The quarterback situation for football resembles that of a carousel carnival ride.
Central Michigan will be starting its third quarterback in three games when they travel to Las Vegas to take on UNLV on Saturday.
Redshirt sophomore Alex Niznak was quoted during the week before the New Hampshire game saying he wanted to be a leader.
“You want a leader who isn’t going to flinch in the face of adversity,” Niznak said. “I thought I was able to face that head on, and I think that’s my biggest asset moving forward.”
Adversity had struck the football team, again and again.
After a quarterback battle throughout camp, junior Cody Kater came away as the starter for the season opener against Michigan.
Kater’s reign as starting quarterback ended quickly after breaking his collarbone in the first quarter against Michigan. Kater was replaced by Niznak and he was competitive at the Big House.
He finished the Michigan game and started the next week against FCS opponent New Hampshire. After being ineffective against New Hampshire, going two-for-five with an interception, Niznak was replaced by redshirt freshman Cooper Rush.
Rush led the Chippewas to a comeback victory and finished the game 19-for-32, 326 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Rush will be making his first collegiate start against UNLV. Head coach Dan Enos has acknowledged it’s tough starting three quarterbacks in three games.
“It’s challenging,” Enos said. “You try to hone in on his strengths. It becomes difficult, and the problem is you don’t have enough time during the week to make two or three different game plans. We’re going to try to hone in on things that Cooper does well, and hopefully he will be our starting quarterback.”
One benefit of having a quarterback battle during the summer is that each quarterback received reps with the first team.
Rush already has chemistry with the top receivers as well as having their timing down when they run their routes.
Enos is pleased that the reps given to Rush are paying off with him starting now.
“These guys work together so much during the summer,” Enos said. “One thing I’m really glad we did during two-a-days is work all three quarterbacks with the ones. Cooper had a chance to throw to Titus Davis, Courtney Williams, Jesse Kroll and Andrew Flory all through the summer. In hind sight, that was a smart thing we did – not limiting the reps to just one guy. We gave all of them an equal opportunity.”