Texas State felt content giving five quarterbacks equal snaps through 12 practices.
That all changed Thursday.
During the second session of a two-a-day workout, the Bobcats went through overtime drills and several others to mimic game-like situations with referees present. Only three quarterbacks touched the ball (senior Tyler Arndt, senior Duke DeLancellotti and redshirt freshman Jordan Moore), with Arndt and Moore getting the most looks.
“It’s really down to a two-man game,” Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione said. “Duke isn’t out of it yet […] but we have to start narrowing it down a little bit. We have to start getting these guys as many reps as we can to get them game-ready, because we’re, what, 16 days away.”
This was the first time Franchione publicly stated anything close to a decision regarding the quarterback situation.
“No. Not yet,” Franchione said. “We won’t make a final decision on that until the open week (Sept. 8-14).”
With Jones (and Nixon) all but out of the picture, Arndt and Moore got extended looks with an occasional DeLancellotti cameo.
Arndt looked the best out of the quarterbacks Thursday night, as he led three scoring drives. Even though two of his overtime drives ended in field goals, Arndt paced a 65-yard march later in practice in which he completed two of his three pass attempts for 52 yards and put a ball only where sophomore wide receiver Brandon Smith could make a catch on it for a 17-yard touchdown. Earlier in the drive Arndt threw a 35-yard rope to senior wide receiver Isaiah Battle.
Two of Moore’s overtime drives resulted in touchdowns, the second of which by his own doing with a 10-yard run up the middle on a busted play. Moore’s first touchdown should be credited to Smith for his nimble run through the defense on third-and-long after a catch on a short out. A few drives later during the same drill Arndt showed off his arm, Moore kept a play alive with his legs and chucked a wobbly, 30-yard pass to junior wide receiver Ben Ijah (who was wide open after junior cornerback David Farris hedged when Moore took off).
While DeLancellotti didn’t get many looks, he made the most of each one. DeLancellotti is best out of the bunch when rolling out and showed it with a missile to Ijah on one of his three passes.
“It’s going to be a tight race down to the end to see who the starter is,” Franchione said.