QB Bruggman figures to be busy this spring

IT'S NOT ENTIRELY uncommon, but it's also not the hoped-for situation. With the departure of reserve quarterback Austin Apodaca, the Cougs head into the 2014 season with only one quarterback, starter Connor Halliday, who has taken a snap in a college game. And so it figures that Tyler Bruggman is going to be one busy man this spring.

The majority of Mike Leach's most successful seasons at Texas Tech came with a senior quarterback, which is what the Cougs have in 2014 in Halliday.

But what if?

Halliday will get his work in during the Cougs' upcoming spring football session but WSU also probably very much wants to get Tyler Bruggman a lot of quality reps since he has no game-day college experience.

Leach generally splits his QB reps with the first string at 50-50 in the spring, at least for the first half of the sessions.

But it wouldn't surprise if he ended up tilting that a little more toward Bruggman over the course of the 15 practices.

After all, Halliday is a known quantity with 7,435 air yards and 58 career touchdown passes at Washington State.

And as the old saying goes, the backup QB is always just one play away from becoming the starter. With as much as the Cougars pass the ball, the chance for a reserve QB to see some sudden playing time goes up, (see Stanford game last season.)

BRUGGMAN IS BETTER prepared than most when it comes to redshirt freshmen quarterbacks. That's the good news. And it's because of the Thursday Night Lights sessions Leach holds.

For years, Leach has been putting his true freshmen, scout teamers and young guys on center stage in practice each week during the regular season on Thursdays. Those reps are invaluable.

The NCAA caps in-season practice time during the week and teams naturally spend the vast majority of that available time working with the starters and key contributors. There's just not enough time to also get the reserves quality reps.

But Bruggman was able to become better versed in Leach's system over the course of the past year -- in preparation for this season. And according to our man on the ground all of last year, Dane Bargabus, Bruggman looked good doing it.

BEYOND BRUGGMAN THIS spring, the Cougs figure to have at least a couple second-year freshmen walk ons on the roster: Connor Ennis and Luke Falk. Meanwhile, Peyton Bender won't arrive until the summer.

If Leach wants to get one of those two a good amount of reps things get more complex – it's hard to get three QBs a bunch of quality snaps, even in the spring.


Cougfan Top Stories