You love the backup quarterback, we know.
He’s always better than the starting quarterback, right? The first-string arm doesn’t win enough games or score enough points or shuffle his feet right or avoid physical peril. He takes too many sacks because he doesn’t scamper downfield soon enough, except when he leaves plays in the pocket because he scampers away too soon.
There, you said it, Mr. Radio Call-In Guy. Feel better now?
Good. Now get over yourself. Chason Virgil is the best quarterback Fresno State has going, so remember that before you boo him Saturday after his next three-and-out against Tulsa or scream at Bulldogs coach Tim DeRuyter for playing the kid from Texas in the first place.
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Virgil is the quarterback of today – and he has to be if Fresno State is ever going to have a quarterback tomorrow. What was your contingency plan, anyway, keep changing quarterbacks until Papa Carr’s grandsons come of age?
Do you really think DeRuyter would leave the better quarterback on the bench? For all we know, DeRuyter is one lopsided loss to Tulsa away from being fired; he might not have a tomorrow to nurture.
Virgil isn’t his long-term project with an eye on the 2018 New Mexico Bowl. Virgil is his best chance of staying gainfully employed through the Christmas season. Of course, he’s playing his best player; the tyranny of winning now insists on it.
Sure, Virgil is going to miss throws and take hits and throw the ball to the wrong team every once in a drive. You better believe the Bulldogs are going to lose more games than they’re going to win with a redshirt freshman captaining the ship.
You’re going to have to give Virgil some time. He ain’t no fifth-year Billy Volek, and there ain’t no 19-year-old David Carr sitting second on the depth chart. (And if you’re a disapproving English teacher, get over yourself, too.)
You’ve got to go through the growing pains with a young quarterback or he’s never going to develop.
Bulldogs coach Tim DeRuyter
“He’s got to cut his teeth,” DeRuyter said. “He’s got a lot of talent, but he doesn’t have a lot of experience. You’ve got to go through the growing pains with a young quarterback, or he’s never going to develop.
“He’s certainly the best guy and the guy to lead our team. That’s why we believe in him.”
So he misses on some deep shots. Ever occur to you that those receivers may be running a half-step off their route?
Yeah, he’s been sacked 11 times in three games. Notice that most of those came from simple four-man rushes, where five offensive linemen with a power-play advantage still can’t hold the fort?
If Virgil takes off from the pocket when he should be making plays from the pocket, it isn’t because he wants to be the running back of the week. Virgil runs because the only other option leads to concussion protocols.
He takes a collapsing pocket and turns it into a makeshift first-down scramble. He suffers one three-and-out after the next, then keeps his chin strap up and tries, tries again.
Have you seen him chuck his helmet on the sideline? Have you caught up on the police blotter after another loss?
Chason Virgil is going to get better, which means things won’t always stay worse. These Bulldogs were never going to a bowl game this season anyway, and if you thought otherwise, hat’s off to your designated driver.
Of course not. He’s going to get better, which means things won’t always stay worse. These Bulldogs were never going to a bowl game this season anyway, and if you thought otherwise, hat’s off to your designated driver.
This season is about letting Virgil learn his lessons the hard way, so that next year’s Bulldogs will have a fighting chance. If DeRuyter isn’t around to see better days, the next head coach can send him a thank-you note for making his job easier.
TULSA AT FRESNO STATE
- Saturday: 1:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium (41,031)
- Records: Golden Hurricane 2-1, Bulldogs 1-2
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themwc.com)/KFIG (AM 940), KGST (AM 1600)
- Series: In the first six games of the series, Fresno State has outscored Tulsa by an average of 18.5 points in four wins, while the Golden Hurricane has a four-point margin of victory in two wins.