The ‘or’ remains.
Vanderbilt’s depth chart – as has been the case since the start of the season – does not distinguish between third-year sophomore Josh Grady and redshirt-freshman Patton Robinette as the backup to quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels. James Franklin’s stance has been that the situation and opponent will dictate who enters the game, if a replacement is needed.
Following Saturday’s victory over Austin Peay, he reiterated that stance even though one clearly outplayed the other.
“I thought both of them did some nice things,” Franklin said. “…I think the fact that we were able get those two guys reps was a positive. There’s really not a No. 2 and a No. 3 at the quarterback position. It’s a weekly competition, and I don’t think anybody has established themselves as the No. 2 and the No. 3 at this point. We’ll just keep competing each week and see what happens.”
With the game in hand at halftime, both played a quarter and got two possessions.
Grady threw two passes – one was complete for nine yards and the other was intercepted, the Commodores’ only turnover of the contest. His only rush was for a loss of three yards. The offense managed 33 yards and one first down with him under center, although it should be noted that his second drive began at the Vanderbilt 6, which limited the options.
Robinette directed the offense to 86 yards and five first downs. He completed four of five passes for 41 yards and ran another three times for 20 yards in his first college appearance.
At 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, Robinette certainly stands taller in the pocket than Grady, who is 5-foot-11, 202.
“I was disappointed that we turned the ball over, especially when we had the ability to run with those guys and make some positive yards,” Franklin said. “So that was a little disappointing. I thought Patton showed that he’s not just a drop-back passer. He can run as well.”
It seemed particularly telling that he only mentioned one by name, yet it still was not enough for him and his staff to settle on a clear-cut No. 2.
The ‘or’ remains.