Three years after his first QB controversy, when he took down the self-described Tom Brady of Duke, Thad Lewis finds himself with a new challenger, Sean Renfree. After the game, Cut would not comment further about his QB plans, though he did refer to Renfree as the backup. According to the Herald-Sun, Cut had wanted to give Renfree some snaps last week, but it didn't work out, so he was extra-determined to make it work this time. He said he would have brought Thad back in, but didn't want to mess up "a hot hand." He implied that he wouldn't have put Renfree in had they been backed up on the field, but by the 4th quarter that sentiment had clearly changed, as Renfree took the field with the ball on the Duke 10during the (I think) second-to-last possession.
So where do we stand now? That Richmond loss really crushed my spirit, because in these situations I always support the experienced starter, but yesterday right after the game I was ready to dump Thad and was busy thinking up new nicknames. The Dude talked me back into Thad's experience, and I can't argue with what he's saying. I guess you also have to decide how much success you can have this year. If you think this is still a bowl season, do you want a freshman making his first start on the road against a ranked team? Probably not. But if you're looking to the future, Renfree was a huge get for the program, is almost certainly the future starter for several years, so you might want him to start learning on the job.
I have never, ever supported any coach who wants to play two quarterbacks, but I'm starting to think that's the way to go. Get both guys out there, see who's looking good, and go from there. Of course, I've only listened to Renfree play for two quarters, so what do I know? Clearly I'm just giddy over a big win.
Oh, and according to Renfree, Thad was doing his best Drew Bledsoe, supporting and cheering his potential replacement all afternoon. "He says he's a cheerleader, but he's a leader," Renfree said. "You'd expect any other quarterback to just kind of hang his head, but Thad was the opposite.... He was coming over to me all the time, saying, 'Hey, you're doing great. Keep doing what you're doing. I'm here for you.' "