To use Luke Doty’s words, it’s “crazy how much difference a year will make.”
This time last year Doty just had his first collegiate spring practice ripped away from him and he was spending his time learning Mike Bobo’s system over a computer screen.
Fast forward to now, as Doty wraps his first full spring, it’s still a new system under Marcus Satterfield but the second-year quarterback feels much more comfortable than he did last season.
“I’m definitely pretty comfortable with it,” Doty said. “I have a lot more to learn but feel like I’m in a good spot. Everything’s starting to click and you can tell. I know I can tell whenever I get out there and see the defense and see how they’re playing and the way things open up.”
Doty and the rest of the quarterbacks are still learning Satterfield’s newly installed system and still have months to learn it before the regular season starts, but Doty’s comfort level in the system — and college football as a whole — is high.
It’s always cliché to hear about the game slowing down for a player, especially a quarterback, in year two but Doty says it’s true.
Slowing down can be hard to quantify at times, but Doty said it comes with just knowing different windows to throw into and the overall concept and goal of each play in the scheme.
“It’s taking your three-step drop, your five-step drop and seeing the way the defense opens up and seeing windows you may not have seen a year ago,” Doty said. “That just comes with putting your eyes in the right place and having a better understanding of the overall concept, not just what the play is or what the routes are. It’s understanding the concept and understanding what we’re trying to get done as an offense.”
It’s one thing to know a route or which receiver is running what on a given play, but it’s another to understand how the routes work together and how they play off different coverages that defenses run.
And Doty has gone headfirst into understanding those concepts since his freshman season ended, working a lot with Satterfield on it this winter as he gets ready to compete for the starting role this fall.
“I really put an emphasis on and understanding the general concepts and what we want to get out of each play whether it be first down or second down or what the situation is on third down. Is it third and short or third and long?” Doty said. “It’s little things like that where you’re understanding what the situation is and what the concept is. That’s helped me a lot.”
Doty has four more practices to go through before spring practice is over, including the team’s spring game Saturday, but likes where he is right now.