Clary POV, USC QB
I haven’t been shy in my opinion for the last couple of years about USC’s lack of talent and playmakers on offense. The writing was on the wall and it’s all due to extremely poor and lazy recruiting.
The 2016 Gamecock football team will be no different. There’s just not even close to enough playmakers on offense. So, when the debate arises all summer between you, your co-workers, friends, family, and even online, the USC QB1 question should be a lot clearer than one may think.
Liking a player, wanting a player to succeed…that’s 1 thing. What’s best for the program and gives you the best chance to win sometimes can be another. There’s nothing wrong with liking Perry Orth, pulling for Perry Orth, wishing Perry Orth does well. Hey, I get it. He fights hard, battles, makes no excuses. He’s a likeable player. But here’s a reality check.
He’s simply not good enough to win games for USC with this supporting cast. The 2016 starting QB will have to be able to make plays on their own. That doesn’t mean they’ll have to run for 1st downs…of course that would help a ton. But the starting QB for USC will need to be able to extend plays, roll out and hit a WR once the play breaks down, and yes…run for a 1st down or 2…or 7. Ask yourself an honest question, can Orth do those things.
The simple and correct answer is No he can’t. He’s just not good enough to be the starting QB with so few playmakers around him. We’ve seen over the years QBs who “Manage the Game” lead their teams to titles. But what’s the common dominator in all of those teams…tons of talent. USC has basically no talent this year on offense.
The question that matters in this discussion is what does USC need from their QB. Some years, teams need their QBs not to turn the ball over, or don’t make the big mistake, or be a leader. USC is not in the position to ask that from their QB. The Gamecocks need a QB who can make plays, extend plays, and make big throws. Yes, playing Brandon Mcllwain or Jake Bentley means you bring in the freshmen mistakes. But in order to have the best chance to win the most games, Mcllwain and Bentley will put the Gamecocks in more positions to win than Orth. Orth simply can’t make the plays by himself that the other 2 options can.
Now, could starting Orth game 1 at Vanderbilt be a smart move? Potentially yes. But from my point of view, I would put the 2 freshmen in the fire and let them go. They’ll learn from their mistakes, make big plays, and most importantly, make their teammates better. What’s the worst that could happen? A 3-9 season. If my memory is correct, Orth was the QB most of last year….a 3-9 year.
So let the race begin. Mcllwain and Bentley should be the 2 who get the ball. Let the future begin now. The race will be long, but with these 2 leading the way, you’ll get there a lot faster.