Willy, Maynard, Davis, Anderson, Zordich, ... Licata? Or will it be Daniel, or, Michael, or Zordich?
This season gave coach Quinn an unplanned chance to vet Buffalo's two leading candidates to run the office last season.
Alex Zordich won the job during the spring and summer and began the season with two solid games and for a time it looked like UB's quarterback picture would be clear for the next couple of seasons. Then came the Kent Game...
|Alex Zordich ||Passing||Rushing||Sacks|
|2012 - Alex Zordich||8||50.0||106||208||51||1254||156.8||6||9||7||100||501||62.6||5||1||-||-|
Against Kent Zordich had about the worst game possible. He was unable to run well and threw just four completions in 22 tries, one of them a Hail Mary which was more about Alex Neutz out working Kent than it was about Zordich throwing a good pass. In point of fact the passes was a few yards short of the end zone.
On the season Zordich completed bit better than 50% of his passes but there was never really a game where his arm was a factor. He did his damage with his legs. Zordich carried the ball a hundred times gained 5 yards per carry, it was an offense design for the Legs of Alex Zordich.
So when Zorich was knocked out for the season against Toledo there were questions of how Joe Licata, a prototypical pocket passer would perform in Quinn's offense
|2012 - Joe Licata||9||50.0||86||163||52.8||1045||116.1||6.4||7||3||28||-70||-7.8||-2.5||0||-||-|
Licata had the benefit of facing three of the four worst defenses UB would see all season. Western Michigan, UMass, and Miami were ripe to be picked apart by a Quarterback who knew how to pass and Licata was just what UB needed.
Licata first outing started very shaky
99 for 99: Instant Classic - Week 9 - The Joe Licata Era Begins - Bull Run
Joe Licata was given the ball for his first start and it wasn't pretty. Joe started 3-8, all 3 completions to Branden Oliver, gaining only 10 yards and he tossed 1 interception. Fortunately, Buffalo has become accustomed to playing in low scoring scrums and the teams went into the half tied at 3. No one expected the second half to be a shootout.
He did play a solid game in the second half but his first career win was solidified when UB's third string Quarterback, Tony Daniel, took a botched snap and made an amazing pass to Alex Dennison to keep a UB drive alive.
The next two games gave a glimpse of what Licata can do. The Freshman passed for better than 60%, thre three touchdowns against just one interception and racked up more than 500 yards passing as he extended UB's win streak to three games.
Against Bowling Green, one of the best defenses UB faced all season, Licata came back to earth having a very pedestrian showing. He did, however avoid any awful mistakes that would have costs Buffalo the game.
These two might see some competition from Sophomore Tony Daniel or Freshman Collin Micheal.
Daniel used the spring practices and scrimmages to boost his stock higher than Jerry Davis, who started for the Bulls back in 2010. Daniel arguably had the best spring game of any UB quarterback but he did not have a chance to compete against the teams first defensive unit.
Daniel ended up on special teams as a holder and in that role was twice called on to throw the ball.
The best example, as mentioned above, was scavenging what could have been a disastrous botched snap and turning into a drive saving first down by staying cool and finding Alex Dennison.
Michael was a highly sought after recruit before he suffered the kind of knee injury that can end a career. Collin fought back in time for his senior season. He had not yet recovered his mobility and his stats suffered for it.
Last season was a learning year for Michael but he is six foot five, 225 pounds, and posses maybe the strongest arm on the team. In a year with three young quarterbacks Micheal may be a dark horse to move his name up the depth chart.