Spring Football Report: Quarterbacks
Published: Sunday, March 25, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Last summer, then junior Jerry Davis and sophomore Alex Zordich, were in the battle for the starting quarterback job. Then senior Chazz Anderson came in from Cincinnati and started all 12 games for the Bulls.
While this served as a stop gap at the time, nearly a year later it has left head coach Jeff Quinn in the same position – except this time he has more options.
The depth chart for Quinn reads like a multiple choice exam: He has four options to pick from, and hopes one of them is the right answer to end the uncertainty at the position.
His four options are all very different as well. Davis and Zordich are now a year older, and have both started contests for the Bulls in the past. But a pair of redshirt freshman – Joe Licata and Tony Daniel – look to be the more long-term investment that Quinn would like at the position.
With four competing instead of two like past seasons, it becomes a difficult position for Quinn to evaluate all of the candidates for the starting nod.
“It’s not easy because there’s only so many reps,” Quinn said. “Some spots only have two deep, and that’s a four deep position, so it’s hard to get those guys reps. We tell the guys don’t worry about the number of reps you’re getting, worry about the quality of those reps.”
Career Passing:44 Cmp, 106 Att, 469 Yds, 1 TD
Career Rushing:64 Att, 162 Yds, 2.5 Avg, 2 TD
The junior has something that two of the four competing for the job don’t – experience. Zordich has started four games and appeared in nine over the last two years.
His freshman year was his most productive. He threw for 428 yards and went 39-for-94 in passing. However, in that time he had just one passing touchdown and six interceptions.
Zordich had more success with his running game. He ran for 150 yards in his freshman season and scored two touchdowns.
However, he saw significantly less time last season with Chazz Anderson being named starting quarterback. He threw just 12 passes and ran twice for just 53 total yards.
Zordich believes the competition between the four candidates will be important to the growth of whoever wins the job.
“Any type of competition is good,” Zordich said. “It’s automatically going to make you better and everybody on the team is competing. Obviously quarterback is [important], only one guy is going to play that position so it’s a huge competition. It just makes you better and everyone should embrace it.”
Stats:0 games played
The Williamsville product was one of Buffalo’s most prized recruits heading into last season. Licata never saw any time and redshirted to maintain his freshman year of eligibility due to Anderson starting all of Buffalo’s contests last season.
In the recruiting process, Licata turned down some bigger schools in order to play with his hometown Bulls.
“[I wanted] to play in front of my family and the fan base here in Buffalo,” Licata said. “I’m Buffalo born, Buffalo raised, and I’ve stayed here my whole life. I love it here.”
Coming back with high expectations, he plans on winning the position battle and being the number one guy for the job, providing that all-important continuity at the position that Quinn desires.
At the present, based on who is getting the first team reps, it appears that Licata is right in the middle of the battle with Zordich for the spot. They are splitting the first team reps.
Career Passing:150 Cmp, 313 Att, 1898 Yds, 17 TD
Career Rushing:102 Att, 224 Yds, 2.2 Avg, 0 TD
The senior threw just 15 passes his freshman season after redshirting his first year. He saw most of his action the same year (2010) as Zordich saw most of his.
Davis threw for over 1,700 yards and had a 16 to 16 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also ran for 236 yards and was just 11 total yards short of the 2,000-yard plateau.
Despite the production, Davis was sent to the scout team and did not see any action last fall. He will use the competition this spring to show that can play consistently well and regain the starting job.
“[I have to put] a lot of stuff behind [me] and just move forward,” Davis said. “Being that it’s my last year I just want to show my teammates that I can be trusted and just continue to get better and be the best quarterback I can be every day.”
Davis shares the same advantage Zordich has of experience. The lone senior in the competition has played in front of a large crowd at Baylor two seasons ago and is looking forward to the challenge of playing at Georgia this fall.
“I’ve got a chance to travel to a couple of big crowds. Last year we went to Tennessee,” Davis said. “It’s all about that 11 being all locked in and doing each other’s jobs and we’ll be fine if we do that.”