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At least Chad doesn’t have Orgeron’s problems at QB

Chad Morris and Joe Craddock are still trying to figure out their quarterback issue … and it’s a good bet the opening-day starter might not be the one that starts against Missouri the day after Thanksgiving.



Chad Morris and Joe Craddock are still trying to figure out their quarterback issue … and it’s a good bet the opening-day starter might not be the one that starts against Missouri the day after Thanksgiving.

“Just because we get to a point and we do name [a quarterback] doesn’t mean it’s a lifetime contract,” Morris said Thursday after practice.

It’s a little bit of a different issue than Ed Orgeron has going on these days at LSU where two left the team this week, leaving two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.

Ed said this week he is concerned about the situation. At least that’s what I think he said in the clip I heard. There’s always a certain amount of caution quoting Ed because at times he sounds more like Farmer Fran in the movie The Waterboy than the head coach of an SEC team.

It’s just a straightforward competition in Fayetteville and nobody’s made noises about leaving, either.

“We talk about it all the time,” Morris said. “We talk about it every day. We want the same guy every day … whoever that guy’s going to be.”

Just from observations at the limited time we have at practice Ty Storey might be the frontrunner by a nose ahead of Cole Kelley and Daulton Hyatt. But don’t discount freshmen Connor Noland and John Stephen Jones.

A few years ago, nobody thought at this point Jalen Hurts was going to be the starting quarterback at Alabama and he wasn’t on opening night against Southern Cal.

But he did start the second half of that game and didn’t spit the bit until the first half of the national championship game this past January.

Morris isn’t afraid to start a freshman and shouldn’t be. Championship coaches seem to be doing pretty well these days with freshmen quarterbacks starting. As they have all said, they’ll take talent over experience every time.

As we’ve noted, there’s been good things from all of them. One day one will do something better than the others. Then, the next day it’s somebody else.

That’s really the problem for Morris.

“It’s all about being that same guy every day,” Morris said. “Up or down, it doesn’t matter, you’ve got to be able to control your emotions. You’ve got to be able to withstand adversity and keep pushing forward.”

At practice Thursday there were times when Kelley would misfire on a throw and you could hear him utter his disappointment all the way to the sidelines. At times last year his emotion was something that was cause for concern.

Now Morris is just trying to find somebody to take control, be consistent.


“There’s been some good things out of all of them,” he said. “I’ve been pleased with all of them. But they’ve all got to continue to keep pushing and keep getting better and keep moving that football down the field and doing the right things.”

It will be interesting to see how the freshmen do after having a couple of weeks to get settled into things because the fact both Noland and Jones are still in the conversation is because of their familiarity with the offense.

In passing drills, Noland and Jones have much shorter deliveries. Storey’s motion is much more compact than Kelley’s, which at times resembles a windmill on a rubber band trying to wind up. You can image safeties’ eyes getting big on each pass.

Saturday’s scrimmage will feature more passing than last week, Morris said. It will be just two weeks before the opener against Eastern Illinois and they’ve got to start finalizing some things.

The fans or media won’t get to see it. That may or may not be the norm for the future, but it is the reality now.

The offensive realities now are Morris is happy with the wide receivers (he said Thursday senior Jared Cornelius is really starting to emerge from a talented pack) and the running backs.

The offensive line, however, is a daily juggling competition and, well, we’ve just talked about the quarterback stuff going on.

As if the offensive line wasn’t already starting to resemble a MASH unit, offensive tackle Dalton Wagner was feeling a little sick the other day. They take him to get checked out and they had to do an appendectomy.

“You just kind of shake your head and go, ‘Well, OK, what’s next?’” Morris said about an offensive line that has been down around only eight players at times when they want to have 15 scholarship players there. “You can’t dwell on it. You don’t have time to dwell.”

He did say Thursday no more defensive linemen will be moved to the offensive side.

Which means there is a lot of playing time for the youngsters to get experience there.

And, to be perfectly honest, opening against Eastern Illinois, Colorado State and North Texas they should be okay even with the problems in the line.

The Hogs’ first real test will be against Auburn on September 22 in the fourth game.

Morris may have his quarterback issues sorted out by then.

Or maybe not.