Quarterback Quinten Dormady's second chance to rewrite history at Central Michigan
Central Michigan was thrown a major curveball on Oct. 8.
Junior quarterback David Moore, who had started the last four contests and thrown for 1,134 yards and five touchdowns on the season, tested positive for a banned substance and was handed a year-long suspension. Although the suspension is being appealed, it is unlikely that Moore will play again this season.
Coach Jim McElwain was forced to make a change.
"Obviously, really surprised," McElwain said of the team's reaction. "We also knew we had a guy that was more than capable of coming off an injury."
In stepped Quinten Dormady, a senior who is a rare double graduate transfer. Dormady had started the first two games of the season. He left the second game of the season, a 61-0 loss to Wisconsin, due to an injury.
After returning to full health, he was destined to step into a backup role given Moore's solid play.
Following the twist of fate, the job was again Dormady's to lose.
He was regifted the offense after the suspension heading into the Chippewas' homecoming contest with New Mexico State on Oct 12.
Despite the change on the depth chart, McElwain trusted the experience of Dormady and elected to not alter the game plan.
"It doesn't change how we are approaching the game," McElwain told reporters before the contest. "We still need to push it downfield and make some explosives for us to be successful this weekend."
Successful they were.
The Chippewas rode a strong rushing attack to a 42-28 victory over the Aggies. In the win, Dormady was 14 of 24 for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Although Dormady's workload appeared light, McElwain stated that it had nothing to do with a lack of trust in his quarterback. While acknowledging Dormady's rusty performance, he stated that the prevalent winds made it difficult to throw the ball downfield.
"That wind psyched us out a little bit," McElwain said after the victory. "Throwing into it kind of cut the game in half with some of the shots (downfield)."
Following the win over the Aggies, Dormady and his team rolled into Bowling Green. They were able to take their first road win of the season, a 38-20 triumph over the Falcons. In the win, he was 22 of 36 for 295 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
"Personally, I took a step forward," Dormady said after the game. "Last week I threw the ball very poorly, and this week I started to hit a bit of a stride."
The postgame press conference also offered Dormady his first opportunity to speak on the situation regarding Moore and his transition back into the starting role.
"We were both supportive of each other," Dormady said. "It was pretty seamless from that aspect.
"It's a tough deal for him, and I feel for him."
Central Michigan took its three-game winning streak to Buffalo, where the Chippewas met up with the top rushing defense in the Mid-American Conference.
Forced to put the ball in the air more than desired, Dormady struggled.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns, however, he turned the ball over three times, including an interception in the late stages of the 43-20 loss that was returned for a score.
"You know, he was just OK," McElwain said of his quarterback. "Obviously with the fumble on the sack, ball security is of importance, but there's a lot of guys, where, you know, we need to play better and play right."
Heading into a pivotal matchup with Northern Illinois, the Chippewas needed a win to keep any hopes of a MAC championship alive.
The offense would go where Dormady led them, and it all started with eliminating turnovers.
He got the memo.
In a 48-10 thrashing of the Huskies, Dormady completed 75% of his passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
His most telling stat?
"That's something I focused on, just making good decisions this week and taking what the defense was going to give us," Dormady said.
McElwain also voiced his pleasure with his quarterback's performance.
"For the most part, I think he had a really good game," McElwain said.
Heading into the Chippewas' biggest game of the season against Ball State on Nov. 16, McElwain expects success from his quarterback.
"Each week his confidence has grown," McElwain said. "I've been really proud of him coming off that injury."
Dormady's run with the Chippewas will last only one season. However, his college football legacy has not yet been decided.
This second chance at the starting job serves as a chance to rewrite a history currently based on injuries.
If he can rally his offense and lead the team to a pair of wins to complete the season, as well as a possible third in a postseason contest, his name will likely become synonymous with the return to prominence of Central Michigan football.
It's all up to him.