August 30, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes quarterback Jordan Wynn (3) prepares to hand off the ball during the second half against the Northern Colorado Bears at Rice-Eccles Stadium Utah defeated Northern Colorado 41-0. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Editors Note: This is Part I of this weeks installment of Thursday’s With Raider. Later today he and I will have Pac-12 game previews. Today Raider Ute discusses the QB curse. Two years ago I wrote this piece on how Utah Basketball was cursed. Raider and I fear now it has crossed over to the football QB situation.
This week’s entry contains a little bit of procrastination. Perhaps that isn’t the correct term, because I wanted to wait until the whole Travis Wilson situation played itself out. Your readers deserve the freshest ingredients in their blog content, thus my reason for sending this when I did.
Sunday afternoon, I was asked by a few people on these glorious series of tubes if I had been swept up in Matt McGloin Mania yet. Frankly, I still haven’t recovered from Bruce Gradkwoski Mania or Aaron Brooks Mania or Andrew Walter Mania or Jamarcus Russell Mania or Marques Tuiasosopo Mania or the fanfare of the next great Raider QB I’m supposed to genuflect. Maybe sitting around waiting for the Silver and Black to make the playoffs or win more than 8 frickin’ games in a season has left me feeling jaded? Still, I don’t think you can blame me for thinking that beating a Texans team that is unraveling for all the Lone Star State to see isn’t the very definition of a “small sample size”. Rick Mirer started and won a game at QB for us once, so consequently my love is not quite so easily won.
But it did get me to thinking a tad about the recent woes people have made note of with the Utes since Brian Johnson. Ute fans–as well as Raider fans–have seen just about everything the quarterback position has to offer. We have seen some surprising heroics, like the 2005 BYU game where Brett Ratliff shook Happy Valley with an EPIC WIN I still laugh about to this very day. Or the 2006 season opener against UCLA where Kyle throws in Tommy Grady for a play and then promptly throws a pick six. There was Corbin Louks, who would have been great if my dream of running a triple option like Nebraska used to run in Tom Osborne’s heyday had gone down but alas, it was not meant to be. Jordan Wynn played with only one shoulder after the Iowa State game in 2010. Jon Hays had, shall we say, some limitations and Travis Wilson was as the kids say “born that way”. (More on Travis in the game previews).
All of this desperate searching of a quality signal caller over the past five seasons (and a few of the aforementioned were sprinkled in from Johnson’s redshirt/”recovering from getting Lobo’d” year in 2006) might make a person wonder if we are indeed cursed at this position. Not finding a quality quarterback has doomed many a college coach (see: Jeff Tedford). Could it be possible that the fan base, Kyle, the entire coaching staff, even cranky denizens of Twitter like ourselves just don’t realize how good we have it?
Unless we find out that someone on the roster is related to Robert Rice, and that his relation to him is legitimate, Adam Schulz is probably going to start this weekend up in the Palouse. I really think that the coaches unsuccessfully trying to hoodwink Oregon into thinking that Wilson had a concussion may end up being a blessing in disguise. Look at the embarrassment of riches that lie at this position!
–You all forgot about how utterly dominant Schulz was in the spring game. (My wife remembers because attending the spring game was one of our dates while we were engaged. This is why I married her.) He threw for almost 250 yards and everything! Why, if it weren’t for Schulz, we would have lost to Weber State this year. Start getting the Heisman campaign ready, athletic department! How could we have been so myopic? Ronnie Milsap could have seen this coming.
(Sidebar: I may be the only person who laughs at the following lyrics in Milsap’s song “Stranger In My House”. “There’s a stranger in my house…somebody here that I can’t see”.
–Conner Manning may be in the midst of his redshirt year, but as Alex Smith has shown us, redshirt years are for beta-male girly men. I’m not sure if you knew this, but Manning once broke a record that was once held by Matt Barkley, one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of USC football. I’m also not sure if you knew this, but I also caught my limit of rainbow trout once while fishing near the dam at Alcova Reservior. They said it couldn’t be done, but I caught all of the rainbow trout the Wyoming Game and Fish Department would allow me to take home with me. We ate like the Sultan of Brunei for the entire weekend.
–I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Brandon Cox, who we haven’t heard much of this year because he left for six months to go backpack in Europe to go “find himself” or follow Man City or Everton or some other EPL team for the season.
–Yeah, I made that last one up, how’d you guess?
The evidence is so overwhelming I just feel foolish for not having seen it two months ago. No wonder we have such a curse at quarterback! Kyle picked the wrong quarterback this whole time! You watch, Chris Hill will be sitting down with Kyle in a few weeks after a 4-8 or 5-7 year and say “dude, how could have started Wilson from the get go when we had the next Johnny Unitas right under your nose! If only you had read the Deseret News I wouldn’t have to look for someone else to teach and guide young Mr. Schulz to the promised land!”