Trad Beatty came to Temple with a strong reputation, but the redshirt sophomore quarterback has had to patiently wait his turn to get on the field in a meaningful sequence.
In fact, had starter Anthony Russo not injured his passing shoulder, Beatty would still be waiting.
Russo’s injury, which sidelined him for last week’s 38-3 loss at Tulane and will do the same for Saturday’s noon home game against SMU, will enable Beatty to make his second straight start.
Although he is the starter, Beatty will again alternate each series with fellow redshirt sophomore Re-al Mitchell, the dual-threat transfer from Iowa State. Coach Rod Carey says if either quarterback has a hot hand, he will stick with that player.
Since it didn’t happen last week, the in-game audition continues.
Last week, Beatty completed 11-of-18 passes for 122 yards and an interception. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound left-hander was recruited by former Temple coach Geoff Collins. At the time he was considered a solid catch, especially since Beatty had an offer from Mississippi State of the Southeastern Conference.
As a senior at Ben Lippen High in Columbia, S.C., Beatty threw for 2,892 yards and 29 touchdowns with just four interceptions.
Saturday was the first time in his college career that Beatty attempted a pass. He had appeared in three games over the previous two years.
Russo assumed the starting spot in the third game of Beatty’s first season in 2018 and has been the starter ever since.
“At the quarterback position, you’re not always guaranteed to play right away, so I spent my time just learning, staying ready as much as I could in my first couple of years here, then obviously really thankful to get the opportunity,” Beatty said Tuesday in a Zoom interview. “It’s always tough when you go from high school and come into college and you don’t exactly play right away.”
There would seem to create extra pressure on both quarterbacks, having to prove themselves on each series.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say so. I think a lot of people will understand it from that perspective, but for me personally, I try not to look at it that way,” Beatty said. “I just want to go out there and do the best I can for my teammates and do what I can to try and help us get a win.”
Carey looked for positives when asked about Beatty and Mitchell, but in a 38-3 game, there is only so much he could say.
“Trad made some nice reads and had a couple nice throws in there, protected the ball well and operated on offense well,” Carey said.
Mitchell led the Owls in rushing with 37 yards on seven carries.
“Re-al, I think there was probably not as much operation consistency there, but he certainly brings an element of explosiveness that you saw glimpses out there that really bring something different to us, and we’re trying to use those strengths as well.”
It’s not surprising Beatty had a better grasp of the offense. This is his second season in coordinator Mike Uremovich’s system. Mitchell has only been with the team since July.
Now Beatty gets another chance. and he takes something into Saturday that he didn’t have last week: true game experience.
“I am coming into this week, having a little more experience than I did the week prior," he said. “So I am just trying to build off the film from last week and move forward and do what I can for the team.”