Sports

Scott Hosch is named starting quarterback at Harvard

10-18-14: Allston, MA: Harvard quarterback Scott Hosch (no. 3) passes during football game against Lafayette at Harvard Stadium in Allston, Mass., October 18, 2014 Photo/John Blanding, Boston Globe staff story/Craig Larson, Sports ( feature )
John Blanding/Globe staff file
Scott Hosch has a better command of the offense and has honed his decision-making, according to his coach.

Scott Hosch did not lose a start when he was called upon to quarterback the Harvard football team last fall.

Stepping in for Conner Hempel, a two-year starter sidelined first by a deep back bruise, followed by shoulder injury, Hosch piloted the Crimson to victories over Brown, Georgetown, Cornell, Lafayette, Columbia, and Penn.

That’s a 6-0 mark, while completing 61.9 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns, before Hempel made a dramatic and triumphant return in the finale against Yale. Hosch was poised, earning the trust of his teammates and the coaching staff.

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Yet entering preseason camp, Crimson coach Tim Murphy opened up the quarterback competition between Hosch, a senior from Sugar Hill, Ga., and Joe Viviano, a highly recruited junior from Berwyn, Pa..

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“The competition, I thought, would go right down to the wire; it was outstanding,” said Murphy Wednesday morning as he prepared for Saturday’s season opener at 0-2 Rhode Island.

Viviano, however, suffered a broken foot in a recent scrimmage, will undergo surgery, and is out for the season.

“No contact,” said Murphy. “He just planted his foot on a scramble.”

The break made the decision moot, but Murphy added, “I’m not sure if Scott Hosch would have not won it anyway. Scotty is doing a great job, he has complete command our of offense. He is playing with complete confidence, and the players have a lot of confidence in him.”

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Part of that confidence is the result of being thrust into the lineup in relief of Hempel in Week 1 against Holy Cross, and completing 8 of his 12 passes.

Now, according to Murphy, Hosch has a better command of the offense and has honed his decision-making skills.

“He really understands where we need to go with the football, where we need to make appropriate checks, and how to better read defenses,” said the coach, who will have Jimmy Meyer, a senior, in reserve. “He is much more polished.”

After the trip to Rhody Saturday afternoon, the Crimson, ranked 25th in the FCS, will host Brown Sept. 26 in their Ivy opener.

Craig Larson can be reached at clarson@globe.com.