You think being a backup quarterback on a college football team is an easy role?
Sure most guys run scout team plays in practice. They stand on the sidelines at games with a baseball hat and maybe a clipboard. The coach may also recruit them to relay plays to the starting quarterback on the field.
But sometimes the backup quarterback actually sees playing time. Sometimes it’s when his team is either far ahead or far behind. Sometimes the starter gets injured.
But how would you like to be Iowa State quarterback Jerome Tiller this week? He is the backup turned starter because last week senior quarterback Austin Arnand suffered a knee injury.
This game isn’t just any game. The Cyclones need to win the game to be bowl eligible. They have one shot left as Iowa State hosts a talented Missouri team (8-2).
All eyes are on Tiller. Sure the Iowa State coaches will downplay Tiller’s role. “It’s a team game you know, Tiller just needs to manage the game---don’t need a great game from him,” blah, blah.
Tiller’s good news is he has starting experience. He started two games last season for the then also injured Arnard. The bad news is the difficulty of the opponent in a must-win situation.
Many fans naturally love the backup quarterback. If Tiller leads Iowa State to a victory Saturday, the fans might turn it into an actual love fest.