This year in college football we have witnessed a offensive system for three top tier programs that will always make me scratch my head, a two quarterback system. Alabama, Miami and Clemson all either started with or have used a 2 quarterback system. Now, as we are in week 5 of the college season, we are seeing these systems falling buy the wayside.
First off, the concept of a two quarterback system is risky simply due to the fact that it can disrupt rhythm between receivers and the quarterback and to, a certain extent, the rest of the offense. This also can impact play calling, especially if the quarterbacks have differ skill sets…a mobile runner like Lamar Jackson formally of U of Louisville or a pocket passer like Josh Rosen formally of UCLA . Both team’s offenses here are substantially different because their skill sets were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Now, picture this. Both players are on the same team sharing snaps under center, that makes play calling a nightmare during a game.
Now in the cases of these three teams different situations led to one player being named the starter and even for one of the teams one of the Qb’s announcing a transfer.
For the defending champs the choice was very simple between the National Championship game hero Tua Tagovailoa, a gifted pocket passer that shredded Georgia last year with great mobility to go along with his top ranked arm talent, or the often inefficient but very mobile Jalen Hurts. But Nick Saban said did not name a full time starter before week one. And as of now Tua is lighting teams
Jalen Hurts has a fraction of the passing attempts touchdowns and passing yards of Tua.
In Clemson, the incumbent Kelly Bryant was a solid QB prospect to replace DeSean Watson. He has above average arm talent to go along with exceptional mobility that led the Tigers to the college football playoff, where they lost to ‘Bama. But freshman sensation, Trevor Lawrence, has been lighting up defenses this year. He is a more pocket based quarterback with a decent amount of mobility for his 6-6 frame. Right now Lawrence is 39-60 with 600 yards and 9 touchdowns to Bryant’s 35-53 for 456 yards and only 2 touchdowns. And as of this week Lawrence is the full time starter and Bryant has announced he is transferring.
Last but not Least there is the Miami Hurricanes. Now being a fan I have watched this team closely for a long time.
To say the least Malik Rosier is not the most efficient QB but after Brad Kaaya left for the NFL he was Mark Richts one true option they could go to in 2017. Rosier is very inconsistent, has flashes of brilliance breaking free for a red zone touchdown run or throwing a clutch game winning pass to Knock off FSU. But the lack of efficient offense was a major cause to the Hurricanes year end slide. And with a bad loss to LSU to open the year Rosier’s clock was ticking. Insert red shirt freshman N’Kosi Perry a gift arm talent with break way speed, Perry came in int the hurricanes second game against Savannah state and impressed Richt to give him 90% of the snaps against FIU this past weekend where he lit up there secondary, Giving Miami’s offense a spark and efficiency that I have not seen in a long time he miles ahead of Rosier talent wise. Look for Richt to completely turn the offense to Perry very soon as this Miami team is completely different with Perry under center.
So in all three cases this system does not work, and if it does it is not a permeant fix it’s a band aid until the better candidate emerges. This is a way for Coaches to get them reps against real defenses with out the luxury of a pre-season game like in the pros. But in a sport where once loss can mess up your season it is a Gamble.