It’s good to know your options, right? Whether quarterback Justin Herbert is out for UCLA or not, (due to concussion protocol) let’s take a look at who is behind him to command the offense.
Backup quarterbacks Braxton Burmeister and Tyler Shough split first-team reps during Tuesday's practice, according to UO offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo. Neither quarterback has seen the field in Pac-12 conference play yet, but according to teammates and coaches, both have improved immensely in practice.
Option one: Sophomore Braxton Bumeister. The six-foot-one, 206-pound backup quarterback recently underwent a minor knee surgery last month, but was cleared to play last week.
"I'm most excited to get a chance to get him off injury, get a chance to get him back out there full speed," Arroyo said. "The biggest part about being off that long is getting out the kinks. His maturity has grown bounds since last year.”
The area that Burmeister has improved on the most? According to wide receiver Jaylon Redd, his confidence and command on the field is noticeably different than last season.
“After his experience last year, I feel like he could come on the field this year and do it way differently and run this offense and team like it needs to be,” Redd said.
Burmeister played in the first two games this season and completed four of eight passes for 27 yards and three carries for 17 yards. Last season as a freshman, Burmeister started five games when Herbert was out with injury; he was 44 of 77 for 330 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions.
Option two: Freshman Tyler Shough. The backup quarterback has attempted zero passes, but he led the team on a touchdown drive against Portland State. He’s played in two non-conference games.
A result of Burmeister’s injury, Shough received every second team rep over the last month and a half.
“He benefitted a lot," UO coach Mario Cristobal said. "He got a ton of reps. Braxton had (before injury) gotten most of the second team reps.”
Arroyo said he was confident in Shough’s abilities, and Redd agreed.
“Tyler is smart and he has good reads, I like the way he throws the ball,” Redd said.
Shough was rated the No. 1 player out of the state of Arizona by 247Sports and Rivals.
Will it be Herbert on Saturday against UCLA? Burmeister? Shough? Or a combo? More to come as Herbert’s concussion protocol is evaluated.
“Whoever wins the job, I’m confident in,” Redd said.
GET READY FOR THE GAME: