The Boise State football team's four quarterbacks face an important test today in the Broncos' first spring scrimmage.
Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin hopes to establish a more structured pecking order and focus on the top candidates for the last two weeks of spring ball.
Senior Taylor Tharp, who will start today with the first-team offense, and junior Bush Hamdan remain the front-runners with sophomore Nick Lomax and freshman Mike Coughlin also in the mix.
Today's practice begins at 3:30 p.m. at Bronco Stadium. Fans are welcome to attend but must sit in the east grandstands (the west side is a construction zone).
"It will be an opportunity for all four of us to go out and try to make plays and move the ball down the field, which is the most important thing," Tharp said. "All of the scrimmages will be important, but the first one sets the tone for the rest of spring ball."
Harsin hopes to keep the plays equal among the four quarterbacks today, but doesn't expect all of them to get a crack at running the first-team offense.
"They're all going to get a chance to go out and compete," Harsin said. "That will be the first time they get hit and banged, and that will be a little bit of a shock. … We'll see how they pop up, respond and go play."
The scrimmage is a better test for the quarterbacks than practice because it forces them to manage the game — molding their decision-making to the situation.
"The game management part of the game is huge," Hamdan said. "… Sometimes in practice it's a little tougher to incorporate that."
Tharp knows that his status as a senior and two-year backup to Jared Zabransky gives him a built-in advantage. He hopes to maintain that edge today.
The team scatters for spring break after the scrimmage.
"I just want to come out and have a real solid performance," Tharp said, "and keep solidifying myself into that starting spot."