Is a Two Quarterback System the Best Route for Arizona State?

By Randy Holt
Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

It’s not entirely uncommon in college football, but it’s also a situation that most teams, at any level, hope to avoid. It’s the two quarterback system.

We’ve seen how successful the two-QB system can be in the right situation. The Florida Gators won a national championship rolling with two quarterbacks. Through three games this season, the Arizona State Sun Devils have been running with a pair of young quarterbacks, but is that the best route for this team?

So far, Taylor Kelly and Michael Eubank have shown some very positive flashes. Kelly performed admirably against the Mizzou Tigers despite the loss, making plays both with his arm and his feet. Eubank threw the ball just four times, coming in more to run the ball, which wasn’t entirely effective against an SEC defense.

On paper, the two quarterback system may look like a good idea. You have your pocket passer complemented by the mobile quarterback to throw the defense off its game. But that only works to a certain point. As we saw against Mizzou, the defense basically knew what was coming when Eubank came into the game.

Kelly is the unquestioned starter of this team. He’s already thrown for almost 700 yards while maintaining a completion percentage over 72 percent through three games. He’s also added 128 yards rushing to the mix on the season. He has the potential to be a very effective quarterback, in more ways than one, for this team.

With two young quarterbacks, a redshirt sophomore in Kelly and a true freshman in Eubank, perhaps this system makes a bit more sense. That way, you can keep the pressure off of the starter (Kelly) by spelling him a bit with the change-of-pace quarterback (Eubank).

In general, I’m not a huge fan of the two quarterback system. When it works, that’s great. But it can mess with a starter’s confidence and throw the offense out of wack. However, with this Sun Devil team, continuing to run with both Kelly and Eubank in the offense isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Kelly is in his first year as a starter, and was pretty much thrown into the fire with a new coach and having lost a couple of playmakers on offense. With this Sun Devil squad, which isn’t the strongest on paper, you have to get your playmakers on the field, and Eubank certainly is that. His skill set also helps the running game, which has gotten off to an extremely slow start.

At some point, Kelly may be ready to carry this offense on his own. But for now, keeping both Kelly and Eubank in the lineup is probably the best course of action for Todd Graham and the Arizona State Sun Devils.

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