WSU Spring Football 2013: Battle for QB No. 1


Nov 5, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday (12) warms up before the game against the California Golden Bears at AT

Spring practice starts Thursday and while there will be plenty of position battles to discuss; the one that I’ll be following the most will be for QB1. I’ll be honest; I was a fan of Connor Halliday’s potential going into the 2012 season. After his performance against Arizona State it was hard not to be a fan. But, those “freshman issues” we saw late in the 2011 season; lack of accuracy, hesitation in the pocket, tendency to force the ball and too much faith in his arm were not resolved in 2012. They became bigger issues for him and I found myself pulling away from the Halliday camp.

Lack of reps during last year’s Spring practice due to injury may have contributed to this slow maturation. This may have also played a roll early in the year.  However, he showed no signs of improving late in the season. Mike Leach’s offense is easy to implement but not so easy to perfect. This leads to Leach having a tendency to turn over the reins of his offense to upperclassman.  With a whole offseason and Spring running the Air Raid, will Halliday show enough improvement to win the starting job?

The great unknown is always a fan’s favorite player. This year that role goes to Austin Apodaca. Apodaca ran the scout team in 2012 and has received praise for his accuracy and ability to run the offense. However, being a scout team standout versus running the number one’s will provide a whole new level of stress and difficulty for Apodaca. Without seeing more reps from Austin, it is hard to truly gauge where he is at heading into spring practice.

I tend to side with the unknown when I have lost faith in the known. Though, it will probably be Connor Halliday’s job to lose, if Apodaca can show that he is the better quarterback this Spring; what is the downside of going with the unknown in 2013?