ASU football plans to name starting QB ‘at least a week’ before season opener

Jul 22, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: 6:10 pm

Arizona State head football coach Kenny Dillingham doesn’t want to have to name a starting quarterback for the upcoming season.

His hope is for the right candidate between incumbent Trenton Bourguet, Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne and freshman Jaden Rashada to separate himself and make the choice unmistakable.

“I think that’s the thing about quarterback, everybody should know he’s the quarterback,” Dillingham said. “Shouldn’t have to be me stating this is our quarterback. You would hope that one person is clearly the guy. When that person steps up, we’ll name the starter.”

Dillingham said no matter what, the team will have a starting quarterback at least one week before its Aug. 31 opener against Southern Utah, even if the battle remains tight.

“Our team needs to know who their captain is,” Dillingham said. “The sooner we can tell them who that is, the better.”

The first-year head coach, who spent 2022 as Oregon’s offensive coordinator working with Bo Nix, explained he is looking for the QB who will best take what the defense gives him.

In his words, if a defense gives him slot hitches all day, take them. If he sees something at the line and wants to change the play called, do it.

That starts in the film room, as the head coach said all three contenders feel they have a new outlook on the game.

“I started coaching at 17 for a reason, I can’t throw,” Dillingham said. “I want to see a guy take control of the game, play with confidence but understand Patrick Mahomes’ average touchdown pass last year was less than 4.5 yards thrown for a reason. It’s because smart wins, so be smart.”

Dillingham pointed out the strengths of each quarterback on his roster, praising Rashada’s arm strength and ability to make any throw, Pyne’s quick release and Bourguet’s understanding of the game as a whole.

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