Coach Matt Rhule confirmed during Monday’s press conference that Baylor will continue to alternate two quarterbacks against UTSA. Fans were able to watch both Brewer and McClendon Saturday night, in a game where senior transfer, McClendon, seemingly outplayed Brewer, the returning Big 12 co-offensive player of the year. McClendon looked sharp from the get go. His accuracy and decision making were excellent, and he seemed in command of the offense the whole game. Despite the fantastic debut from Jalan McClendon, Coach Rhule has held off naming him the full-time starter.
Most Baylor fans would likely agree that the ideal goal would be to have a well-established starter by the time conference arrives and possibly sooner for the Baylor-Duke matchup. Since Baylor was largely in control of the game against ACU most of the night, there is still plenty of aspects to evaluate with both quarterbacks. For instance, McClendon was unable to showcase his mobility while Brewer had a nice scamper on the home sideline on an option play. Additionally, McClendon had the benefit of throwing from a clean pocket most of the night and mostly remained untested at making difficult throws with pressure in his face. Maybe most importantly, we have not been able to see how McClendon plays when he is facing adversity. Both of these types of pressure, Brewer was able to showcase to Coach Rhule last year. It is this writer’s opinion that since Charlie Brewer showed strength in these areas last year that Coach Rhule wants to defer a starting quarterback decision to a more challenging Baylor matchup.
By contrast, if Jalan McClendon was named the outright starter based on his impressive start and played well against UTSA, fans would all applaud the choice. However, if he did not play well then Baylor would be back to square one on the QB, with a looming game against a formidable Duke team. Hence, it bodes well for the coaching staff and the team’s confidence that they feel comfortable playing both quarterbacks against UTSA. The message sent is that they believe both quarterbacks should be able to rotate throughout the game with no adverse effect on the outcome of the game. Conversely, if Baylor were playing OU this week, the coaches might be more inclined to stick to one QB to make sure they got into a rhythm.
Nonetheless, even though the season opener was against ACU, game situations still matter. I predict Rhule will reinforce that notion by letting McClendon play the first couple of series. One thing is assured after the coming Saturday night’s game, Baylor and Coach Rhule should know a lot more about their starting quarterback situation.