Buchner, Pyne talk friendship, QB competition

Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - As head coach Marcus Freeman told us on day 1 of fall camp, right now it’s a two-man race between a pair of familiar faces for this season’s starting quarterback job.

Tyler Buchner appeared in all but a couple of games as a true freshman last season, and that experience appears to be paying off by making him more comfortable running the show.

Drew Pyne has an extra year with the program under his belt compared to Buchner -- but less in-game experience.

Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees says they’re not rushing to name a starter.

“I don’t think there’s an ‘aha!’ moment,” says Rees. “I think it’s got to be a culmination of work. It’s not going to be, ‘oh this happened today, there we go.’ This is a nine-month evaluation process that we’re going through. So for us, it’s going to be the total body of work and the consistency at which guys prepare and practice at. The guy who makes the best decisions and is the most consistent, that’s who’s going to play.”

Rees adds that he’s pleased with how his QB’S have handled the camp competition.

“I’d love to sit up here and take credit, but those are great kids. They’re very selfless and guys who are team first. They’re friends on their own merit off the field.”

“There’s sort of two sides of our friendship,” says Buchner. “There’s a side on the field where we’re super competitive and we’re also super supportive of each other. If Drew does well, the whole Red Army (quarterback room) is happy because it’s great for us. If he doesn’t do well, then it’s a bad day. We’re a unit and we work together. We cheer for each other’s successes and it’s the same thing with the downfalls. "

“He and I are really good friends,” says Pyne. “We golf and talk about everything. We watch film together. Our girlfriends hang out. We’re really close. On the field, I think we both know we’re two extremely hard competitors. He and I push each other to compete. It’s a good thing because that makes both of us better.”

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