2015 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff Preview: Quarterback Battle
The 2015 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff will feature the opening weekend’s best quarterback battle, even though neither Kyle Allen (Texas A&M) nor Mike Bercovici (Arizona State) started full-time last year. Although both are still green as starters, they made enough of an impact to generate plenty of excitement nationally for this matchup.
After a suspension to Texas A&M’s 2014 starting quarterback, Allen, a true freshman at the time, took the reins of the Aggie offensive machine. After a narrow win over ULM at home, there wasn’t much hope in Aggieland that Allen and company could go to Auburn and beat the Tigers. Yet, Allen completed 19 of his 29 passes, four of which went for touchdowns, as he led the Aggies to a 41-38 upset win over Auburn on the road. Allen finished the season with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in early mop-up duty and the five starts at the end of the season. He had two four touchdown games and one three touchdown performance. He’ll get pushed all season long by five star recruit Kyler Murray, but Allen should make huge strides in his second season, one that begins in Houston against one of the two major schools from his home state.
Bercovici would’ve been a mystery heading into this matchup had it not been for an injury to three year starter Taylor Kelly early in the 2014 season. The 6’1”, 204 lb. Californian got the first start of his career against UCLA setting school record for completions (42) and attempts (68). He threw for 488 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to the Bruins. But, the following week, the Sun Devils traveled to Bercovici’s home state and he completed a Hail Mary to future Texan Jaelen Strong to beat USC on the last play of the game. Kelly returned and relegated Bercovici to the number two spot on the depth chart again but many were excited about his future in Tempe. Buoyed by Bercovici’s cannon arm and quick release, ASU head coach Todd Graham planned to alter his offense to feature his “new” full-time starting quarterback.
The opening weekend of the college football season is always exciting. With these two leading the way, it should make for a thrilling AdvoCare Texas Kickoff and the best quarterback matchup in week one.
– By John Harris, College Football Analyst –