The Stull to play or not to play question seemed to fire up quite a few readers, so I wanted to continue the discussion. In short, Bill Stull will be the guy going into the next two games and next season. To everyone who is so upset with his play: I'm not sure what your expectations were of him. Does this team need better play from the quarterback position if its going to be a contender nationally and within the Big East? You bet. But mark my words, Stull gives them the best chance and he is going to be the starting quarterback the remainder of this season and next.
Some things to keep in mind:
There is nobody else to play. Remove Kevin Smith from the discussion completely. He has demonstrated that he is completely inept. Pat Bostick is horrible. He can't run and he can't throw. Yes, he was the starting quarterback in some big wins, but the offense certainly didn't shine in any of those wins. I'm not sure how you can call for Stull to be benched when Bostick is the next guy in line. Last year when he was the starting quarterback he threw 8 touchdowns vs. 13 interceptions. So far this year Stull has thrown 7 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. Bostick had a passer rating of 111 (last in the Big East), and while Stull's is nothing to gloat about, he does hold a 124 which is good for 5th in the conference. Last season, Bostick threw for 1500 yards on 252 attempts. Stull has thrown for 2163 yards on 288 attempts this season with one game remaining.
Also, let's try to keep in mind that Stull is still adjusting to the position. I would hope that he improves as he'll have several weeks of practice and an extra game with the bowl and then continue to mature through spring ball.
In 2003 Rod Rutherford led the conference in pretty much every statistic related to quarterbacking. He finished first in completelions (247), yards (3679) and touchdowns (37) to interceptions (14). In his first season as a starter, however, Rutherford's statistics were comparable to Stull's. 129 passer rating, 2783 passing yards and a completion percentage of 52.3 (Stull's is slightly better at 59.4%). Also, in their first season's under center Rutherford and Palko took 44 and 38 sacks, respectively. Stull has been sacked only 22 times to date. Part of this is due to a stronger offensive line, but Stull may actually be better at getting rid of the ball. If you look at sacks per attempt Rutherford was sacked 38/409 (9.3%) and Palko was sacked 44/367 (1.20%) while Stull was sacked only 22/288(7.6%). I'm not claiming that Stull will be better than Rutherford or Palko, he probably won't. But I think we need to keep in mind that he is young and still developing as a quarterback and decision maker and that there is room for improvement. One needs to look no further than the drastic improvement Rutherford made between his first and second seasons under center.
Someone made the comment:
Why do we have to be happy with "good enough"? Why can't we want good? Especially since there's lots of "good" around on the offense.
Well, we have to be happy with "good enough" for now because he's literally all we have. There is no doubt we need to recruit talent at the QB position, but that isn't going to help us this year or next.
So let's all temper our expectations and try to be a little more patient with this kid's development.
Hail to Pitt!