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Quarterback to Back: South Alabama Has Actual Questions at QB Position

Who should OSU even game plan for in USA’s quarterback room?



We are one week into the season, and with the Cowboys set to make their debut against actual FBS opponents, let’s kick off our Quarterback to Back series. We will be previewing each week’s matchup with a comparison of the incoming rival QBs, both statistically and by what they bring to each offense.

What can we really grasp onto for either team just one week into the season? Not a ton. Now’s the part where I tell you that we’re comparing three quarterbacks from one team. And no, two of them aren’t named Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders.

During South Alabama’s season opener, a 30-26 home loss to Louisiana Tech, the Jaguars played three different quarterbacks — and all three might see action again in Boone Pickens Stadium this Saturday.

Att Comp Pct. Yds Yds/Att TDs INTs Rating QBR
Cornelius 35 25 71.4 300 8.6 5 1 184.9 76.3
Garvin 16 7 43.8 47 2.9 1 2 64.1 9.7
Orth 6 4 66.7 44 7.3 0 0 128.3
Johnson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

First-year head coach Steve Campbell and former Troy offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield found themselves looking for a QB after last year’s starter Dallas Davis left the program in the spring.

The three candidates were returning junior Cole Garvin, who actually led the Jags in passing yards a year ago, redshirt freshman Cephus Johnson and senior Evan Orth who had one career pass attempt coming into 2018. Why include all three? Because we are unsure which will be taking snaps against the Cowboys on Saturday. As of Monday, the USA head coach wasn’t sure. Or at least he wasn’t putting it out there.

Campbell stated the one holding the reins of his offense will be, “(The guy who can) get the ball to the perimeter, get the ball to the receiver and execute the run will get the majority of snaps,” according to

Garvin got the nod in Week 1, but after a decent start, struggled, finishing 7-of-16 for a whopping 47 yards, a score and two picks. He currently ranks 124th in ESPN’s QBR out of 128 Week 1 qualifiers. The other two did not appear in enough plays to be included.

Steve Campbell scoffs at Mike Gundy’s “quarterback questions.”

“Cole did some good things, Campbell said of his QB situation. “As the game wore on – we didn’t get off to a fast start – but he did execute some things really well after we got going.

“Cephus, we probably, pulled the trigger on a little too quick. We should’ve given him more of an opportunity, but things were happening fast. We put ourselves in a position. I didn’t want to put him in a position with that much pressure on the line.” []

Evan Orth, the inexperienced senior, seemed to find a little bit of a rhythm going 4-of-6, but the trio of QBs combined for just 91 yards, a sub-50 percent completion rate and more INTs than TDs. Not ideal.

South Alabama may be a step up in competition from Missouri State, but it’s still a couple rungs below the talent level that should realistically challenge the Cowboys. If Vince Young was taking snaps for USA, they still probably wouldn’t stand a chance in Stillwater.

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