Jedd Fisch, Arizona won't reveal starting QB ahead of Oregon State game
Jedd Fisch is keeping his starting quarterback for this weekend’s game against Oregon State close to the chest.
The Wildcats are welcoming the 11th-ranked Beavers to Tucson and have a chance to move within one win of bowl eligibility. They’re coming off a massive win over Washington State on Oct. 14, in which Noah Fifita threw for 342 yards.
It was Fifita’s third consecutive start in place of the once-injured Jayden de Laura. With de Laura back, it’s fair to question whether Fisch should go back to his season-opening starter or continue to ride the hot hand.
“I’m going to keep that until game time,” Fisch said Thursday. “I think they’re both ready to play, though.”
Fisch said both quarterbacks will dress. Both will warm up. And we’ll have to see who takes the first series. Asked if Arizona would consider using a package for the No. 2 quarterback, whoever that ends up being, Fisch said the coaching staff has considered it.
“We’ve thought about that and we’ve talked about that,” he said.
It looked for a moment like Fisch might continue, but then stopped himself and just reiterated the same line as a huge smile stretched across his face.
Fifita has completed 75% of his passes for 946 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He had five touchdown passes in the triple-overtime loss to USC and he’s topped 300 yards through the air in each of his last two games.
Of course, the number that Fisch loves the most is two. Fifita has only been picked off twice on his 125 pass attempts this season. De Laura has thrown five interceptions on his 125 pass attempts.
Per Pro Football Focus, de Laura has eight turnover-worthy plays to just three for Fifita. The former has more big-time throws by PFF’s tracking data, but that sort of highlights the quandary facing Fisch right now — de Laura has an explosive quality, but Fifita has been uber-efficient without putting the offense at risk.
Kickoff against the Beavs is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. Everyone will find out which direction the Wildcats are leaning soon.