SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Why stick with one quarterback, when you can play two?
“2020, we were just kind of playing both of them,” said Sacramento State fourth-year head football coach Troy Taylor. “I was trying to decide to go into the Cal game who I was going to start and play the majority. My wife said, ‘Why don’t you play them both?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, you can’t do that.’ And I started thinking, ‘Why can’t you?’”
Taylor’s two-quarterback system approach puts defenses in a bind, forcing the opponent to prepare for two different approaches.
“We weren’t mad or sad,” said quarterback Asher O’Hara. “We were just skeptical a little bit as I’m sure anyone would be, but we definitely bought in right away. We had specific plays for each of us that’s kind of how it started but once we just got into the game and it started working, we just bought in from week one we didn’t have any doubts after that.”
The Hornets are led by two seniors in Jake Dunniway and Asher O’Hara. The pair leading a top-five scoring offense. Dunniway, the passer, threw for 1,486 yards and 14 touchdowns. O’Hara, the runner, passed for 346 yards, and rushed for 610 yards, with five touchdowns.
“I’d say Asher’s number one strength is being really creative,” Dunniway said. “He’s able to extend plays whether that be with his feet or giving the guy’s space, but it really gives the defense something to think about whether he’s in there. He’s very two-dimensional. Which is a very big strength for his game.”
“Jake commands the offense really well,” O’Hara said. “He’s a vocal leader. He knows the offense in the back of his hands. He’s great on third down and he knows the spaces in the defense and he’s great at getting our skill guys the ball.”
Taylor adds, “They both have certain things that they do really well. There are really no weaknesses in their game just maybe there are some things that each one does maybe a little bit better. But I feel like they can do anything in the offense, I have complete trust they can do anything.”
Sacramento State remains undefeated, improving their record to 8-0, a program first. Pushing their Big Sky win streak to 16, a streak that dates back to 2019.
“I think that’s what’s good about having the two-quarterback system is I always have and he always has someone who’s going to understand what we’re going through,” Dunniway said. “Like somebody who knows what it’s like to be in there and when I talk to him, and he talks to me. We kind of understand what’s going on and what the other persons seeing and try to help them out and give them some advice.”
“They’re such good people that right from the beginning when Ash got here as a transfer Jake really embraced him, helped teach him the offense, and was a friend to him right from the beginning,” Taylor said. “Even though they were competing. And they’ve gotten closer and closer. They really congratulate one another.”
The Hornets are on the road for the next two weeks, beginning with Weber State. Kickoff is set for noon PST you can watch all the action on ESPN+.