"I have made the decision that we are going to redshirt Glennon," O'Brien said. "While he's an exceptional talent, he's just not ready to handle some of the situations. It become apparent in the last scrimmage that we had prior to this one. We got together and talked about it... he's fine with that. It is down to Evans and Wilson. [Harrison] Beck will be the third quarterback."
The decision on who to start in just one week at South Carolina could come as soon as today and probably will come before the end of the week according to O'Brien.
"We'll get together again and go over the film again this afternoon, and then we will talk basically tomorrow and work hard on trying to figure out, not only the quarterback position, but all positions as we start our preparation for South Carolina tomorrow," O'Brien said.
Evans has been the primary starter for the Wolfpack for two years now, and has improved each year. Thrown into the starting role as a redshirt sophomore, Evans threw for 1,843 yards with six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. But last season he passed for over 2,000 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Very quietly, he's become the Pack's seventh all-time leading passer (a mere 10,000 yards behind Philip Rivers for first place). The experience has made itself apparent in the fall, O'Brien said during the Pack's media day last weekend.
"He has a much better knowledge of the offense than the other two young kids because he's been in it," O'Brien said. "His execution, his drops and his delivering the ball on time. What's he's been doing looks like a guy who's played the game of football in our system. Where the other two kids are young and very talented, but they are looking right when they should be looking left."
Wilson, meanwhile, has no college experience outside of fall and spring practices. But he's got physical talents that Evans can't match, including an ability to run that could prove useful as the offensive line remains a ‘work in progress' according to O'Brien. The coach also praised the redshirt freshman's leadership and maturity during last weekend's media day, and on Wednesday said his continued improvement is the main reason he's in the final two.
"The more he plays, the better he gets and the more comfortable he feels," O'Brien said. "Everything goes fast. Well, the more you play, it slows down. Your execution gets better. The more he plays, the more... he executes the offense much better."
O'Brien didn't rule out the possibility of playing both quarterbacks – he did play both Evans and Beck in last year's season opener. Evans started the game but fell behind 25-3 just before halftime and O'Brien inserted Beck for the final series of the half and the rest of the game. Beck would start the next four games before giving the job back to Evans.
We've been in these situations, and we would put the other guy in the game sometime in the second quarter, just to get the starter out," O'Brien said. "Now, it depends on who it is. If it is Russell Wilson, maybe we will take him and put Daniel in, just so he can settle down and look at the defense. I can't answer that right now, but I've done it before."