Don't bench Zordich yet

By JON GAGNON
On September 23, 2012

  • Asst. Sports Editor Jon Gagnon (left) argues for the Bulls to leave Alex Zordich at starting quarterback, while Sports Editor Joe Konze Jr. (right) argues for back-up QB Joe Licata. Spectrum File Photo

His father starred at Penn St. and with the Philadelphia Eagles and his brother currently plays at Penn St. In high school, he led his football team to a 15-0 state championship season.

Junior quarterback Alex Zordich has football in his veins.

At the start of the 2012 football season head coach Jeff Quinn had made up his mind: Zordich was going to be his starting quarterback, but it wasn't an easy decision. Redshirt freshman Joe Licata is one of the most decorated quarterbacks in Western N.Y. high school history, and many will attest that he is in fact worthy of the starting role for the Bulls.

But the marriage between Quinn and Zordich has interrupted the highly anticipated college career of Licata.

If any quarterback was ever put in a better position to fail, it was Zordich in the Bulls' first game of the season against No. 6 ranked Georgia. But he rose above and beyond expectations.

In his first two games, Zordich completed 66 percent of his passes, threw for 385 yards, rushed for 93 yards and amassed six total touchdowns. Last Wednesday's game against Kent State was disastrous enough for fans to demand Licata's presence in the game.

Zordich ended up completing 4 of 22 passes, throwing for 92 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The touchdown and half of the yards came on a miraculous Hail Mary catch at the end of the first half by junior wide out Alex Neutz. Simply put, the Bulls' offense was completely immobile throughout the entire game.

Is this poor performance worthy of a quarterback controversy?

Zordich has been highly acclaimed at UB since starting for the Bulls as a true freshman in 2010 - the first true freshman to start since Drew Willy did so in 2005 (Willy led the Bulls to their first Mid-American Conference Championship in 2008).

After suffering an injury that ended his freshman campaign as the starter, he rode the bench as the No. 2 guy in his sophomore year. But his junior year, he was ready to take the reins.

Up until the abysmal Kent State game, which was unfortunately broadcast nationally on ESPNU, he had been playing like the quarterback he was expected to be.

Most argue if Licata is going to be next in line, they might as well throw him in the fire this year with all the weapons surrounding him on offense. If Quinn made this decision at the beginning of the year, I wouldn't have much of an argument, but at this point they've wasted precious time for Licata and the rest of the offense to develop chemistry.

Quinn made the decision to go with Zordich early on, and now he'll have to live with it.

If Zordich posts anything similar to the stat line he produced against the Golden Flashes when he plays UConn next week, then Bulls' fans will have every right to call for his head. But not after onebad game.

Give the kid a chance.

 

Email:jon.gagnon@ubspectrum.com


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