There is reason to be optimistic about the future of Washington football with Chris Petersen taking over the program, but quarterback is not currently one of those reasons. Already having to deal with the departure of Keith Price to the NFL, Washington is also without Cyler Miles at the moment due to a suspension.
Miles, the suspected heir to Price under center, was suspended by Petersen in February for a violation of team rules. As spring practices open for the Huskies, that suspension is still in place. Wide receiver Damore’ea was also suspended, and Petersen is not going to comment on either until they return to the team, whenever that may be.
“There has been no talk of those guys,” Petersen said to the Associated Press. “They haven’t been here. We’ve moved on and we’re going. It’s not about those guys. It’s about the guys in the room. We’ll just let that play out and see how it goes.”
So, with no returning starter in spring camp and his likely successor serving an indefinite suspension, it would seem the spring will offer some opportunities for younger and less experienced quarterbacks to get some playing time and perhaps open some eyes for Petersen and the new coaching staff at Washington. Jeff Lindquist, a redshirt sophomore, and Troy Williams, a redshirt freshman, are the only two quarterbacks currently on the roster eligible for spring practice. Neither recorded any stats for the Huskies last season.
Often times when a new head coach and coaching staff come in to a program, every player gets a clean slate. Miles, Lindquist and Williams were each a four-star recruit out of high school, so from a potential standpoint they all appear to be on some level playing ground. Miles saw some playing time in 2013, but that should not be considered too much of an advantage over the other two options this spring as far as Petersen is concerned. It might be interesting to note that of the three quarterbacks, only Lindquist attracted any attention from Petersen as head coach at Boise State, although an offer never was extended by the Broncos.
Regardless of the future status of Miles at Washington, the starting quarterback job should very much be up for grabs starting today.
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.
“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”
That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.
In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.
This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.
It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.
The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.