Whitmer back in the starting spot against Stony Brook.
STORRS: Funny how life works.
Less than a year ago, at the end of a disappointing 3-9 campaign as a member of the UConn Huskies, Chandler Whitmer could have hung it up and gotten a pretty good job.
He had, after all, graduated and had his degree in hand. Why would he come back for a fifth season, especially after losing his job as quarterback to two different QB’s during the team’s 0-9 start a year ago?
It was a conversation that he had with new head coach Bob Diaco earlier this year that turned a negative into a positive, Whitmer decided to come back, even if it was just to stand on the sidelines and signal in plays.
As spring turned into summer though, Whitmer got better and better during his competition with Casey Cochran, who had won the starting job with a three game winning streak at the end of last year.
In the Huskies opener a week ago against BYU, Cochran started but Whitmer saw time as well.
While it may have been a confusing situation to those watching, it just got a whole lot clearer in hurry and by accident.
On Thursday during his weekly radio show, Diaco announced that Cochran was out for Saturday’s game against Stony Brook and that Whitmer and third string QB Tim Boyle would be the only two scholarship quarterbacks available for game two.
Whitmer would get the start.
The Huskies hope he can go all the way because Diaco had expressed doubts about Boyle seeing much action this early season because of nagging injuries.
So Whitmer, the whipping boy for many over the past three years when he ran for his life most games because of a leaky offensive line and zero running game, will get his chance against a team the Huskies should beat.
If that sounds familiar, it should be based on what people thought about last year’s opening stinker against Towson (a 33-18 loss) that started the ball rolling quickly down the hill.
This is a different Chandler Whitmer though, it seems. A more mature, self-confident fifth year senior looking for redemption after three pretty tough seasons that almost led to him walking away.
It can’t be understated how important Saturday’s game is. While Diaco has said that the season is being broken into quarters, the Huskies would much rather come out of the first quarter with at least one win, maybe two.
A 1-1 record is a mark they never saw last year. After Stony Brook comes Boise State, a team that is not in the upper echelon with the Cougars and may give the Huskies they did not see until week 11 a year ago.
A two-game winning streak.
Cochran, according to several outlets, suffered a concussion on the games last play on Saturday but did not tell the coaches until Wednesday.
Considering this is his third concussion since arriving at Storrs, caution may be the rule of the day so it is unknown when Cochran will return.
It’s Whitmer’s team on Saturday.
Let’s hope he has four quarters in him.