| 03.19.2018

The battle for QB1, a good thing


Competition is a welcome sight to football team

During Idaho’s first three games last season, Matt Linehan was everyone’s favorite quarterback.

He was poised, confident and fearless, which put the then-redshirt freshman amongst the nations’ top quarterbacks in passing yards and touchdowns early in the season.

Korbin McDonald

Korbin McDonald

However, he was also near the top in interceptions — especially in the fourth quarter. When the season came to a close, Linehan had hurled 18 interceptions compared to just 11 touchdowns, and seven of those interceptions came in the fourth quarter.

In addition, he also notched 2,540 yards through the air, was sacked 39 times and took one cheap shot to the head.

It’s no doubt these were the growing pains of having a young quarterback leading an already struggling football team.

When it comes down to it, do fans really want to risk having the growing pains of having another redshirt freshman quarterback, Jake Luton, lead the Vandals for the 2015 season? I don’t think they do.

There is no question Luton has an NFL-caliber arm and all the potential a coach could ask for — but he’s still a freshman.

He also is coming from a high school in Marysville Pilchuck that only passed the ball an average of 10 times per game.

Luton will be great, but he needs some time to grow just like Linehan.

As a sophomore, Linehan will be the oldest quarterback on the roster, which is a little odd.

He’s only had one season as the team’s quarterback, so for people to be calling for him to take a seat behind Luton, that’s just not right. Give the kid a chance.

With a spring game performance where he only had two incomplete passes and tossed six touchdowns with no interceptions, Linehan has proven, at the very least, he deserves a chance.

It remains to be seen if he has gotten rid of his freshman woes, but he’s certainly earned the chance to prove himself after his play this spring.

After all, there’s another quarterback who threw just as many interceptions as Linehan last season — Florida State’s Jameis Winston, who is in line for a possible No. 1 NFL Draft pick, but let’s not start comparing the two.

The Vandals are in a good spot with the quarterback position. They have two talented signal callers in Linehan and Luton, and one is on the way this fall in Kareem Coles. The three will surely compete for the coming years.

It will be a tough spot for Petrino to choose which one gets the nod to start. Two will be disappointed, but that’s good for the team’s depth.

Competition is something this team has lacked in recent years, so lets embrace it — even though two great players won’t see the playing time they deserve.

Korbin McDonald can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @KorbinMcD_VN

Related Posts
No comments

There are currently no comments to show.