Baring an absolute meltdown Saturday at Nippert Stadium, defeating Northwestern State will be far from the biggest concern for head coach Tommy Tuberville and the UC Bearcats.
Following an ugly 45-17 loss at the hands of Illinois and the loss of Starting quarterback Munchie Legaux, UC has numerous questions to answer against the lower-division Demons. More importantly, is Brendon Kay’s shoulder healthy enough to lead UC in Legaux’s absence?
“He is ready to go [from a health standpoint],” Tuberville said. “He is excited and understands the situation. The great thing about this is last year he came in later in the year and played pretty well. It is not like we have an inexperienced guy out there running the offense. Our players respect Brendon and they know what he can do.”
With Notre Dame transfer Gunner Kiel sitting out due to National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, Legaux injured and former UC quarterbacks Patrick Coyne and Jordan Luallen having been moved to other positions in the offseason, and UC is left with only three active quarterbacks on the roster.
Redshirt freshman Bennie Coney will see time Saturday, as a means of preparation.
“He will go in the game on Saturday no matter how we are doing,” Tuberville said. “We have to get him into the game. We can’t put him into a tough situation when the first time he goes in he looks around and hasn’t taken a snap. So no matter what happens, these next two weeks I plan on giving him some playing time.”
Not surprisingly after such a sound defeat, quarterback will not be the only position to see fluctuation Saturday.
“We’ll make some position changes this week; obviously we won’t make them known,” Tuberville said. “But we’re still trying to get the pieces of the puzzle in the right spot to make this a better team.”
UC’s defensive backfield, which was picked apart by Illini QB Nathan Scheelhaase and the wide receiver unit are the most likely to see full-scale changes Saturday.
Tion Green, who missed the Illinois game while recovering from a severely broken nose, will also add depth to the ground game.
As for Legaux’s status, his family has asked for privacy in regards to his injury. Although, Tuberville’s reluctance to comment on Legaux’s possible plans to utilize a medical redshirt, does not bode well for the fallen senior
“I have spoken with Munchie a couple of times. He is ready to get it going to where he can get rehab going and see what he can do. We would love to have him back. He’s got a chance, but you just don’t know until all said and done and he sits down with the doctors.”