Happy Humpday morning Cougs. And per some good links this morning, as we hit the half-way point of the week, it appears the Coug QB situation might be crystalizing a bit? Let's get started.....
Caple leads off with a report from yesterday's practice, with the ever-continuing question at QB. It appears that Connor Halliday took the majority of the reps with the starters, while Tuel did get in some reps as well. But per Caple, while Tuel threw the ball just fine, they didn't have the QB's move around a whole lot in drills and such. He still is sporting the knee brace, so who knows what's going on.
By the way, interesting note floating around - apparently it was tweeted out yesterday that Connor Halliday let it slip in an interview that Jeff Tuel actually suffered an MCL sprain of his knee? Halliday hopped on the airwaves of 700 ESPN in Spokane with Dennis Patchin and had a good interview overall, but buried in there is the quote on Tuel, right about the 3-minute mark of the interview.
NOTE - if you can't get the embedded player to work below, you can get it here.
Another interesting part of Caple's article? Bobby Ratliff and his move to one of the inside receiver positions.
Ratliff is an intriguing player. Good size at 6-2, 200 lbs or so, he could be a real factor with a strong body between the numbers. But while he still seems awfully young as a sophomore right now, on paper anyway did you know he was the number two receiver returning in 2012 behind Marquess Wilson? Ratliff caught 28 balls last year, for 348 yards and averaging 12.4 yards per catch. But the article is interesting in how they have many options with both Ratliff and Andrei Lintz on the field at the same time at the inside receiver spots, where they can show multiple looks as potential tight ends but they really are wide receivers. And maybe just having Ratliff out on the field more will help open up the running game, or even better, the quick-hitting bubble screen type plays where you need solid blocking down the field out of your skill guys? While Ratliff is completely different than the scat-type quality of Rickey Galvin, it could be a huge opportunity for him to take a big step forward in this offense.
Moving on, Cougfan has a recap of the action yesterday. It's a premium article, but check it out if you can.
Finally, from the Seattle Times, here's an AP story on the QB situation. While not saying too much anyway, Leach does admit that Halliday is impressing:
Added Leach of Halliday's progress: "He's way ahead of schedule for guy who played only a handful of games."
I think that's where I'm guilty at times of expecting too much from the QB. I mean think about it - here's a kid in Halliday who has ONE start coming in to this year, and then gets his first start on the road in a hostile UNLV environment and throws for a bunch of yards and 4 TD's?
Yet all you hear about is the two INT's, or that he looked "OK, not great" or that he was underwhelming. I mean the kid has BARELY PLAYED in any games and when he has played, he's done pretty damn good (now 13 TD passes in 6 career games played). Maybe the reality is that we just have to let him grow at the position and see where things are after, oh, I don't know, a full season or so?? But hey, I admit it - sometimes as a fan I just expect too much, even if I should pump the brakes a bit! All for now - GO COUGS!