At the beginning of the season, it was the kid from Los Angeles, Gabe Marks that was catching all the football not headed at Marquess Wilson. The Cougars have spread the ball around quite a bit since then but the second most important part of the offense is no longer Marks. Instead, it’s a little known kid from La Habra, Brett Bartolone that’s starting to take over as the ‘next best play maker’ that this team has.
Bartolone has caught 32 passes on the season for 268 yards and 3 tds, and in the last 3 games he has outshined Marks in a big way. Marks hasn’t scored in the past 3 games and has become virtually invisible after he caught 7 passes for 107 and a score against Colorado 4 weeks ago. It’s kind of the way Leach’s offense sets everyone up and some of it can be attributed to the Qb’s rotating in and out the past couple of weeks.
Halliday looked for Marks downfield a lot more than Tuel, which has got him in serious trouble as of late. Tuel on the other hand, is very adept to using his check-downs, where Bartolone resides with his crossing and sit-down routes against linebackers. Bartolone has made some terrific intermediate catches for touchdowns and is quickly gaining his confidence, along with the confidence of his quarterback, whichever one is in there. Either way, the kid from La Habra is beginning to make a name for himself when nobody else knew about him before he arrived on campus. Nobody that is, except Mike Leach and the Cougar coaching staff.