We all knew what the story line going in to last night's game was. After an easy opener we would finally be able to see who should be our starting quarterback between Grant Rohach and Tyree Jackson. Well we all saw what happened, as the Buffalo Bulls lost 22-16 against UAlbany. This loss was bad for many reasons but that is not what this article's about. For that check out Robby's article from earlier today.
This piece is all about why Coach Leipold now has no other choice but to start his freshman. Let's take a look at how each QB performed last night.
Maybe he just had a bad night, but this performance was inexcusable. Against a much weaker Albany team, Rohach went 3-9 with 2 interceptions. When Rohach took the ball there was zero confidence in anything he did. He repeatedly stared down his receivers which led to routes being easily jumped by the Albany secondary. While at times the offensive line provide no help for the fifth-year transfer, you need to be able to recognize and feel out pressure. I also felt no aspect of leadership while Rohach played most of the first half. When going down early to a weaker team there has to be some sort of leadership, especially from an older experienced player. That was what I had praised Rohach for this off season and why I thought he should have been the starter week one. Now after watching that performance, I'm all in on Tyree Jackson.
Coming in to yesterday's game fans loved two things about Jackson. His 6'7 frame is unmatched, and he's only a Redshirt Freshman, which means he is the QB of the future. Now Bulls fans have gotten to see him play more than a half of football. While this was in no ways a perfect performance by the young quarterback, it was a very promising one. When Jackson first came out on to the field you could feel the energy among the team and the fans switch. There was an excitement that had been lacking all game. In leading the Bulls to points in three out of his first four drives Jackson showed poise and athleticism when still facing constant pressure. He threw the ball with authority and put together a good enough performance for me to say he needs to start the rest of the season. Jackson can only be helped this season by getting playing time and will learn when to tuck the ball and when not to force passes. This performance was good, not great, but he can only improve by being out there on the field.
Anyone who watched the game knows that Tyree Jackson should be under center the rest of the season. While it's unlikely that this team will make a bowl, it's better to get your young quarterback on the field gaining experience. It's also a clear cut decision when you watch the game film. Jackson brought a more explosive pass game and athleticism under pressure. The fans are eager to keep watching this kid play and I think Leipold has to start thinking about what's best for the Buffalo Bulls football program.