Utah Utes football: Quarterback battles on the hill

Published: Saturday, Oct. 3 2015 9:20 p.m. MDT

This year's quarterback battle is nothing new for the Utah football team. Over the past 20 years there have been numerous competitions and changes. Only seven times did one quarterback start every game. Here's a look at the past 20 seasons:

1989 — Scott Mitchell started the season and played 10 games before injuring his knee in practice the week of the BYU game. Mike Richmond started the final two games.

1990 — Transfer Jason Woods was named the starter in fall camp, but Richmond finished the season. In between each player had five starts as new coach Ron McBride went back and forth between the two.

1991 — Frank Dolce, who sat out as a redshirt the year before, was named the starter at the end of spring ball. By the final game, Richmond and Woods split time against BYU. Dolce had led the Utes to a 5-4 record before breaking his ankle in the second-to-last game.

1992 — Dolce played most of the season but injured his knee and was replaced by Mike McCoy for two games in midseason.

*1993 — McCoy was challenged by redshirt freshman Harold Lusk and redshirt sophomore Neil Aoga but won the job in camp and played all season.

*1994 — McCoy played all season and led the Utes to a 10-2 record and No. 8 final ranking.

1995 — The Utes' choices were Brandon Jones, who had prepped at North Summit High and Mike Fouts, a walk-on JC player. Jones was named the starter late in fall camp, but after two losses to start the season, Fouts took over and led the Utes to seven wins in nine games, including a decisive 34-17 win over BYU in Provo.

*1996 — Fouts played all season and led Utes to an 8-4 record and a Copper Bowl appearance.

1997 — JC transfer Jonathan Crosswhite was named the starter at the end of spring ball, but freshman Darnell Arceneaux replaced him in a mid-season game and for good in November led the Utes to two season-ending wins.

1998 — Arceneaux led Utah to a 2-0 start, but broke his index finger of his throwing hand in practice. Crosswhite took over, but was replaced by Arceneaux in mid-season. But Crosswhite started the last two games after Arceneaux was injured again.

1999 — Arceneaux started the season but was replaced by T.D. Croshaw after injuring his foot against Louisiana-Monroe. Croshaw played several games, but Arceneaux got the start in Game 9, only to be replaced by Croshaw twice during a home loss to Wyoming. Croshaw started the next three games but was injured in the Las Vegas Bowl and replaced by Arceneaux, who led the Utes to a 17-6 victory.

2000 — Croshaw started the first two games, Arceneaux the next five, before redshirt freshman Lance Rice started at New Mexico. Rice started the next three games but was relieved in the finale against BYU by Arceneaux, who led a near-comeback victory.

*2001 — Rice started all season and backup Ryan Breska played sparingly in four games.

2002 — Rice started the first five games but was benched after a third straight Ute loss and sophomore Brett Elliott started final six games.

2003 — Under new head coach Urban Meyer, Elliott started the first two games but was injured in Texas A&M game. Sophomore Alex Smith took over for final 10 games and went 9-1 and earned second-team All-MWC honors.

*2004 — Smith started the entire season as Utes went 12-0 and was the NFL No. 1 draft pick.

2005 — Brian Johnson started the first 10 games but injured his knee against New Mexico. After hardly playing all season, JC transfer Brett Ratliff led the Utes to victories over BYU and Georgia Tech.

*2006 — Ratliff started entire season, except for brief appearances by Tommy Grady and Eric Weddle. Johnson redshirted.

2007 — Johnson started the season but injured his shoulder in first game. Tommy Grady took over and started three games before Johnson played remainder of season.

*2008 — Johnson started the entire season with Corbin Louks playing occasionally as the Utes rolled to a 13-0 season.

* — Years when one quarterback started the entire season

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