If anyone looks over the Hornets roster youâ€™ll notice one thingâ€¦ that only one Quarterback who played a down returns from 2006. What does this mean? It means gone is Marcel Marquezâ€™s 52.6% completion percentage, 1,910 yards passing, and 10 passing TDs. Not to mention his two rushing TDs. In his place are: freshman, redshirt freshman, and a fifth-year senior. The fifth-year senior is Crosby Wehr. Wehr threw nine passes in 2006, and eleven passes in 2005, and hasnâ€™t shown any chance of taking himself off the bench except for a spring game where he lead the offense on a strong drive down the field. Wehr has been rumored to move to Tight End and Wide Receiver, but would any sane coach leave himself without a QB whoâ€™s taken a single snap from the year before because he moved two QBâ€™s to Tight End?
The main redshirt freshman is Jason Smith. Smith is a California native who stands in the pocket at 6â€™1 and 190lbs. Smith is from Liberty High School in Brentwood where he threw for 4,443 yards and 39 touchdowns over his three-year career as a starter. Jason set a school record with 1,875 yards in 2005 and holds seven other records at Liberty as well. While he missed 2006 with a broken non-throwing hand he suffered in a baseball injury, heâ€™s expected to not only play a lot in 2007, but start going into fall camp.
With Coach Sperbeck having cleaned out the roster of the troublemakers, and having moved players around to where he expects them to play, expect a multiple QB system in place while he gets a feel for the Quarterback position at Sacramento State, and gets a feel for the Big Sky Conference as well. Coach Sperbeck might wind up having something in common with Coach Spurrier, and thatâ€™s the multiple QB system.
Coach Spurrier put this into place when he was at University of Florida on multiple occasions. The most notable time is when he didnâ€™t, and thatâ€™s in 1995-1996 when Danny Wuerffel took over as the Gators QB and led them to two national championship appearances, including one title win in â€™96. Wuerffel finished â€™96 with over 3,000 passing yards and 39 TDs to only 13 INTs. In â€™95 he finished with over 3,200 yards and 35 TDs. The Gators only lost two games between 1995 and 1996. In 1993 Wuerffel came in as a freshman and led the team in passing with 2200 yards and 1700 yards as a sophomore in â€™94, but split time at QB with Terry Dean.
While ultimate success is proven by national titles, the Gators did finish 1993 with an 11-2 record, and 1994 with a 10-2-1 record. The Gators finished 0-2-1 against FSU from 93-94 and 2-1 against FSU from 95-96. So while ultimate success came with a one QB system, the Gators and Spurrier did prove you could win games and SEC titles with a two QB system. The Gators and Spurrierâ€™s definitive test of the two QB system came in the 1997 game against FSU. That game was infamous for alternating QBâ€™s on every play in the first quarter. Those QBâ€™s were Doug Johnson and Noah Brindise, neither led the team to a national title appearance, but the Gators did win the game.
So the question isâ€¦ can Sacramento State win more games than they lose with a two QB system? I believe so. Mixing the maturity of a Crosby Wehr with the potential of Jason Smith will give Smith the experience he needs, and give the Hornets offense the experienced leader they need in Wehr. With other freshman on campus, any mixture of a multiple QB system can exist, and with Wehrâ€™s athleticism (rumored moves to TE and WR suggest this, whether itâ€™s an accurate depiction or not) means having both on the field could be an option to maximize the Hornets strengths. Sacramento State may not win a national title with a two QB system, but they werenâ€™t even a .500 team in 2006, so a national title is out of reach anyway. Sacramento State is looking for a way to finish over .500, make the playoffs, and get Jason Smith experience for 2008, and a multiple QB system is the only way to achieve this.