JOE D’S NOTEBOOK August 19, 2014
TUESDAY, AUGUST 19: And so, on the 18th day of the preseason, we know who is the starting quarterback for the 2014 UConn Huskies. And maybe just as importantly, who the backup is.
At Monday’s 4th media avail of the pre season, Coach Bob Diaco announced that Casey Cochran would start and Chandler Whitmer would be what Diaco described as a “key backup”. And that if it all work out Tim Boyle will redshirt this season and have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2015.
I wasn’t able to go to the media avail but in reading the stories of several of my print brethren, Diaco made it very clear that while Whitmer possesses superior physical abilities to play the position, Cochran has the edge in the “intangible” area and that is what earned him the starter’s job. But not to the point of what Diaco calls a “key starter”. It’s apparent that both quarterbacks will play and that the head coach feels confident in both of their abilities.
Without having seen any of the quarterbacks work in camp due to the extremely limited media availability, it’s hard for me to question the decision. I thought coming off last season that Cochran had earned the right to be the number one qb.He won… and that was the bottom line. I understand he did it against what was perceived as the weakest part of the schedule, but Casey still got the job done. And with Cochran dedicating himself to getting into much better condition, I think it’s a good decision.
The resurrection of Whitmer’s UConn career is fascinating. There was absolutely no one around the program when last season ended who thought he would return for 2014. Whitmer lost his starting job after four games last season and never returned to the field. But Chandler accepted Diaco’s offer to return and has apparently done everything that has been asked of him and then some. He does present a different skill set than Cochran and who knows,maybe this is one situation where having two quarterbacks playing in games will work out.
And the decision to redshirt Boyle is the right one. The former Xavier star was thrown to the wolves last season and forcing him to play against Cincinnati, UCF and Louisville was unfair to Boyle. I’m guessing next year at this time, he will be ready to contribute on a significant basis. That’s not to say he couldn’t this year but giving him a year to study and learn makes all the sense in the world.
It’s an interesting dynamic that Diaco is presenting with the idea of playing two quarterbacks per game. UConn fans hungry for success will be all in favor of it…if it works…
Thanks to the UConn Marching Band for inviting me to be their keynote speaker last night at their Convocation last night at Jorgensen. It’s the first time the incoming freshman and the returning band members are together and to speak to the group of 300 was a great honor.It’s a team that works as hard as any other at UConn and it would be great if the fans could get inside the Rent early at home games to see them perform. They deserve your support.
Next on the agenda, Media Day on Thursday.