One of the biggest position battles for the Cincinnati Bearcats this spring and summer was for starting quarterback. While some were certain that Hayden Moore was going to retain the crown, Ross Trail did some good things in the spring practices and during scrimmages, which made the thought that he could become the starter more realistic.
Well, we finally have official word and once again Moore will be No. 1 on the depth chart.
Breaking: Hayden Moore will be the #UC starting quarterback, coach Luke Fickell just said on AAC conference call.— Tom Groeschen (@TomGroeschen) August 28, 2017
Moore also won the starting job for the 2016 season. He was sidelined by an injury, but also allowed the quarterback competition to spill into the regular season because of his own shoddy play. In seven games, Moore threw for 1,744 yards and 11 touchdowns, compared to seven interceptions, while completing 57.3 percent of his passes. Part of the problem was Moore didn’t stretch the field all that well, relying too often on short throws. He averaged only 6.5 adjusted yards per attempt, which was one of the many factors that dragged down his QB rating.
To his credit, Moore finally looked like a quarterback who could lead an efficient, or at least productive, offense in the regular season finale against Tulsa. He threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-37 passing in the overtime loss and put himself in the front runner for the starting post once a new coaching regime entered the picture.
Trail showed a bigger arm last season, but was intercepted six times while throwing just one touchdown pass in four games (70 attempts). He is a more mobile signal caller than Moore, but in the end, experience won out.
However, unless Moore takes firm hold of Mike Denbrock’s offense and finally shows progress, you can bet that this will not be the last time a question about the starting quarterback job will be raised.