Goldrich makes his case for starting role (again)
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 23:10
Just when the waters had settled, the starting quarterback role may be in question once again.
Before the 2013 regular season began, UNH head coach Sean McDonnell had to finally make a decision as to who would be the starting quarterback for the Wildcats this season. Junior Andy Vailas and sophomore Sean Goldrich had stellar campaigns in 2012 as they shared the position, but McDonnell knew he could only have one as the every week starter and eventually settled on Vailas.
But after Vailas suffered a left knee injury against Towson on Oct. 5, Goldrich was called upon to run the offense and led UNH to a 59-19 win over Rhode Island on Saturday in Durham.
Following the game, McDonnell commended Goldrich for his ability to step up and perform at a high level.
“He’s been good all year,” McDonnell said. “He’s been practicing like he’s a starting quarterback and went in today and executed very well.”
Goldrich completed 18 of 26 passing attempts for 241 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with wide receiver Justin Mello in the second quarter and tight end Harold Spears in the fourth for touchdowns.
“It felt great to be out there,” Goldrich said. “It’s been a while.”
Goldrich’s last start came against Wofford in the NCAA tournament last season where he threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. Getting a good game under his belt this season was refreshing for Goldrich, who continues to make a good argument for starting quarterback through his skill set.
One advantage that Vailas has had and is perhaps the reason he was given the starting job is his ability to make big plays on the run. Goldrich, a more comfortable pocket passer, showed off his own running ability in the game, racking up 94 rushing yards and scoring a 24-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Goldrich certainly didn’t look like a backup quarterback in this game. The offense clicked under his command and found a steady rhythm, not giving URI a chance to bounce back. The offense scored 38 unanswered points from the start of the second until halfway through the fourth quarter.
“We were talking all week about what were capable of as an offense,” Goldrich said. “I thought once we got going, I don’t think there was anyone who could stop us when we start executing and working like we do in practice.”
Once Vailas is ready to return to the field, Goldrich could possibly return to the bench. His performance is continued assurance that the team can respond when losing their starting quarterback.
Or perhaps there are other plans for Goldrich in the works.
Goldrich said he wanted to make the most of this opportunity and once again prove his ability.
Last season, Vailas stepped in after Goldrich went down with an injury and impressed McDonnell enough to give him more time on the field throughout the rest of the season. The two quarterbacks ended up splitting the season. McDonnell has said countless times he only puts the best players on the field and Goldrich is once again making his case.
“Coach Mac told me he’s giving me my shot,” Goldrich said. “It’s mine to lose now.”
Nick Stoico can be reached on Twitter @NickStoico