CATEGORY: FOC College Football


HED:Two QBs are better than one in MSU's eyes

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

Fans wanting to see Rob Morgan at quarterback for Mississippi State will get their wish Saturday.

Fans wanting to see Matt Wyatt keep the starter's job will get their wish, too.

As they did against South Carolina, both quarterbacks will play this week when the Bulldogs hit the road to face 18th-ranked Georgia.

With each playing almost half the game, Wyatt and Morgan combined for 254 passing yards in the Bulldogs' 37-17 win over South Carolina last week, easily above the 125.7 yards State had averaged in three previous games.

A two-quarterback system isn't the first wish of MSU offensive coordinator Lynn Amedee.

But it may be his best option.

"In today's game, you like to have a starter ... a guy who can really play, a guy who the players rally around," said Amedee, who also coaches the quarterbacks. "Right now, we don't feel that comfortable. We don't feel like we've produced the points we should be getting."

Amedee was a quarterback in a two-player system at LSU in the early 1960s and was quarterbacks coach at LSU when the Tigers used Steve Ensminger and David Woodley in the late '70s.

Wyatt has struggled as the starter but has played well in streaks, hitting 50 percent of his passes the last two games. He's also connected with flanker Kevin Prentiss for touchdown passes of 47 yards against Kentucky and 72 yards against South Carolina.

Still, his interception-to-touchdown ratio is 8-2.

Morgan played briefly in the opener against Memphis but did not takes snaps against Kentucky or LSU. When Wyatt was ineffective early against South Carolina, the door was opened for Morgan's most extensive playing time.

"Going in, we thought Matt would be our quarterback, but he hasn't been that dominant factor," Amedee said. "In that case you have to go to your backup."

Enter Morgan.

The son of Warren Central High School coach Robert Morgan was 5-for-8 for 107 yards against the Gamecocks. His 53-yard touchdown pass to Lamont Woodberry on his second pass attempt gave State a 7-3 lead. With Morgan at the wheel the Bulldogs built a 21-17 halftime lead.

His role as official sparkplug won't change Saturday, and that's OK with Morgan.

"If I can come in and help the team, that's what I want to do," he said. "All that matters is Mississippi State and getting us where we need to be."

Amedee and MSU coach Jackie Sherrill have been hesitant to promise Morgan's appearance at a specific time in the game.

Morgan was part of the game plan for Kentucky and LSU, but situations dictated that Wyatt stay in the game.

"You can't say anything like that," Sherrill said. "If you say a certain time, and then that doesn't happen, you've misled the kid.

"You can't predict in football. It's not like baseball where you can say the guy's going to throw 70 pitches, and that's it. You're better off not saying anything."

Sherrill said as little as possible on his Monday teleconference, bristling at the suggestion of a mid-season competition for the starter's job.

"Matt's our starter, and we'll leave it at that," he said.

"I think Matt's going to be OK," Amedee said. "I've seen him work so hard to get here. It's not that he's not trying. Sometimes he just needs to produce better ... faster."

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