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The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football to play both Will Plummer and Gunner Cruz in season opener against BYU

Megan Ewing

Gunner Cruz trains with his teammates on Tuesday, April 13.

Arizona football head coach Jedd Fisch announced on Tuesday, Aug. 24, that Gunner Cruz and Will Plummer will share the starting quarterback job to open the 2021 season against BYU on Sept. 4 in Las Vegas. 

Fisch also addressed his plans for the two-quarterback system among other topics. Below is the transcript and some highlights from the press conference.

Fisch on his decision to play both quarterbacks: “As we went back and watched, you know, all of the film, all the statistics all the information, it was clear that it would be hard to tell the other person why they were not the starter more than anything else, and that is why we made that decision.”

Fisch on how the two-quarterback system will operate during the season opener: “I’m gonna let the game dictate it and see how the game goes and see how they’re doing. They’ll both have opportunities in the first half, and then we’ll see how the game goes. And it’ll either continue on or not, we’ll see how we rotate guys through.”

Fisch on the critics of a two-quarterback system: “I would say, well, we have two quarterbacks and we’re playing both and we don’t really have the ability to say that we don’t have two. We don’t have just one. And I think I don’t really want to just make a decision to appease the critic, as much as I would prefer to just say, you know, the right thing to do for the 117 kids in our building is to say these two guys earned the right to play. And there’ll be a time, as always in life. There’s always a separation. And there’ll be a time where you could see where the team rallies, you know what goes on in the game. I mean, obviously depending on how the game goes, we can make all the adjustments necessary, and if one comes out and plays a really good game and the other one struggles, then that kind of has answered the question for us. But I would say if both guys continue to play well and both guys continue to improve, it’s not the right thing to do not to reward two 18 and 19-year-old kids for the work that they put in.”

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Fisch on the wide receiver competition: “I would say between Boobie Curry and Tayvian Cunningham and Jalen Johnson on who is going to be one of the starting receivers. But other than that, we feel pretty good about the guys and we’re gonna work through the defensive line as well once we get everybody back.”

Fisch on new alliance between the Pac-12, Big 10 and ACC conferences: “I’m excited about where things are going. Obviously, I did get to hear about the Pac-12 alliance that occurred with the ACC and the Big 10. That’s exciting. I don’t know much about it, but I’m certainly excited about the opportunity. It sounds like there should be a great scheduling alliance in the future, great opportunities to be able to play in all markets, great opportunity to play in all time zones, which is always positive, and [I’m] excited about the fact that our high school players and high school recruits that’ll be coming in can be seen everywhere and play competition from everywhere.”

Fisch on whether he is focusing on development or winning initially: “Well, I’ll never not put an emphasis on winning. That is the emphasis. I just saw a quote this morning that Bear Bryant said, ‘If you’re not here to win a national championship, you’re in the wrong place, and if you don’t believe you can and you don’t compete to do that, then what are you doing?’ … so we’re never going to not have a mentality to play the absolute best we can play and win as much as we possibly can win. That being said, it’s also my responsibility as the head coach to make sure that our team continues to get better every year.”

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