16 -- The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 10 , 1999
It seems like the days are gone where teams pick a quarterback and stick with him. In the era of the two-quarterback system, Michigan isn't the
only school who has two solid quarterbacks. PLenty of schools are having duels to see who has the right to be ...
THE MAN UNDER CENTER
Penn State may keep rotation all season
By William Kalec
STATE COLLEGE (U-Wire) -- Two quarterbacks? Too
tough to decide, even after two games. So No. 2 Penn State will
try to two-step it to No.I with a pair of quarterbacks, Kevin
Thompson and Rashard Casey.
"There are some advantages to it," said Penn State coach Joe
Paterno. "I think both of those kids are handling it well and
both of them add something when they go in."
At the end of last season, it appeared Thompson had earned
the right to start his senior season as the Lions' lone starting
quarterback. And for Penn State's first drive against Arizona,
that was the way it was.
Thompson was under center--- for one possession.
Then, to the surprise of almost everyone in Beaver Stadium,
Casey entered the game.
A year after it was supposed to be implemented, Penn State's
two-quarterback system had finally arrived.
Michigan never meant to have one, but the Wolverines sud-
denly find themselves using more than one quarterback, too.
Tom Brady will start tomorrow's game against Rice, but
Drew Henson will play the second quarter. This is the same
arrangement Michigan used against Notre Dame, and
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr has not indicated whether it will
last the entire season or not. He has said, though, that he will
not alternate series, as many two-quarterback teams do.
"I am not trying to create a problem for myself by trying to
establish one guy as the quarterback," Paterno said after his two
quarterbacks helped score 70 points against Akron. When they
go in "they're fresh, they can watch the game from the side and
they see the mistakes that are being made. I may become a con-
With Thompson and Rashard Casey posting a combined
completion percentage greater than 64 percent, it's easy to see
why Paterno might be sitting in a different pew. Together, they
have thrown for five touchdowns and just one interception.
But beyond stats, Thompson and Casey have proven to their
teammates that the system is the key to Penn State's offensive
production. For months last season, they battled for the right to
be the starting quarterback come September. Every snap, every
pass, every repetition was a chance to stake claim as the
Nittany Lions' offensive leader.
But after spring practice, nothing was decided -Thompson
and Casey were even.
It would stay that way, leading up to the season opener with
Southern Mississippi, a rotating two-quarterback system was
the only solution to Paterno's problem. The two-quarterback
system ended after three weeks.
At the completion of the 1998 season, Thompson's statistics
While Thompson threw for a total of six touchdowns, Casey
fired his first career scoring strike one year later, last week
"I never thought (Paterno) would, but when you have two
guys who are making things work like there, how can you
blame him?" Penn State fullback Mike Cerimele said. "It's
great - it's great that they have that ability.
"Those two guys understand what is going on. They both
respect each other. They both want to go out there and do what-
ever they can to help the team."
Last Saturday, the quarterback tandem torched the Zips
defense for 217 yards despite attempting only 12 passes. In
fact, the Lions offense has been so potent, neither Thompson
nor Casey has seen substantial time late in the fourth quarter.
Both Thompson and Casey practice now that the current sys-
tem is not likely to change. There is no more looking over the
shoulder. There is no reason to try and force a big play when
one cannot be made.
"People are looking for, 'Well, isn't it hard for you to support
Rashard Casey (above) shares signalcalling duties with
Nittany Lion teammate Kevin Thompson.
him when he's out there doing well? Don't you want to be out
there?"' Thompson said. "But people are asking you that
because they want to write something down on paper and have
"We're not going to do that here. Penn State is a team, and
that's how it's going to be."
And it appears the two-quarterback system is how it is going
to be for the rest of the season.
"If Arizona can go 12-1 last year, I believe if Kevin and me
do what we have to do, we can go 13-0" Casey said. "If they
can do it, why can't we?"
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Bollinger not prez of Badgers' offense
By Chris LeBarton
MADISON (U-Wire) - Wisconsin
assistant coach Brian White isn't wor-
ried about his quarterbacks and he
doesn't think anyone else should be,
He's seen Ortege Jenkins and Keith
Smith pull it off at Arizona, and he's
watched conference foes Michigan and
Penn State employ a similar tactic this
season. Drew Henson and Tom Brady
have shared time for Michigan.
