Mailbag Dec.2: Quarterback Situation Handled Poorly?

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Q: Hey Dez, I have a few questions/comments. First, excited for the team, coaches and fans that have stuck by the team on their little winning streak here at the end of the season. I hope they finish strong with their third win this weekend. But and I don’t mean to play monday morning quarterback, but the qb situation seemed to be handed pretty poorly in my opinion. I know the team was 0-4 or whatever when they decided to bench Whitmer and everyone was excited for the new freshmen Tim Boyle. But wouldn’t it have been the smarter thing to do for the program to give Cochran the chance first (more practice experience with the red shirt year and the early arrival in spring practice) and not waist a red shirt for Boyle. At 0-4 the season was not over but it was not showing promise (injuries, lack of performance across the o-line, both protection and in the run game) Hard to believe that the staff really felt Boyle was ready mentally as a true freshman to make that jump. In my opinion he wasn’t ready (physical tools look great but a lot to learn in preparation in the college game) and obviously that is not all on him (wr drops and injuries did not help as well obviously as the opine). I know the program wants to win and they felt their best opportunity to win was Boyle at that time but now looking back and thinking about it I really think it to be a poor decision and other than some game experience a waisted year of eligibility for Boyle. I am not saying Cochran would have won any of the games that Boyle started but it would have allowed more practice experience for Boyle and to keep his red shirt. And if Cochran had failed then you could have gone to Boyle. Lastly is the final game vs. Memphis next weekend at 1 or 2? Different outlets have reported different times. Is the game not even available on espn3? And if not whats up with that? – Joe, Charlestown, MA

A: Joe I think the coaches felt at the time Tim Boyle was the guy to lead them through what was going to be their toughest stretch of league games, USF, Louisville, UCF and Cincinnati. This is a good question but I think it’s safe to say Cochran took over with the schedule not being as tough. Would he have beaten those aforementioned defenses? I don’t know. All that being said the team was sti winless and he changed that. He has done much better than Whitmer and Boyle in getting the ball out faster and the receivers have done a better job being ready. Bottom line I think the coaches felt Boyle was the guy at the time for that time – and it should make for an interesting competition in 2014 if no one leaves the program. I think that’ll be the case no matter what, though.

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