After UNLV’s fifth fall practice concluded on Tuesday, coach Tony Sanchez spoke about the ongoing quarterback battle between Johnny Stanton and Kurt Palandech.
Sanchez told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he is looking for the more efficient game manager to run his offense in 2016.
“We don’t need a guy to come out and win the game for us. We need a guy to not lose the game for us. The main thing we’re looking for at the quarterback position is someone who can manage the offense and take care of protecting the football. If you can do those things, with the backs and receivers we have, we’re going to be fine,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez also added in his interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he is also using statistics to track the quarterback’s progress.
“We’re obviously talking about leadership and the way the team rallies around the guy and the guy they believe in,” Sanchez said. “But then sometimes you can’t just trust that so we chart everything. Every ball they’ve thrown the entire camp.”
Another Sanchez quote regarding stat taking,
“You’re looking for who has the better completion percentage and who does the better job of not putting the ball in jeopardy. A guy might go 8 of 10 and put seven in jeopardy. Those are the things we’re looking for. The guy who’s not pressing the issue and is going to relax and run the offense.”
Sanchez made it seem as if Kurt Palandech is in the lead as of now during his interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“As far as decision making, we’re almost where we were coming into camp. Kurt’s doing probably a better job of understanding the offense and making decisions, but he’ll still throwing behind people and letting things float. Johnny’s got a little bit better arm strength but he’s not there on decision making. We’ve got to see those things come together,” Sanchez said.
One of the final questions in Sanchez’s Las Vegas Review-Journal interview pertained to UNLV’s biggest worry outside of who will be the starting quarterback: offensive line depth.
“We feel really good with our 1s. Our 2s are talented, they’re just 18-year-old kids. They haven’t started shaving yet so that’s kind of an issue,” he said. “You look at the defensive side, we feel pretty good about our two-deep (depth chart) across the board. Everywhere else, we feel pretty good, but you start with the offensive line. We’ve got to keep those guys healthy so practice is a big deal on me to make sure we manage it to where we’re physical enough to be ready to play but don’t overdo it to where we’re beat up.”
Tuesday was UNLV’s first practice in pads. Wednesday is UNLV’s first day of double sessions. Thursday is UNLV’s first day off in which the team will have its annual photo day at Sam Boyd Stadium.