In the fourth quarter last week, Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos put sophomore backup quarterback Cody Kater into the game against Navy.
While Enos has reiterated that senior, three-year starter Ryan Radcliff is still the starting quarterback, it does pose plenty of questions.
First, it shows Kater has earned the respect from his coaches during practice this season.
Redshirt freshman Alex Niznak had a tremendous spring game and going into the season was listed as the co-backup on the depth chart. Coaches said Kater, a Grand Rapids Community College and Cincinnati transfer, was still behind in the offense during spring practice.
Does that mean he will have the inside track at the job after Radcliff?
Will this offense look different with a quarterback more capable of running?
Ever since Enos has been the head coach, Radcliff has been his quarterback. He has said if Radcliff showed the ability to run, it would help the offense that much more. With Kater or Niznak, he would have that.
Would there be more designed quarterback runs or perhaps the read option?
Even coming off the bench for a “spark,” as Enos said Kater did against Navy, you would think there would be an offense in place that best fits him. Kater was known for his running ability at GRCC, while Radcliff is a different style quarterback.
With Radcliff taking nearly every snap this season, at what point during this season will rotating other quarterbacks in be smart to just give others experience?
Right now, you put in the player who gives you the best chance to win – which right now is Radcliff. While he has been inconsistent, he is still high in the Mid-American Conference in passing yards and can be very precise.
CMU still has a chance to go to a bowl game if the Chippewas go on a run to finish the season.
But if they drop a few more games during this home stand, it’s time to see more of the younger quarterbacks; see their ability and give them experience heading into next season.
Kater went 2-for-3 for 12 yards and was sacked in his first CMU appearance, but Enos bringing him in is more telling than what he did on the field.
Clearly he is putting himself in a position to be the starter the next two seasons and is making great strides in practice.
But when will we see him – or Niznak – again?