Most notable perhaps was the suc-
cess that Ohio State was able to enjoy
two years ago. As Joe Germaine com-
plemented a more nimble Stanley
Jackson, the Buckeyes rolled to an IlI-I
record and a Rose Bowl crown, while
giving the notion of a two quarterback
But White, who is still wet behind the
ears in his first year as Wisconsin's
offensive coordinator, is not looking for
watching other teams pull off a two-
quarterback system. What's the point
when they run different offenses with
"The only thing we can do is execute
our offense, and take advantage of the
strengths of our two guys," White said.
"We don't run Arizona's offense, Penn
State's offense or Ohio State's offense.
It doesn't do us any good to try and
model someone else."
In fact, the only similarity between
the 1999 Badgers and any of the afore-
mentioned two-quarterback arrange-
ments is the coaches' intentions to ride
the system until it breaks. White admit-
ted Tuesday that the coaching staff is in
no rush to flush out a starter as long as
Scott Kavanagh and Brooks Bollinger
continue to complement one another
White could see them split time for
the length of the season.
"If last Saturday is any indication of
how things are going to be, there's
absolutely no reason to change it,"
White said. "Whether that'll continue, I
don't know, I'm not a fortuneteller. I
wish I had the crystal ball right now and
could see the future clearly. No one
would ever question why you'd play
multiple running backs or fullbacks or
"Our whole philosophy is to play as
many players that deserve to play,
regardless of what the position. Both
Scott and Brooks deserve to play. So
until one of them doesn't deserve to
play, then we're going to play both of
White raises an interesting 'point. If
every other position on the field is sub-
stituted for, why not shuffle the men
under center as the situation dictates?
It's the same logic that dictated a substi-
tution for the Detroit Lions' Barry
Sanders inside the 5-yard-line. Fantasy
Chris McIntosh anchors a Wisconsin offensive line that does its best to protect
whoever is under center for the Badgers.
owners may not have liked it, but+
Sanders wasn't the bruiser the Detroit+
Lions wanted pounding up the middle1
when they were down by seven.
Bollinger, who has accepted his posi-
tion with the unfettered gratitude one
would expect from a redshirt freshman
in the nation's toughest conference,
understands the system. In his a 3-for-7
performance against Murray State,
Bollinger entered the game in the sec-
ond quarter and should make
entrance stage Saturday about the same
Neither he nor Kavanagh, who
looked sharp in his debut as the
Badgers' starter, have been given any
time frame or schedule regarding sub-
stitutions. And frankly, Bollinger isn't
"That's my job, to deal with it,"
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - They've
known of each other for several years,
having grown up at the same time in the
same part of western Pennsylvania.
Now, each has the same goal - to
replace Donovan McNabb as the quar-
terback of the Syracuse Orangemen.
That's what makes it somewhat diffi-
cult for Madei Williams and Troy
"It's rough," said Williams, a sopho-
more who suffered an injury to the lit-
tle finger on his non-throwing hand
during the preseason, then watched as
Nunes stepped up and tried to convince
the coaching staff that he was their
"I missed a lot of quality practices
toward the end of training camp," said
Williams, who by virtue of his role last
year as McNabb's backup had the
inside track to landing the job this year.
"Those are big evaluation periods.
Coach (Paul Pasqualoni) was telling me
that's basically why my game playing
was limited last Thursday (against
Toledo). He's going to try to work me
back up in there, and hopefully every-
thing will be all right."
Pasqualoni gave Nunes the start in
the season-opener at Toledo, and the
redshirt freshman, who worked hard to
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increase his size, strength and agility in
the offseason, took advantage of the
opportunity. He completed nine-of-13
passes for 118 yards and one touch-
down, was not intercepted, and gain
44 yards on seven carries.
Williams, still wearing a bandage on
his injured finger, fumbled three times,
completed one-of-four passes for eight
yards, and ended up with minus-2
yards rushing in seven attempts.
Williams remained frustrated at his
predicament as the Orangemen pre-
pared for Saturday night's home-opener
against Central Michigan.
"There's no clear-cut starter nou
said Williams, a star at Pittsburg'
Woodland Hills High School before
coming to Syracuse. "Basically, the
guy who happened to start has been
doing a good job. When I got hurt, he
made the most of his opportunity and
proved to the coach that he could be a
guy who could run this offense and run
"He did a pretty good job last week,"
Williams said. "1 can't knock anybody
for that. As soon as this (injury) is40
straight and out of the way, there's no
saying what can happen."
What is likely to happen is that the
Orangemen will continue to use both at
the position, as well as tailback" Dee"
Brown, who runs the option with
"We evaluate the quarterback situa-
tion daily," offensive coordinator
George DeLeone said. "The good news
is we have three guys who can play*
game. These guys have to become a
unit as the season goes o
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