Posted: 8:57 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
By Jeff Gentil
OK so admittedly Brendon Kay's shoulder is in the spotlight. It's pretty much been the focus of the last few weeks of training camp. But, cut me a little slack. It's week one and everyone is still feeling themselves out. So for at least one week, I will focus on a little more obvious component of the game.
Let's be honest, Brendon Kay outplayed Munchie Legeaux last year. Down the stretch Kay was exceptional (except for the Rutgers game). Munchie is a better athlete I think we all can agree on, but Kay is a better quarterback and received rave reviews in camp this year as being a great team leader as well. For this team to be what we all think it can be, they need Brendon Kay to be healthy and play well.
In order for Brendon Kay to play well, his shoulder has to cooperate. It has been widely reported that Kay has been injury prone in his time at UC. He's suffered multiple knee and shoulder ailments practically his entire time on campus. And, much like Tony Pike, he was destined to spend his UC career on the sidelines holding a clipboard...until Munchie really started struggling. Butch Jones finally decided enough was enough and took a chance on Kay. Boy did it ever work out. So much so that Butch is now in Knoxville and Tommy Tuberville is now leading our Bearcats. Did it work out for all involved? So far I'd say yes. Everyone seems to be thrilled to death.
Back to Brendon Kay's shoulder. If it is indeed healthy enough to start Saturday, we will likely see the brand of offense new OC Eddie Gran has in store for the Bearcats. With Kay's ability to get the ball downfield, it opens up the running attack and the overall scheme can be balanced and the defense has to be honest. If Munchie plays, and starts slinging the ball everywhere, perhaps Purdue can stack the box and stifle UC's running game.
Hey I'm not saying Munchie is a terrible QB. He's not. I'm still not sure if Brendon Kay is leading UC against Virginia Tech last year they end up winning that game. Munchie played great especially down the stretch. He certainly has abilities that Brendon Kay does not possess. He obviously can run and he's not as easy to sack. But, it's quite evident his accuracy as a passer isn't very good. From all indications, he will play a couple series at least and hopefully will provide a nice change of pace to really throw Purdue off.
I'm not sure UC has ever gone through an entire season with just one quarterback. I honestly cannot remember the last full season where the QB didn't get hurt and miss a chunk of games. So, the Bearcats are going to need both guys to be healthy and effective if they are to be as good as everyone thinks they can. I think they're both talented enough to give UC a fighting chance to run the table this year...and that includes Louisville in December. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.