DAY 14 REPORT: Position Look at Quarterbacks
Aug. 15, 2014
"I thought the energy was better today. We were a little sluggish yesterday, so I really looked at how we'd bounce back in the morning practice," said Head Coach Bill Blankenship. "Our execution is still not where we want it to be. As I told the guys, if they bring their effort and attitude, we as coaches are going to help them get right in terms of execution."
The Hurricane team is now inside two weeks before the season opener against the Tulane Green Wave on Thursday night, August 28th. Game time is 7:00 pm at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Single-game tickets for the Tulane game go on sale Saturday morning online at TulsaHurricane.com and Monday in person at the TU athletic ticket office or by calling 918.631.GoTU (4688).
"Last night at our team meeting there was certainly a sense of urgency from our guys. You heard a couple of our seniors talk about how close it is to the season starting," added Blankenship. "If you count the number of practices, you still have quite a bit of work left, but in terms of the number of days we're getting to the short side of things."
QUARTERBACK POSITION UPDATE Tulsa coaches will be looking for consistency on offense in 2014 and that starts with the quarterback position. It's a talented group of young quarterbacks, but the operative word is "young".
Sophomore Dane Evans (6-1, 215) has clearly kept a hold on the starting position after separating himself during spring drills. Evans brings the most experience to the unit, having played in eight games a year ago and starting five of those contests. With an injury depleted receiving corps, Evans completed just 43-percent of his passes for 898 yards and four touchdowns.
"Dane has really made this his team as far as the offense is concerned. He has been a really good leader. He doesn't act like he's achieved anything yet. He's working every day, he's listening, he's being coachable and he has really improved his fundamentals, which is very important in the heat of the battle," said Blankenship. "I've been very pleased with his poise and his ability to put a little touch on the ball which is something he hadn't done in the past."
While Evans leads the quarterback position, junior Joseph Calcagni (6-1, 207) has moved into the No. 2 slot. Calcagni brings a maturity level to the quarterbacking position as a fourth-year junior. He has seen action in just five career contests, while throwing for 106 yards and one touchdown.
True freshman Jabe Burgess (6-2, 210) has also received a lot of snaps during the preseason. Burgess graduated from Greenwood (Ark.) High School early, enrolled at Tulsa in January and participated in spring drills. He completed 72-percent of his passes for 5,210 yards and 56 touchdowns in his two seasons as a starter, but more impressive was his 26-1 record as a starter.
"Joseph has pushed to be a clear No. 2 today," said Blankenship. "I think Jabe suffered a little bit of a freshman lapse when camp first started. I think his confidence was maybe shaken early, but he's recovered nicely over the last 2-3 practices."
"It will be those three guys on the top of the depth chart, but Dane has really solidified himself," added Blankenship.
Red-shirt freshmen Ryan Rubley (6-3, 205), perhaps the most athletic of the quarterbacks, was the 10th-ranked player in Colorado coming out of high school and adds depth to the quarterback position.
ATHLETICS TICKET OFFICE