Football Preview Series Looks At Quarterback Depth, Competition
Twelve months ago, the sample size for the current group of Princeton quarterbacks was limited to a game at Dartmouth and a few scattered passes in the middle of a 1-9 season.
How things have changed.
Juniors Connor Michelsen and Quinn Epperly shared the field for nine games last season, while injuries to both gave sophomore Kedric Bostic an opportunity to see quality time in the season finale against Dartmouth. Head coach Bob Surace goes into the offseason feeling more confident in what this group has already accomplished, but still excited to see how the competition will play out.
Can one of the group, which includes highly touted freshman Chad Kanoff, break away and become the full-time guy, or will Princeton use two (or three? or four?) quarterbacks at different points throughout the season (or game? or drive?)?
Yes, pretty much anything is in play here.
In the third part of Princeton's seven-part video preview series on the 2013 football season, the panel looks at the Tiger quarterback play in a league that has featured excellent play in the passing game from several of its most recent championship teams.
Clearly, we know more about Epperly and Michelsen than we do the other two. Michelsen ended last season ranked fourth in the Ivy League in total offense (196.9 y/gm) and fifth in passing yards (181.6 y/gm). After not throwing a single touchdown pass in his first 23 quarters of the season, he led Princeton on its wild 39-34 comeback win over Harvard with three fourth-quarter scoring passes.
He was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, though he was even better the next week in Ithaca. Michelsen completed 29 of 35 passes for 390 yards and a touchdown in a shootout loss, and he followed with two touchdowns the following week against Penn.
An early injury against Yale ended his season, but Epperly was plenty up for the challenge. He led Princeton to the final 29 points of the game, and it was his 34-yard pass to Roman Wilson that completed the rally over Harvard. Epperly didn't have the same passing numbers as Michelsen, but he was a huge red zone threat because of his run/pass potential. He accounted for at least one touchdown (either throwing or passing) in seven of the last eight games, despite the fact that he only started the finale.
Bostic put up solid numbers against Dartmouth (5 for 8, 56 yards, one rushing touchdown), and has the benefit of a full spring working in the offense.
You can watch the preview series video, which includes PrincetonTigersFootball.com writer Jay Greenberg and Princeton radio commentator Dan Loney, by clicking on the play link on the image above. If you are receiving this as an email newsletter, please note that you will need to access this on GoPrincetonTigers.com to view the video.