The best seat in the house at Washington-Grizzly Stadium for Gevani McCoy was on his ass.
McCoy was dragged to the turf on both of his beautiful longball touchdowns – One to strike back right before the half and the next to give the Vandals an unbelievable two-score lead.
Montana fans must have thought a freshman quarterback coming into their fortress of noise was an automatic win. “There’s just no way Idaho can come in here and beat us.” “This is our year to win a Nattie,” they thought.
Scampering into the end zone for a two-point conversion to lock the game away, McCoy put his finger up to lip to silence the doubters. The reported sold-out crowd at Washington-Grizzly Stadium did as they were told and watched in stunned silence.
Idaho’s 30-23 upset at Montana was a team effort, absolutely, and Idaho’s signal caller would be the first to say it. But let’s make no mistake, bringing the Little Brown Stein home to Moscow doesn’t happen without confident quarterback play.
Experience is not a prerequisite for leadership. Snaps under your belt aren’t required to have composure. You’re allowed to have swagger and arrogance even if you haven’t proved anything. Gevani McCoy has gifted Idaho with these traits we’ve been desperately missing at the position in the Big Sky era, and it’s only taken him six games to do so.
The conclusion is clear: That’s my quarterback, and I’ve been waiting so goddamn long for this.
All you have to do is watch the kid. Just watch how he reacts when shit hits the fan. He doesn’t panic when his pocket breaks down. Mistakes don’t happen when chaos ensues around him. He doesn’t lose himself when he does happen to make forgivable mistakes.
His response to throwing a game-ending pick at Washington State was to not throw another one for five games. And when he did, late in the second quarter to let Montana take a 13-5 lead, he responded by going right back down the field with a 7-play, 75-yeard drive capped with a beautiful 23-yard tuddie toss to Hayden Hatten.
The defining characteristic of the McCoy led Vandal offense is they don’t give up in the moments you’d expect them to. When opponents who are supposed to overwhelm us have moments making us think “Ah, shit, okay, there it is. This is probably over,” McCoy says “Nah, it’s not. Watch this.”
Despite being down multiple scores at Washington State and Indiana, he got his ass back out there to lead touchdown drives in the fourth quarter in each of those games.
“Yeah, so what, we still lost those games.”
Obviously you’re not paying attention. Composed quarterbacks realize every snap and every drive is an opportunity. If you don’t back down in Power Five games, what is the worst thing any Big Sky opponent could do?
There are people smarter than me who can say a lot more about the raw numbers than I can. All I can do is watch the way he handles himself and operates the offense. My attempts to stay tempered have completely failed.
I’ve been overwhelmed with the innate feeling every college football fan has within, the desire for a program-defining quarterback to rally behind and have unwavering confidence in their squad’s ability to win week in and week out.
This feeling is so unbelievable foreign to me after years of watching us fail to even come close to a functional offense at the Big Sky level. You know, those times when just knowing that if we were in third and long we might as well just send the punter a down early.
I might be getting ahead of myself. He’s a long way out from having his name etched into the Corner Club Memorabilia Hall of Fame. Get us into the playoffs this year, G-Man, and we’ll go from there.
That’s my Effing quarterback, man.