As the Utah State Aggies prepared to play the Brigham Young Cougars this week, it would have been wise for head coach Gary Anderson to make a slight change to his normal plans. What would that change be? Give the backup quarterback some extra reps.
Dating back to last season, BYU’s last seven opponents have played their backup quarterback. In all seven games the backup replaced the starter when the game was still undecided.
Through three games, Utah State back up quarterback Adam Kennedy has attempted two passes. They both came in the fourth quarter against Weber State when the score was already 47-17. Kennedy is a 6’5”, 218 pound junior college transfer from San Joaquin Delta College.
Should Kennedy see the field Friday night, he will find that Cougars are a lot more imposing than Wildcats. In fact, BYU should be the toughest competition that Kennedy has ever faced. LaVell Edwards Stadium, with 60,000 fans or more, should be the most hostile environment Kennedy has played in.
In 2010, the backup quarterbacks who played in the final three games found almost zero success. However, in 2011, the BYU defense has allowed backup quarterbacks to flourish. That is probably because, typically, the starting quarterback and backup quarterback for BYU’s opponents have had contrasting styles of play. That could be the case, again, with Kennedy and starter Chuckie Keeton.
Keeton was an outstanding running quarterback in high school rushing for over 1,000 yards as both a junior and senior. Kennedy wasn’t a standout passer or rusher in junior college, but his JC stats appears to indicate he is a stronger passer than rusher.
Gary Anderson could find his second-string quarterback in control of the Aggie offense, while the game is on the line, against BYU. If he is smart, he would have taken some extra time to prepare Adam Kennedy for this moment. It just might make the difference in the game.
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