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Boise State Roundtable: Quarterback Carousel

The OBNUG gents got together to discuss the latest hot topic on The Blue™: Who will be our quarterback?

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

In light of recent events, namely Ryan Finley breaking his ankle, the OBNUG blokes thought it prudent to deliberate on the new quarterback situation. I thought that was weird and said we should talk about it instead.  Damien, how bout you get us started: Who will be the starting quarterback?


To answer the question in a straightforward manner: Rypien gets the start. Stuart gets time as a change of pace QB who most likely will run option-centric plays. Short yardage plays, or to give Virginia a different look if Rypien struggles.

Since we're on the topic in general: I was kind of hoping for a Rypien red shirt. Seeing his talent and abilities at the Idaho State only reaffirmed as such. The competition over the summer must have been mighty fierce and close considering just how good he was. And by just how good he had looked. ISU notwithstanding he looked poised, and just plain READY.

So that's why I, personally, wanted a red shirt. Give him a year to develop more, learn, sit back in a non-threatening role and observe and get used to the different play-calling that Drinkwitz would have. The different environments that would be expected of a starter. Things that he could just absorb and stow away for the future.

Or, just be ready now and be ready to lead. You know. Whatever works.


I'll admit I'm one of the masses that was very desirous to see a freshman start because of a little someone called Kellen Moore. To be blunt, Rypien is the only quarterback on the roster with Kellen Moore's resumé (albeit better in some categories) and after a roller coaster ride at the position over the last 4 seasons, I think I'm just ready to develop a guy that's going to be nigh unstoppable as a sophomore and beyond. Ask yourself this...if the Bronco offense is going to be ineffective—as it largely was in the first two games—would you rather it be at the hands of a "game manager" soph or a true freshman with a much higher ceiling? I know that I would rather have the latter because the Broncos' '15 defense—coupled with a soft conference schedule should mask most freshman shortcomings. And I hate to call Finley a game manager, but in my mind he's more in the mold of Taylor Tharp—at least for the time being. A good QB that has an experience edge on a frosh, but not much edge anywhere else. I also happened to watch the game on Friday night and Rypien was the only QB that looked poised, calm and that ran the offense with any kind of tempo...the kind of tempo that Boise State used to gash teams with.

I'll finish by stating that I feel terrible for Finley and I too respect the coaches decision enough to accept Rypien's red shirt and hoped that Finley could find his rhythm. But Rypien graduated early and worked his tail off to be ready in case of just this sort of scenario and by golly he looks ready. Finley is out, and the Broncos need a leader now. If the offense responds to his leadership the rest of the season like they did on Friday night, I think the Broncos could be on the cusp of another dynamic run. That's saying something because Stuart looked pretty good too on Friday night, and I think has the kind of play-making ability that can be invaluable in short-field option package, but only Rypien appeared to read the defense quick enough to take advantage of the mismatches we had all over the field. It might not be a huge sample size, but Finley didn't seem to be even be doing it that well on Friday night before his injury.


I'm in the same boat as you guys.I think Rypien is the guy. I don't feel you can put one guy in, then put another guy in the next quarter. It can undermine the confidence of the one playing, regardless of how well they are doing. Naturally I don't want someone in there who is throwing INTs, but if a guy gets hot, keep him in and you are no longer running a 2 qb system. I think this is what will happen with us this Friday. Rypien starts and he stays in with Stuart running special packages. His legs are too valuable to NOT use, but nothing he did with his arm last Friday lead me to believe he is the guy. He didn't do anything BAD, but Rypien just did it better. I definitely don't want Rypien running if he can help it as I always have felt running QBs are a huge risk. Take Chuckie Keeton, Taysom Hill, and now Ryan Finley. While that skill is invaluable, it comes at a price.

In the post game interviews, Harsin said they have been running the no-huddle all season. Friday, with Rypien in, it was the first time it actually LOOKED like we were running no-nuddle. And he did it very well. Now, it was against Idaho State, so that must be taken with a grain of salt. But he still looked very composed and comfortable back there.

Lost in all this is Ogle. Obviously the only two guys being talked about are Stuart and Rypien, and I feel like it will be either of them. But Sanford recruited Ogle personally, and Sanford is going to coach himself into a HC position in the next 2 years. There is something about Ogle I like and I hope to see soon. I was a bit bummed that all he did in his time on Friday was hand it off. Here's hoping that we get to see him sling it in a game situation. I'm not crazy though, I want to make sure it's in a game that's out of hand.


Rypien's play looked very Kellen Moore-esque, and since performance in a game is the only factor that should matter (not height or age or dental work), I agree that now might be Rypien Time.

That being said, I was impressed with the play of Stuart. When he came in, I didn't expect to see Rypien play at all, so I was pleasantly surprised at how efficiently he moved the ball down the field, regardless of how he did it. Sure, Stuart ran more, but he did so at the right times, it seemed. He didn't try to force the ball and turn it over. There were a few drives that stalled when he was sacked, but I'm putting that one on the O-line. Otherwise, his play passed the eyeball test for me, and I love the idea of wildcat and even (*gasp) triple option packages for Stuart. Nobody would know how to prepare for Boise State!

I think both quarterbacks should be given some playing time in the first half of the Virginia game, and see the true starter emerge from trial-by-Cavaliers. There's really no reason to say we can only play one QB exclusively, at least until we know who's better at moving the football.


Question: If Rypien's the throwing quarterback and Stuart's the running quarterback, is Ogle the blocking quarterback? ("Ogle's in, you know someone's gonna get blocked!")

Your Turn

Though we may have been brief, we were succinct. Take this as you will, mull it over, and discuss in the comments below. What do YOU think dear Nuggies? Does Rypien take the reins? Does Stuart sling the rock? Does Ogle come out of nowhere? Or does Drew renew his eligibility and lead the boys in Blue?