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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Quarterback carousel creates questions for Wildcats’ offense

Quarterbacks are becoming a rare commodity for the Arizona football team as it enters the final two weeks of preseason preparation.

For a team that is trying to move up and rebound after a disappointing finish last season, the uncertainty is unwelcome.

The only thing that has stayed consistent throughout camp for the quarterbacks is that senior Nick Foles remains firmly planted in the starting spot. Underneath him, the depth chart gets really murky, especially with injuries running rampant throughout camp.

Plan B for the Wildcats’ offense would logically be senior Matt Scott, who jumped in last season after Foles went down with a dislocated kneecap and won back-to-back games against Washington and UCLA. But after planning to redshirt this season to give himself another chance at the starting job next season, it’s questionable as to what the team will see from him this year.

Scott has assured his coaches, however, that if need be, he is prepared to take over if Foles is unable to stay healthy, but playing will void his redshirt year, forcing the coaches to make a quick decision about the future of the program.

Should Foles get hurt, do you let Scott, as a guy who proved himself last year, play to salvage the season? Or do you put confidence in the depth chart to finish out the season, so that Scott can be the go-to guy next year?

It’s a tough call, and hopefully one that won’t be necessary, but staying healthy hasn’t been easy for the Wildcats, especially for the quarterbacks, as they seemingly limp toward the start of the season.

Scott missed time after recently coming down with strep throat, and third string Bryson Beirne has been ruled out of practice with a sprained ACL with no timetable for his return.

Closing out the quarterback slots are Tom Savage and Daxx Garman, but Savage, who transferred from Rutgers at the end of last season, is unable to play because of NCAA transfer rules, leaving the true freshman, Garman, as Foles’ immediate backup.

To make matters worse, Garman hasn’t taken a game snap since his junior year of high school.

After being declared ineligible to play his senior year after moving from Oklahoma to Texas, the freshman decided to graduate early and joined the Wildcats in February for spring ball so that he could learn the system.

It’s not easy for this uncertainty to be forced upon the team so close to the start of the regular season play, but it’s just the first of many hurdles that Arizona will have to face along the way to a successful year.

— Dan Kohler is a journalism senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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