|photo by Grant Jefferies|
This time, Chris Tuten, the incumbent pictured above, is looking to keep his starting job while Jack Allison looks to take it.
"It's tight," said coach Dave Marino.
Tuten was a sophomore last season who lost out on the starting job to senior Spencer Atkins. Atkins suffered a injury during the first game of the season, however, and moved to linebacker when he returned.
Tuten threw for 1,264 yards and 17 touchdowns in helping the Tigers to a third straight playoff appearance. But the 6-foot-2 Allison, a rising sophomore, is giving Tuten a run this spring.
"Jack has made unbelievable strides," Marino said. "Right now, Chris has just a little bit better grasp of our offense. But Jack throws an accurate ball, he throws a catchable ball - he's just doing outstanding.
"It's real tight. Jack's competing very well. We're excited with the prospect he has, and the upside is just off the charts for him."
Considering neither player is a senior, whomever finishes second may be the backup for the next two seasons. Or, as he did last year when he moved Atkins to linebacker, Marino could switch either Tuten or Allison to a different position.
Each will get an equal amount of reps Thursday when the Tigers host Booker at 7 p.m.
"We've got to let them continue to compete," Marino said, "and just see who the best one is for us."