Daily Focus: Checking in on USC, Utah QB competitions
QB competition update: College quarterback battles are always one of the most exciting developments to keep track of this time of year. Many established starters have moved on and opened the door for younger players who have waited their time. There are also situations where the starter is returning from injury but has to fight to win back their starting positions. \
Few decisions a coach can make at this point in the season will have a bigger impact on their team’s success than picking the right quarterback to start the season. On that note, we’ll check in on a few starting quarterbacks that have been named over the past few days.
Max Browne has emerged as the starting quarterback in his battle with Sam Darnold. Unfortunately for Browne, his first start comes against the defending National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Browne has only played 93 snaps over the last two seasons as he sat behind starter Cody Kessler. Browne didn’t grade positively as a passer in his limited time in 2014 or 2015. While Browne has yet to produce on the field he is a talented passer that should improve with playing time as the year progresses. Fortunately, Browne has JuJu-Smith Schuster to throw the ball to and Ronald Jones and Justin Davis to help take some of the pressure off as he adjusts to being the full-time starter in 2016.
Talented but often injured quarterback Taysom Hill has apparently won the staring QB battle in BYU over Tanner Mangum. Hill is a very athletically gifted player who has a strong arm but can also make plays with his legs, he just hasn’t been able to stay on the field. In 2014 he played 352 snaps and in 2015 he only played 55 snaps before suffering a Lisfranc injury in the first week of the season which opened the door for Magnum to take over. Hill has graded positively both as a passer and a runner the past two seasons. BYU fans and college football fans in general would be thrilled if Hill can play a full season and bring his talents to the national stage on a weekly basis.
Two years ago quarterback highly-recruited quarterback Troy Williams left the University of Washington football program shortly after new Head Coach Chris Petersen arrived. After a stint in JUCO at Santa Monica college Williams emerged back in the Pac-12 but with the Utah Utes. Williams is a gifted player that beat out two other players to win the starting job at Utah. The Utes front-seven on defense is loaded with talent and will be terrorizing opposing offenses all year, if they can get some steady quarterback play out of Troy Williams they can contend for a Pac-12 South championship.