Dual-quarterback system brings out best in both


Quarterbacks Matt Vitale (left) and Jarrod Hoyer (right) each lining up in shotgun formation awaiting a snap during their respective drives against Delta College in Stockton, California on September 30, 2017.

Aaron Tolentino, Sports Reporter

Headed into the bye week, Vikings head coach Mike Darr has decided to implement a dual-quarterback system moving forward, most likely for the rest of the year.

Opening-day starter Matt Vitale will now be splitting snaps with Jarrod Hoyer for the Vikings’ upcoming games.

“It had nothing to do with what Matt did,” said Darr. “It had more to do with what Jarrod has done. Both of them have been practicing excellent: making the reads, making the throws, leading the team.”

Last Saturday’s game against Delta College marked the first time Darr alternated between Vitale and Hoyer throughout a game rather evenly. It was also the first game this season Hoyer saw meaningful time under center, instead of only taking the the field for a couple of drives in the second quarter like he did against Feather River College two weeks ago.

So far, Hoyer has impressed with 261 yards passing with three touchdowns and one interception on 38 attempts which is about the body of work of starting one game.

“Competition is great,” said Hoyer on getting more in-game reps at starting quarterback. “We both have been doing pretty well, so just continuing to battle with (Matt) and that brings out the best in both of us.”

Vitale has been the ultimate team player on sharing snaps with Hoyer.

“The thing is I don’t have a problem with sharing snaps,” said Vitale. “All I want to do is win.”

Vitale has embraced this situation to fuel the competitive fire within himself. He believes everything that comes with playing football, especially playing quarterback, starts in practice.

“It’s important to compete in practice, competition starts in practice,” said Vitale. “You can’t flip the switch of competitiveness in the game, it starts in practice.”

Darr’s decision to go with two quarterbacks was partly due to what happened last year. The Vikings lost their starting quarterback to injury last year which led to their four-game losing streak to end the year.

It was important for Darr to get his backup, Hoyer, meaningful snaps. In case were he needed to start full-time, Hoyer would not have been thrown into the fire without significant game experience.

Vitale will continue to start games with Darr switching between Hoyer and Vitale throughout each individual game.

“We’re hoping this gives us the opportunity to play the hot hand,” said Darr.