Take your pick: Radcliff, Westendorp both struggle against MSU; starter uncertain
In the depth chart for Central Michigan sits a question mark next to the position of quarterback.
The starting position is uncertain for the 3:30 p.m. game on Saturday against Northern Illinois (2-2) at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
“We’ll see what happens this week in practice,” head coach Dan Enos said. “If A.J. (Westendorp) would have played well he would have played the rest of the game.”
This uncertainly comes after junior quarterback Ryan Radcliff struggled in the first quarter against Michigan State. Sophomore A.J. Westendorp replaced him, but he didn’t have success either.
Radcliff was re-inserted after two interceptions by Westendorp.
“There’s three plays in a row where you think he’s on and he doing what he’s coached to do and then we’ll have a couple in a row where he’s not doing that, so he just needs to be more consistent,” Enos said on Ryan Radcliff’s performance.
Radcliff was 11-for-29 for 81 yards on the day. He threw a touchdown pass to senior tight end David Blackburn, but also had two interceptions.
Along with consistency, coaches and teammates believe low confidence is effecting the quarterback position.
“Obviously confidence plays a huge key in any position, especially quarterback,” said junior wide receiver Cody Wilson.
Westendorp, who was expected to start the rest of the game, according to Enos, was pulled after a rough start.
Westendrop opened with a 15-yard run, but that was the only highlight.
He finished the day 1-for-4 with two interceptions.
His first interception came on his second pass of the game when pressure forced Westendorp to throw off balance. His pass went right to safety Isaiah Lewis, who easily caught the football, taking it 37 yards for a touchdown. His score extended the Spartans lead to 21.
Westendorp returned for his second drive, completing a four-yard pass to receiver Jerry Harris, but MSU struck again.
Sophomore linebacker Max Bullough intercepted Westendorp at the CMU 33-yard-line, returning it four yards, setting up a David Conroy field goal.
“I’d tell both of them that the only thing constant in their life right now is God and that’s their rock so lean on him,” Wilson said. “Just keep working hard and its got to turn around.”
The CMU defense was put in bad situations after multiple turnovers as the offense continued to stall out, drive after drive.
“If he doesn’t play well it’s hard to be good on offense, no matter what type of offense you run,” Enos said about Radcliff. “If your quarterback isn’t playing, well it’s going to have an effect on everybody. When he does play well we look pretty good, but when he’s not we’re very average.”
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