Miami (Ohio) pulled off one of the most surprising seasons in college football last season, going from one win to MAC champion. The RedHawks did it with two quarterbacks to boot. When Zac Dysert went out for the season with a rib injury, freshman Austin Boucher stepped in and led the team to their unexpected league title and bowl win.
Now the two are back and competing for the starting quarterback job. After the spring game this past Saturday, there is still no clear indication about who will win the job.
Dysert started the game and then alternated with Boucher. Dysert, a junior, went 15-of-20 passes for 140 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Boucher went 10-of-16 for 63 yards. New coach Don Treadwell said Monday that he is going to wait until preseason camp before deciding on a starter. But he also said he has no problem having to make that decision.
"It's a positive because I’ve been on both ends of it, when you don’t have a competitive situation at quarterback," Treadwell said on a MAC coaches conference call. "I’m excited at the fact that we have two very good quarterbacks we can win with. I’d rather have that job to sort that out. One beautiful thing about the skill positions is those guys have an opportunity to improve themselves through the summer and preseason and into camp.
"I look at that competition to continue to show itself by the time they hit the ground running in the fall. I would much rather work toward who is that guy than not having an answer."
Dysert went 222-of-343 for 2,406 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season before missing the final four games. Boucher came in and went 88-of-142 for 990 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions in the four games he started -- all victories.
The offensive system Treadwell is installing is similar to what Miami ran last season under then-coach Mike Haywood. But they only ran the basics during the spring in order to give the coaches a chance to see what they can do. They each got an equal number of reps. Now the real work of the offseason begins with a big question mark hanging over a team many expect to contend for another MAC title.
"You have two guys that are excellent leaders that want to be the leader of the football team. It’s been very positive," Treadwell said. "We wanted to give them the same opportunity because there was no first team or second team. We wanted to build from the ground up with some base concepts, see if they can handle it and move forward."