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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

State of the quarterbacks: just fine

Brad Butler runs through the defense. He and the rest of the team hope to finish the season strong. Photo courtesy of Mark Olencki.
Brad Butler runs through the defense. He and the rest of the team hope to finish the season strong. Photo courtesy of Mark Olencki.

By: Kyle Hofmann, Contributing Writer

With seven games gone, and now in the heart of conference play, the Terriers have yet to settle on one starting quarterback. There have been grumblings among fans that the coaching staff should have figured out who their guy is by now. Looking at the team’s use of the position historically, there is nothing new about how Wofford uses its quarterbacks this season.

In the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Wade Lang, Wofford’s offensive coordinatior, alternated between Jacob Lawson, Michael Weimer and Evan Jacks respectively as the quarterback. Last season, Weimer and Jacks took most of the snaps when Lawson graduated.

This season, redshirt sophomore Brandon Goodson got the nod as the team’s starter in the opener against Clemson instead of the more experienced Jacks. And in the second game against Tennessee Tech, redshirt sophomore Brad Butler got the start.

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The high variability in playing time and starts doesn’t worry the quarterbacks. Butler says Lang’s criterion for who starts a given week has to do with the game plan.

“He sees plays on film and says, ‘Okay. That’s the kind of play we need to run this week,’” says Butler of Coach Lang. “With that he figures which quarterback’s skill set is best suited to run those plays.”

Goodson considers the main factor in who starts is how they execute in practice and in the games. “We [the quarterbacks] are always going to be ready no matter who goes into the game,” says Goodson. “If we execute better, then everything else will fall into place.”

As of late, Wofford has struggled to execute in the run game, averaging 3.1 yards a carry, leading questions about the effectiveness of the triple option, running quarterbacks and possibly passing more out of the Wing-T formation. As to having only one quarterback play during a game, Jacks is not sold that it is the solution for this team’s execution.

“The quarterback position is always highlighted over other positions,” says Jacks. “In reality, we don’t think of it that way we just go out there and do our jobs. We may not know who the starter is until right before game time so we can’t help but cheer each other on every game.”

Playing quarterback in the triple option is much different than playing quarterback in a traditional pro or spread offense. Butler believes quarterbacks don’t really play quarterback in this system: “It feels like you’re a running back that can’t get out of the game,” says Butler.

Yet during practices, the quarterbacks mostly throw rather than go through running plays.

“Running is second nature to us and the coaches, so we practice throwing the ball all the time,” says Jacks, a redshirt junior. “It’s just the Wofford tradition that throwing the ball is foreign, which surprises fans when we do throw it.”

“If anyone would come to our practices you would think we run the spread system,” adds Goodson.

In any offense, the quarterback is seen as main leader on the team. Switching between quarterbacks during the season and the game may affect who all of the other players look to for leadership.

“It’s an issue,” says Jacks. “We don’t see the quarterback as the most important position on the field, but other guys on the team see it that way. But if you execute, guys will rally around you.”

Despite divided playing-time, the quarterbacks consider each other a loose, fun group.

“We’re all really good friends,” says Butler. “ We know exactly what reps each of us will be getting during the week, so there are no hard feelings between us.”

“You get in the game, you are trying to do whatever is best for the team,” says Goodson. “I’m not worried if I go in first second or third. If I’m in the game, coach is counting on me to do what it takes to win the game.”

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