Five empty chairs sat open inside the Burton Family Football complex Monday to help deliver one important message: Redshirt sophomore Casey Cochran will be the Huskies' starting quarterback in 2014.
Per coach Bob Diaco, UConn plans to utilize both Cochran and redshirt senior Chandler Whitmer under center this upcoming season. Their snaps split will be "closer to 51/49 percent breakdown than 85/15," and sophomore Tim Boyle is likely to receive a redshirt. All of the Husky quarterbacks eligible to play this season sat with Diaco during the entirety of tonight's brief press conference, which was only open to questions about the quarterback position.
The first-year headman detailed there was little debate among the coaching staff concerning which player ought to start, though there was greater back-and-forth in his head. When decision time finally arrived, Cochran's intangibles swayed Diaco to select him over Whitmer, who the coach still described as a "better" player right now. Each signal caller will operate out of individually designed packages, and, per Diaco, their shared spotlight will not be a "two-headed monster" nor a platoon.
Last season, Cochran completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 1,293 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He led UConn to a 3-1 record in the final four games of its 3-9 campaign, his only starts of the year. Meanwhile, Whitmer opened the Huskies' first four contests a season ago, connecting on 55 percent of his throws for 896 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions.
UConn will kick off its 2014 campaign versus BYU next Friday, August 29, at 7 p.m. from Rentschler Field.