[Vandal] Vandals' QB Carousel Continues

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Wed Oct 20 09:39:46 PDT 2021

>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoWednesday, October 20, 2021
Vandals' QB Carousel Continues
Four quarterbacks have played this season because of injuries; a true freshman joins the mix Saturday
By Stephan Wiebe
An Idaho football season that started with a quarterback battle between CJ Jordan and Mike Beaudry featured a game without either one Saturday in a blowout loss to Eastern Washington.
Sophomore Zach Borisch started the game at the position and true freshman Gevani McCoy also saw extensive time in the 71-21 loss to EWU, making it four quarterbacks who’ve seen the field for the Vandals (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky) in six games.
Tuesday’s practice was again the Borisch-and-McCoy show and Idaho coach Paul Petrino gave little hint as to the status of Jordan (elbow injury) and Beaudry (shoulder).
“I hope so, I hope so, but I can’t say 100 percent right now that we will (have them back),” Petrino said of the return of Jordan and Beaudry.
“Whoever is available, that’s who you coach up and that’s who you play. I thought our two quarterbacks competed really hard (against the Eagles). They didn’t necessarily do everything exactly right, but they competed really hard and that’s the bottom line.”
Whoever is available will have to face the No. 11 Montana Grizzlies (4-2, 1-2) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN+/SWX) at the Kibbie Dome.
And it’s looking like it’ll be Borisch-and-McCoy Round 2. The two quarterbacks had combined for a single pass going into the Eastern game.
But they were forced into extended roles after Jordan went down early in the Big Sky opener against UC Davis on Oct. 2 and Beaudry was injured late in an Oct. 9 win over Portland State.
Borisch is 10th in the Big Sky in rushing with 317 yards on a 5.4 clip and four touchdowns despite being used sparingly in Idaho’s nonconference slate.
It’s paramount he finds his passing groove, though, if the Vandals are to keep defenses guessing. He’s 5-of-8 passing for 104 yards and one touchdown, although the TD and half of those yards came on his lone pass against the Vikings.
As for McCoy, the freshman from Gardena, Calif., completed 50 percent of his passes for 82 yards and a pair of interceptions in his debut.
Despite being listed at just 6-foot, 160 pounds, McCoy throws the ball with some zip.
Petrino said it wasn’t the ideal circumstance to have him play against the No. 2 team in the FCS — on a single week of practice with the first-team offense — but Borisch needs a partner at QB with all the hits he takes throughout a game.
“He stood in there and made a couple really good throws right as he was getting hit,” Petrino said of McCoy. “Did a good job with command of the field and understanding where the offensive guys needed to be lined up and what needed to happen with the snap count with the motion — with all that stuff on the road for your first (game) ever against that calibur of team, I was really proud of.”
If Beaudry and Jordan can’t go again — and it’s not looking likely early in the week — Borisch and McCoy will benefit from another full week working with the starting offense.
Cornerback Shortage
Idaho was missing its top four cornerbacks when it allowed EWU quarterback Eric Barriere to pass for 600 yards Saturday.The Vandals were without Josh Jones, Awan Parker, Jeremiah Salaam and, most notable, fifth-year starter Jalen Hoover for the second straight game.
Petrino said there’s a chance Hoover and Salaam could be back this weekend.
“None of those guys played in that game,” Petrino said. “That makes it a little tougher, but I do think the guys that were out there competed hard and played hard.”
There were several times when Barriere hit wide open receivers against Idaho, but other times he fit the ball perfectly into tight coverage. One pass was even bobbled and brought down for a big gain in the second half.
Part of Idaho’s issue was an inability to get pressure on Barriere for much of the game. It wasn’t until the third quarter when Idaho garnered a pair of big big sacks on the Eagles’ quarterback — one for a 25-yard loss by senior defensive tackle Jonah Kim and one for 18 yards credited to sophomore linebacker Coleman Johnson.
“I think that always played a big part too,” Petrino said. “The more pressure you get on him, then he doesn’t have quite as long to throw it. We brought pressure and we tired to get pressure on him, (but) it really didn’t happen until the second half.”
Odds and Ends
Defensive backs and wide receivers stayed an extra 20 minutes after practice Tuesday for a private on-field meeting with cornerbacks coach Vernon Smith. … Borisch stayed after practice to work on snaps with center Chad Bagwell. … With McCoy taking reps with the starting offense, the scout team quarterback was mainly freshman Macloud Crowton of St. George, Utah.

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