Quarterback Question: Who Should Start Against Alabama

Mike Leach Has a Decision to Make on Who Will Start at Quarterback Against #2Alabama

Mississippi State sits at 1-3, and Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense has not performed to his liking. The Bulldogs quarterbacks have thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. The abundance of turnovers has led to a less than stellar offensive output, most importantly, the lack of points. Mike Leach has a decision to make regarding his starting quarterback against #2 Alabama

During the bye week and while starting game preparations to face #2Alabama, Mike Leach has said that both Costello and Rogers are neck and neck in the battle. Other QB options include: Jalen Mayden has not played a snap, Garret Shrader has entered the transfer portal after losing the QB battle and not finding much playing time at the slot receiver, and Allen Walters has not been mentioned at all, so he is definitely not an option. So who will start against #2 Alabama?

 

KJ Costello

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – SEPTEMBER 26: K.J. Costello #3 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs in looks to pass during a NCAA football game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on September 26, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

KJ Costello came to Mississippi State with dreams of reviving his career after losing the starting job at Stanford due to injury. Costello is the prototypical pro-style quarterback. Leach personally recruited Costello to Mississippi State after he was named Head Coach. Bulldogs fans were rewarded with a record-breaking performance against LSU.

The last three games have been forgettable as Costello has thrown eight interceptions to just one touchdown. Costello has the arm talent, but he has been impatient, often trying to go for the big play rather than what the defense is giving him. Another criticism on Costello has been his inability or effort to run and secure drive continuing first downs.

While Costello brings a wealth of experience, he is just a one-year rental, and so far, it looks like we have a QB lemon on our hands. All the fault does not lie with Costello as the offensive line has not given him time to throw the ball. When he has had the time, he throws a catchable ball, evidenced by his completing 69% of his passes. We just need him to stop throwing to the players, not in Maroon and White!

 

Will Rogers

LEXINGTON, KY – OCTOBER 10: Will Rogers #2 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs throws a pass against the Kentucky Wildcats in the fourth quarter at Kroger Field on October 10, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 24-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Mike Leach recruited Rogers when he was the Head Coach at Washington St. Sometimes I wonder did his successful relationship with another former Brandon High School QB, Gardner Minshew, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, cement this commitment to Leach. Rogers’s name has been mentioned since he arrived on campus as he rose up the depth chart.

He beat out former QB Keytaon Thompson, now with Virginia, Garret Shrader, and Jalen Mayden to earn the number two spot on the quarterback depth chart. There was no doubt that Rogers would play some this year. I expected him to play the four games to preserve his redshirt.

With Costello struggling, I do not see any way Rogers will be able to redshirt, especially with how the above-mentioned transfers have impacted the quarterback room. In limited game action, Rogers has thrown for 163 yards,1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions while completing 72%of his passes.

 

The Nod Goes To…

So who trots out to lead the Air Raid against the Crimson Tide?

Inquiring minds and MAROON clad fans everywhere want to know.

I think I’ll Let you Decide!

 

Just Kidding…

If I could take control of the starting quarterback decision, I would start Will Rogers. He is your quarterback of the future and getting him as much experience as possible is crucial to the future of your program and the development of the Air Raid Offense at Mississippi State. If he is indeed neck and neck this is a no-brainer here. If a true freshman is that close in execution with a battle-tested senior, I am rolling with the freshman.

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