Backup QBs in November spotlight in ACC
“I think everybody would like to get their backup guy reps, but the problem is who you’re playing, and every game we’ve been in, for the most part, has been tight, and you’re just trying to win a football game, so you kind of want to take care of your job and your paycheck there,” he said. “The more experience you can have at backup, certainly, the better it is.”
Teams no longer in the championship mix have made changes too, or plan to.
Boston College will host Virginia, and the Eagles made the move to freshman Chase Rettig earlier this season. Cavaliers coach Mike London plans to give redshirt freshman Ross Metheny and true freshman Michael Rocco their first chance to see their meaningful action this week.
London didn’t make the move sooner even when fifth-year senior Marc Verica struggled, but now that the Cavaliers (4-6) have been knocked out of bowl consideration, the coach is looking more toward next year.
“With two games left, now we have the opportunity to put those two guys in the game,” London, in his first year, said. “It’s a fine line between when you put a guy in, when you don’t, when you just say all right, just junk everything and just go with the youth movement.”
It’s different, London said, when dealing with young players at other positions.
A defensive lineman, he said, can be sent into a game when the opponent is at their own 20 and get some valuable playing experience without feeling like the game is in his hands.
A quarterback, though, needs to be able to make all the checks necessary at the line, get his teammates in the proper position and also know where to put the ball, and when.
Wake Forest turned to a true freshman earlier this season, and Tanner Price has had flashes of brilliance as well as some forgettable performances while learning the job.
“We’ve given him about everything we could throw at him,” coach Jim Grobe said. And while the Demon Deacons are just 2-8, the payoff may come next season. “We’ve got a quarterback coming back in the spring who has been exposed to an awful lot,” Grobe said.
AP Sports Writers David Ginsburg in College Park, Md., and Tim Reynolds in Miami, Brent Kallestad of The Associated Press in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this story.