Two Quarterbacks, One Position, One Competition
Davis and Zordich remain friends, push each other to improve despite controversy
Published: Thursday, June 30, 2011
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
There is a drama unfolding on campus. Nobody knows how it's going to play out. There will be a winner and there will be a loser.
Who will start at quarterback for the Buffalo Bulls next season: That is the question running through Bulls' fans this summer.
The Bulls' quarterback play was shoddy at best last season. Junior quarterback Jerry Davis was the starter at the beginning of last year, but his struggles forced sophomore quarterback Alex Zordich into action. Zordich looked impressive in his short tenure as starting quarterback until he went down with injury, at which point Davis reclaimed the role of starter.
At the conclusion of last season, most fans expected Zordich to be the starter next year. He was the younger and more polished quarterback, but if you take a look at the stats from last year, it appears that Davis was the better quarterback, and in the Bulls' two-deep chart – an early indication of next season's depth chart – released this summer, Davis was pegged as the starter.
"It was nobody's fault, but we're all accountable," said head coach Jeff Quinn. "We struggled [at the quarterback position]. It was evident and nobody's going to shy away from that. There were times that our quarterbacks' decision making wasn't exactly where we need it to be."
Quinn added that after the blue and white spring game and the 15 spring practices, Davis was the frontrunner. That does not, however, mean that the position belongs to Davis. Quinn was clear that Zordich is still very much in the running. Quinn said there is summer training and fall camp, so he still doesn't have his mind made up.
Neither QB wants to sit on the bench this year, but both realize that what the teams needs is more important.
"I want to be the starter because I don't see myself as a backup quarterback, but it's all about what's best for the team," Davis said.
Much like Davis, Zordich said he doesn't see himself as a backup. He said no one on the team would ever accept that role, and each week you need to fight to earn a starting job.
The Bulls have three other quarterbacks who are competing for playing time, too – redshirt freshman Rudy Johnson and incoming freshmen Joe Licata and Tony Daniel.
Though the benching was difficult for Davis, it gave vital game-time experience to Zordich. He was thankful for the chance to face college-level competition. He said he felt comfortable when he was given the chance to play.
"I think that the quarterbacks definitely need to step up their game," Zordich said. "We all have a lot to prove coming into this year and we're going to be the ones who need to carry the team offensively."
It would be expected that the controversy would turn Zordich and Davis into rivals, but though they're fierce competitors, the two quarterbacks get along just fine.
Davis said that he is roommates with Zordich on the road and they talk and communicate well. Davis added that Zordich is very serious about the game of football, and he doesn't joke about it. That no-nonsense attitude pushes Davis.
It's clear from Zordich's demeanor that Davis was spot on with his assessment. Zordich speaks with complete sincerity about everything pertaining to football.
"Jerry and I get along fine," Zordich said. "Obviously, we're two competitors and we both want the spot, but that's how it is and how it's always been. Jerry and I have a very good relationship."
The drama promises to unfold in exciting fashion throughout the course of the 2011 season. The curtains will open Sept. 3 at Pittsburgh.
"It's a competitive situation and that's the way I like it," Quinn said. "These kids understand that every day they've got to come out here and prepare and practice to be like a starter. We just need to get better. Jerry Davis and Alex Zordich are both quality young men who care deeply about this program and they've both shown tremendous improvement."