The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 13, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Bearcat QBs double trouble for defenses

CINCINNATI — Brian Kelly, the mad scientist who has built this Frankenstein of a monster that is the University of Cincinnati offense, has been having a little bit of fun this week at West Virginia University’s expense, the kind of fun that only a man knee deep in quarterbacks can have.

See, Kelly is the puppeteer pulling the strings on both Zach Collaros and Tony Pike, and no one now is quite sure which quarterback he will see during tonight’s game at Nippert Stadium. Collaros is the announced starter, which makes some sense, considering that he accounted for three straight victories and more than 500 yards of total offense in his last game.

But Pike will play, and considering that until he was hurt a month ago he was being considered a Heisman Trophy candidate, that gives the Mountaineer coaching staff a whole lot to think about.

Bill Stewart, the Mountaineers’ head coach, has been trying not to play that game of cat and mouse, at least not if he has to be in the role of the mouse.

“I do not know who is going to play at quarterback, and that is none of my business,” Stewart said, early in the week. “That will be decided by Brian, and he is a sharp guy and has a great staff. I don’t really have any comment on the quarterback situation.”

In truth, Stewart had to get ready for both quarterbacks anyway, and while the results the two quarterbacks get are similar, they get them in different ways.

Pike is the old-fashioned dropback quarterback who has an ability to run.

Collaros is more the 21st century model quarterback who runs and has an ability to pass.

This is something for a coach to ponder, and ponder is what they have done deep into the night at the Puskar Center.

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Bob Herzel
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