Like most other Big 12 coaches, Patterson plays QB position close to the vest

Posted Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A
Quarterback confusion The Big 12 is supposed to be filled with some of the top quarterbacks in the nation. That may be true, but less than two weeks before the season, more than half of the league’s starters are still unknown. Here’s a look at the league’s probable starting quarterbacks:
BaylorBryce PettyJunior
Iowa StateSam RichardsonSophomore
KansasJake HeapsJunior
Kansas StateDaniel Sams/Jake WatersJr./Soph.
OklahomaBlake BellJunior
Oklahoma StateClint ChelfSenior
TexasDavid AshJunior
TCUCasey PachallSenior
Texas TechBaker MayfieldFreshman
West VirginiaFord ChildressFreshman

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

For a conference known for talented, gunslinging quarterbacks, the Big 12 is surprisingly slow to its holster less than two weeks from the season.

Six of the 10 teams have yet to name a starting quarterback, including TCU coach Gary Patterson, who said Sunday that he won’t reveal his starter until the offense takes the field for the first time against LSU on Aug. 31 at AT&T Stadium.

“We won’t tell LSU who that guy is going to be until we play,” Patterson said Sunday. “You won’t know until he runs out on the field in the first huddle on game day.”

That’s the game plan entering the 2013 season, it seems, for most coaches in the league.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who seemed to have an obvious replacement for Landry Jones in Blake Bell, said he’ll name his starter this week.

Others, however, like Patterson, are either deciding to wait until the last moment for strategy reasons or out of necessity, in the case of Texas Tech.

Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury said last week that would-be starter Michael Brewer has missed a week of practice with a back injury. Consequently, Texas Tech will be forced to start a true freshman in its season opener for the first time since 1984. A walk-on, Baker Mayfield, is one of the freshmen who could start against SMU on Aug. 30.

Four teams have declared their quarterback intentions — Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas and Texas.

Baylor coach Art Briles, tabbing Bryce Petty, and Texas coach Mack Brown, going with David Ash, have let their starters be known since the spring. Of course, both teams may have less true competition for the role and have fewer concerns about confounding an opening opponent. Baylor opens against Wofford, Texas against New Mexico State.

Keeping LSU guessing is the primary reason Patterson is playing it close to the vest.

“Especially in a first ballgame,” he said. “If there’s differences in styles, then it hurts your football team if you’re going to go out and tell people, even if you know. You want those guys to prepare for both, because it’s a lot different preparing for Casey Pachall than it is for Trevone Boykin.”

Even in scrimmages, Patterson said, calling the defense is tougher on him when he doesn’t know which quarterback will be under center. If Pachall is playing, Patterson knows there’s less threat that the senior will take off running. With Boykin, a redshirt sophomore who can run a 4.5-second 40, a big gain on the ground is always a threat.

“One may get 20 yards, but the other one may go to the house,” he said. “It’s just a different animal. One has a bigger gun and makes different throws. So the coverages you play, what you do is all different.”

Oklahoma State’s situation is more similar to TCU’s than, say, Kansas State or West Virginia, which have more unproven options at quarterback this August.

The Cowboys have senior Clint Chelf and sophomore J.W. Walsh. Chelf started the last five games a year ago, but Walsh led the team with 1,854 yards total offense and accounted for 20 touchdowns to Chelf’s 15. But both have similar styles, making it less of a planning headache for defensive coaches.

“Both quarterbacks from Oklahoma State are equal,” Patterson said. “They can both run and they can both throw.”

Oklahoma, which opens against Louisiana-Monroe but begins Big 12 play Sept. 7 against West Virginia, has more to gain by holding off naming its starter.

Blake Bell, who has been a Sooners fixture in short-yardage situations the past two seasons, is the presumed starter. But freshman Trevor Knight’s performance this month and Stoops’ decision to delay naming the starter has allowed speculation to surface.

You could look at the quarterback confusion as a sign that the position remains a cornerstone of the Big 12, that teams are stocked with so many talented passers that declaring a definitive starter is a fool’s errand. Or, conversely, the slow drawcould foretell a quarterback carousel in 2013.

For Patterson, it’s simple.

“It depends on who you’re playing,” he said, “and what [the coaches] think they need to get done.”

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Tuesday, September 02Full Scoreboard
Cincinnati0Bottom 3rd | Box
Baltimore5@theBallpark | TV: FSN-OH, MASN
Detroit1Top 8th | Box
Cleveland2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, STO
Boston8Top 9th | Box
NY Yankees3@theBallpark | TV: NESN, YES
Philadelphia «4Final | Box
Atlanta0
NY Mets8Bottom 9th | Box
Miami6@theBallpark | TV: SNY, FSN-FL
Toronto8Bottom 9th | Box
Tampa Bay2@theBallpark | TV: SNET, Sun Sports
Milwaukee1Bottom 6th | Box
Chicago Cubs7@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI, CSN-CHI+
LA Angels0Top 6th | Box
Houston7@theBallpark | TV: FSN-W, CSN-HOU
Texas1Bottom 7th | Box
Kansas City1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-SW, FSN-KC
Chicago WSox3Top 7th | Box
Minnesota3@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-N
Pittsburgh2Bottom 6th | Box
St. Louis5@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-PIT, FSN-MW
San Francisco1Bottom 5th | Box
Colorado6@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, ROOT-RM
Seattle0Bottom 1st | Box
Oakland0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-CA
Washington0Bottom 1st | Box
Los Angeles0@theBallpark | TV: MASN 2, SportsNet LA
Arizona0Top 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 02Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 1Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
Seattle TV: NBC
Sunday
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: CBS
New England 1:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:25 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Carolina 4:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Indianapolis 8:30 PM ET
Denver TV: NBC
Monday
NY Giants 7:10 PM ET
Detroit TV: ESPN
San Diego 10:20 PM ET
Arizona TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 02Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard