Charles Grove: It's not who starts that matters, it's who finishes

— It’s no secret the Youngstown State coaching staff has been keeping a tight lid on who’s going to take the first snap Thursday against Duquesne.

As a reporter I’m supposed to be the little thorn in the coaching staff’s side, poking and prodding them with constant questions surrounding the team.

There seems to be no bigger question than who’s going to be the starting quarterback on that

opening snap but it shouldn’t be.

The question should be “Who’s going to be taking the snaps with the team down three with a minute to play?”

From seeing as many practices as I have, there’s little doubt Ricky Davis, Hunter Wells and Trent Hosick are all going to be seeing the field this year.

Bo Pelini has said his team is going to need more than one quarterback this year. So this “controversy” is going to linger long past the first game.

So until that time comes when the game is on the line, relax, have a beverage and enjoy what should be one of the best defenses YSU has fielded in a long time.

Everything with the quarterback situation makes for great online message board debate, but it’s ultimately just a filler until games are actually played. The decision is likely already to have been made so go ahead, crack open another beverage.

That being said, from what I’ve seen in practice, I’d be surprised if Davis doesn’t get the majority of snaps. He’s been getting almost all the reps with the first string recently but with Wells’ sore shoulder that appears to have been limiting his throwing strength, it’s tough to say how many of Davis’ snaps would be going to Wells if he were 100 percent.

Hosick is a real wild card. He’s a very vocal leader and between him and Davis, the offense consistently moves best with either one of them.

Hosick hasn’t had as long as Davis has had to learn the offense, and perhaps that’s his Achilles’ heel, but the coaching staff said at the beginning of camp playing time would be earned through performance and in my opinion he’s done just that.

The rest of the offense seems in place. Offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery said they’re “pretty set” on the offensive line and we know the top three tailbacks will be Jody Webb, Martin Ruiz and Tevin McCaster.

The wideouts appear to be newcomer Alvin Bailey, Darien Townsend, I’Tavious Harvin and Roberrt Byrd in slot.

There should be a clearer picture as the team goes through their final practices before Thursday, but it appears to be a moot point when a starter hasn’t been officially announced at this point. There’s little reason to officially announce the night before kickoff.

If everyone’s going to get snaps there’s no point in putting the pressure all on one kid.

The only thing bothering me about YSU’s opener is that it coincides with my alma mater’s (Cincinnati). My season tickets are going to my buddies and my beverages won’t be consumed until long after the final gun.

Charles Grove covers YSU Athletics for The Vindicator. Email him at