Hawai’i QB’s: Who’s starting next week and beyond
Cordeiro or McDonald
What is going on with Hawai’s QB situation?
Chevan Cordeiro was 23-31, 309yds, 3 TDs in the win over San Jose State Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
In what was the biggest decision Hawai’i head coach Nick Rolovich has to make in his still young coaching career he decided to start the redshirt freshmen over his one and a half year starter Cole McDonald.
After the game coach Rolo praised both quarterbacks with how they handled themselves both on and off the field. It’s not easy being on the sideline watching his backup run the run and shoot offense like Cordeiro has since his high school days at Saint Louis Schools. But being a good teammate McDonald is he is always the first to congratulate or give Coideiro some encouragement or insight when he comes off the field.
It looks like now coach Rolo has another tough decision going into the UNLV game next week in Las Vegas. While Coideiro has proven he can lead the team to many scores at Aloha Stadium we have not seen him start yet on the mainland. If Rolo wants to roll the dice again and start Coideiro next week this might be the one opponent to do it in a 2-7 Rebels team.
McDonald understood Rolo’s decision to start Cordeiro and told his head coach that he will work even harder next week to win back his job. So does this mean Rolovch can start McDonald again?
Absolutely. Look Hawai’i probably wouldn’t be in the situation they are in right now without Cole starting being 6-4 and having a slight chance to win the West Division and play for the Mountain West Championship. You have to give him credit for always believing he is “the guy” even when the local critics are hard on him.
So looking at the good situation Hawai’i has that they can start either quarterback and have a good chance of success. Let’s look at some facts to determine who should start:
- Cole McDonald has the experience with 21 starts including a career record of 5-2 on the road against MW teams.
- McDonald’s QBR is 68.0(47th best in the country) and despite throwing nine interceptions in the first four games McDonald has only thrown three on the last five.
- Everyone can see that Cole is a confident guy whether through media interviews or on the field. He likes his chances of throwing into small windows in the secondary.
- Cole’s tendencies still seem to be going through his progressions a bit slower than Chevan and his thought process of taking off is too late. Also, McDonald in the RPO gives the ball to the running back about 85% of the time instead of pulling it back and running with it.
- Cordeiro albeit only started two games in his career has made the most of his time on the field with the two victories and also several comeback wins on his belt.
- He has been in eight games in 2019 with a QBR of 84.1 and threw for six touchdowns to one interception.
- Chevan can throw the long ball and connect with the highs of 71, 57, and 50 yards the last three games. But some deep passes can hang in the air and the receivers have to come back on it or it could easily be a pick but so far it hasn’t hurt UH.
- He may be a quiet leader but he will boast about his teammates after the game every time.
It will come to if Cole McDonald can have stellar practices and prove he is still “the guy” for Coach Rolo. If Rolo is impressed and can trust Cole to make the throws he knows he can make he will start at UNLV.
After that week though we might see another change and start Cordeiro and give the San Diego State defense another thing to prepare for in his elusiveness. It will be like an MLB team having two-star pitchers and putting them against the team they know they have a better chance of winning based on personnel.
The future for Hawai’i football is with Cordeiro no doubt about it but the last three games (possibly four) can determine if McDonald will play in a Rainbow Warrior uniform next year. I’m thinking the future is now.