure odd-makers know better, but at this juncture, I think playing conservatively is useless.

You be the coach. If you had to make a two-QB system work, would you do anything different? Would you use a veteran in Simms and sacrifice him to the wolves? Or, would let the younger guys out there eager to prove their worth?

Remember this is a hypothetical have-to situation. Grab your clipboard and put on the whistle. I want to hear what you think.


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