Coming off a bye week following a promising game against Illinois, the Huskies will travel on the road to face another Big Ten team this week in Indiana. It’s an opportunity to build off of their close week 2 loss against the Illini and it’s also the first road game for true freshman quarterback Jack Zergiotis. Let’s get right to the questions:
Not to speculate, but it didn’t look good for senior RT Matt Peart last Saturday after coming off the field as the training staff was performing stability tests on his knee after he was helped to the sidelines. That isn’t a diagnosis of anything, but there was clear concern after he got banged up. As far as WR Ardell Brown is concerned, it was clear he was much less than 100-percent against Illinois, but he still made a significant impact in his debut, grabbing 7-catches for 81-yards. An extra week off should have helped get him closer to full-speed and allow him to show what he’s truly capable of, something he showed at the start of camp in August.
No, there isn’t anything wrong with redshirt freshman QB Steven Krajewski. HC Randy Edsall explained the decision to go with true freshman Jack Zergiotis following the loss to Illinois, saying, “there’s something about that young man, he has a little bit of the ‘IT’ factor. I saw something out of him during preseason and after Mike [Beaudry] got hurt, I talked with the offensive coaches. Sunday we went to practice, I saw something and I said this is the way we are going to go. There is no quarterback controversy, he is out quarterback moving forward.”
3-for-1 here, let’s do one at a time. (1) QB for Indiana, it’s Jack Zergiotis and it will be Zergiotis the rest of the way [see Edsall’s comments above]. (2) Peart, also see above, we’ll find out some more during Edsall’s weekly press conference tomorrow (NOTE – no news there would be good news). (3) As for the 27-point dogs at Indiana, in agreement there, thought the same in week 2 against Illinois. I don’t think Vegas has picked up on the Huskies defensive improvement thus far (they are currently ranked 19th nationally in total defense) and in my opinion, I think Illinois may be the stronger of the two Big Ten teams the Huskies play this season, even after their home loss to Eastern Michigan this past weekend. This is the first road game for Zergiotis, so how he handles a new environment will determine what the offense can do, but the Huskies defense will travel.
The move of Zavier Scott to WR was due to the Huskies depth at running back with the addition of Art Thompkins prior to spring ball. However, with the incoming class, plus transfers, one surprise has been how the receiving corps was really bolstered as well during the offseason, which has pushed Scott back on the ‘depth chart.’ Edsall confirmed after the loss to Illinois that they are making a move at the position, moving true freshman Cam Ross from the outside to the slot and adding fellow true freshman Matt Drayton to the starting lineup opposite Ardell Brown. Your top three receivers are all new additions from a season ago with Brown, Ross and Drayton the top three. Behind them are Heron Maurisseau, Cam Hairston and Quayvon Skanes, with Elijah Jeffreys also in the mix. During camp, Scott really never broke into 2nd team reps, which speaks to the talent the Huskies have at the position. Look for Scott to contribute on special teams this season as he continues to learn the position.