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So Why Is Butch Davis Thinking About Using Two QBs?

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Not saying it will fail before it is actually tried just wondering.

Let me state upfront.  I have zero love for a two QB system.  The Coach Who Shall Not Be Named's use of the QB-by-committee during the great debacle of 2006 turned me off to the use of two QBs in a game.  In my mind you need one voice in that huddle and the offense is acclimated to that one individual.  In my opinion when you change up QBs during the game, you give the rest of the players in the offensive unit something else to think about.  It just seems to invite instablilty.

Butch Davis stated yesterday that it did not matter who started since he would probably end up using both QBs during the game.  My question is why?  Davis himself has said the offense is the same whether it is Mike Paulus or Cam Sexton in the game.  And while Sexton is more mobile and Paulus a better passer, these differences are not striking enough to alter the course John Shoop will set during the game. That being said, I imagine there are certain plays that would work better with one QB versus the other, if these two are seen as being very close in skill and talent.

In fact the only major difference between the two is in terms of experience.  Sexton has several starts under his belt albeit in 2006 under a different coach running a different offense.  Paulus has a quarter plus against Virginia Tech in which he did not play particularly well.  Sexton is probably considered the more stable option in terms of decisionmaking and not being so burdened by the pressures that go with starting and playing on the big stage for the first time.  Paulus is likely seen as a little raw and maybe needs to be broken in slowly instead of thrown directly into the fire in a road game against Miami.

Butch Davis has a penchant, since coming to UNC, for being fairly non-commital on his depth chart at various positions.  The first depth chart of the season included the word "or" at multiple positions and where the QB is concerned, Davis initially spoke of the three players as though there is very little difference between them.  Obviously that is not the case now with TJ Yates since he was named the starter and it was never questioned much to the chargin of Paulus who said so to the media.  In this case Davis has fallen back to the position he took in 2007 where he stated the QBs were all very close, all have different strengths and he was looking for the one that would limit mistakes.

The only reason I can think of for Davis to want to work both QBs in this game is they have both acquitted themselves on an equal level in practice and he wants to see how both will respond during a game situation.  Defintely a risky move and one that seems to indicate Davis is not entirely confident in one player over the other.  It is almost like Davis is looking for the proverbial "hot hand" or for one QB to seperate himself by making plays.  That kind of thinking leads to other questions like:

How long do you leave QB X in?

What if QB Y comes in for QB X, leads a drive for a TD, then throws two INTs?

Do both QBs walk on eggshells out of fear they will be yanked for screwing up?

The list of questions could go on based on any number of scenarios.  The point is I am not sure how you manage two QBs who largely run the offense the same way.  Perhaps Davis and Shoop have this figured out in a way that will permit them to ultimately settle on the best player for the job.  However this plays out, Davis is taking a huge risk in a game that UNC is really not expected to win without Yates.  And that might be the real impetus behind this decision: Davis using this game to plan for the big picture with is the final eight games of the season.  No one can say for sure Yates will be back in November and settling this question could have major effects all season.  Obviously they will be looking to win on Saturday but I also wonder if the decision to work both QBs in the game is more about what happens after they leave Florida than it does the game at hand.