Idaho football coach Paul Petrino won’t announce who will start at quarterback for the Vandals in their season opener at North Texas. But he said after practice Thursday morning that he and the team know who will start, and so does “anyone who’s around” practice every day.
“I know who the starter is,” Petrino told The Spokesman-Review. “I’m just not announcing it.”
That comment, combined with what’s taken place during fall camp, suggests redshirt freshman Chad Chalich will be under center in the first series against UNT on Aug. 31. Chalich, a former Coeur d’Alene High star, has been the best QB the last three weeks, outplaying newcomer Josh McCain and senior Taylor Davis.
Chalich completed 19 straight passes to finish the second fall scrimmage last week. He took all the snaps in the first three series and threw for 414 yards and five touchdowns. Asked if Chalich’s performance was as impressive after watching tape as it seemed right after the scrimmage, Petrino said, “Yeah. He played really well.”
At Coeur d’Alene, Chalich led the Vikings to back-to-back State 5A championships including a 12-0 season his senior year.
He was named the All-Idaho 5A player of the year following his senior season and the state Gatorade player of the year. He put up jaw-dropping numbers, passing for 3,641 yards and 42 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his final season. He also rushed for 471 and 14 TDs.
Petrino laughed after saying that practice observers know who the starting QB will be. But he also said his policy of not announcing the starting quarterback applies to other positions.
“Anyone who’s around, they know who the starter is,” Petrino said. “Our players know. I just don’t know what good it does to let North Texas know, personally. I’m not announcing who’s starting at defensive nose guard, either.”