The Oregon Ducks are down to their third-string quarterback for Saturday's game against BSU. We hate to see where they're at once Jeron Johnson is done with them.
Saturday's starter, freshman QB Chris Harper, finished off last week's Duck victory at Purdue with a rushing touchdown in overtime - a rushing touchdown born out of necessity. Harper do not like to pass.
Harper has thrown sparingly in games, in part because of (a shoulder) injury and in part because coaches have been working on his throwing motion. The Ducks will continue to work with Harper on passing technique, but won't have the luxury of doing it solely on the practice field.
Sounds to us like a euphemism for "can't throw worth beans."
Oregon's offense is notorious for its wide-open spread attack, so a mobile QB like Harper seems to fit well in the system. Junior college transfer Jeremiah Masoli, a better passer than Harper, could see time as well, but we expect that the Ducks will use Harper and the running game to try to get yards against the Broncos.
Coach Pete expects it, too, and he's not nearly as comforted as we are at the prospects of BSU facing a first-time starting QB.
"I just look at where they are ranked in the country, rushing-wise," Petersen said. "That’s hard to slow that machine down. They’ve got a great offense whoever they have at quarterback."
The glass may be half empty with realism, but there is still hope to be taken from Oregon's quarterback merry-go-round. With newbies Harper and Masoli taking snaps, the Bronco "D" should be able to turn the Ducks into a one-dimensional attack by simply letting their Kyle Wilson and Co. hold down the passing game. That means all Boise State will have to worry about is stopping the No. 4 rushing attack in the country, one that gains over 300 yards on the ground each game.