BYU Will Face Two-Quarterback System Against Arizona

Aug 24, 2021, 4:14 PM
Arizona Wildcats - Will Plummer...
TUCSON, ARIZONA - APRIL 24: Quarterback Will Plummer #15 of the Arizona Wildcats (Team Blue) in action during the Arizona Spring game at Arizona Stadium on April 24, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – While BYU football puts the final touches on their quarterback decision, the Cougars’ season-opening opponent, Arizona, revealed their QB plans on Tuesday.

Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch announced the Wildcats would go with a two-quarterback system against BYU.

“Obviously, we’ll start with the quarterback position on the depth chart. What we’re going to do is play both Gunner Cruz and Will Plummer. And we expect both of them to get reps, both of them to play in the game [against BYU], both of them be prepared to lead drives,” Fisch said. “We’re gonna go with the approach right now, ‘two is better than one.’ That is going to be our mentality until further notice there.”

Like BYU, Arizona had three players vying to be the starting quarterback. Gunner Cruz, a transfer from Washington State, will be the first quarterback BYU’s defense faces out on the Allegiant Stadium field.

BYU Football once opened a season with two QBs

Could the Wildcats be taking a page from BYU’s old playbook in 2010? BYU opened up against Washington at home in that season and played both Riley Nelson and heralded freshman Jake Heaps. The two alternated drives, and BYU came away with a 23-17 win.

“Gunner will be out there first, and then we’ll take it from there,” said Fisch. “We’ll decide either by drive, probably. But that’s not to say we can’t make a substitute within the drive. And not to say it’s going to be alternating drives. But, right now, we don’t believe that there is one that I could tell is not going to play.”

Will Plummer is one of the returning quarterbacks from Arizona’s QB room a season ago. Last year, the Wildcats finished 0-5 in an abbreviated season and capped off the regular season with a 70-7 loss to rival Arizona State.

Arizona looking to end a long losing streak

Arizona hasn’t won a game since 2019, and as a program, is currently on a 12-game losing streak.

The odd man out in Arizona’s QB rotation is Jordan McCloud. McCloud transferred in from USF this past summer. He was the starter for the Bulls in their upset win over BYU in 2019. He’ll go into the Vegas Classic as Arizona’s third option.

BYU has won the last two meetings in the series. Both coming under the direction of BYU’s Kalani Sitake.

BYU and Arizona kick-off at 8:30 p.m. (MT) on September 4 in Vegas on ESPN and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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