Fresh off an embarrassing 24-14 loss to FCS rival Maine a week ago, UMass head coach Charley Molnar decided his team needed a change. That change is coming by way of a new starting quarterback in sophomore A.J. Doyle.
Mike Wegzyn, the team's starter for most of last season and the first two games of this year has struggled, leading to him losing his job in the days leading up to the Minutemen's road game against Kansas State Saturday.
Molnar spoke with friend of the Belt, Daniel Malone of MASSLive.com the other day, explaining the decision.
"We just felt like maybe a change would energize our offense. (Doyle) brings a totally different mood to the team (and) a totally different personality, which is awesome...Right now, we just felt like, based on some of the things we saw in the video, even though it wasn't by any stretch a winning performance by him, that he put himself in a position to play." - Charley Molnar.
Apparently Molnar didn't feel Wegzyn's first half performance against the Black Bear's last week was "awesome". Doyle has started before, in UMass's 2012 season-finale, a 42-21 loss to Central Michigan. but hasn't looked good by any stretch of the imagination. For his career Doyle is 67-of-121 with 516 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions. But the Minutemen are off to a horrible start, and ultimately it seems that Molnar, and the team, felt a change at quarterback was the best choice right now.
Molnar told Malone he thought the team itself was calling for a change.
"I think that they're like everybody – they're just a little frustrated over not winning. And they're looking to me to come up with a solution. Certainly, Mike wasn't the reason why we lost. There's a million reasons why we lost, and it starts with me. But I think that moving to changing that position, with it being such a key position, perhaps gives us maybe a new identity here over the next couple of games." - Charley Molnar.
Now the Minutemen are looking to Doyle to provide a new spark and hopefully right the ship before it steers too far off into the abyss. But if Doyle isn't the answer, what's next? Does this mean that we can expect to see a quarterback carousel all season long? Something tells me that could lead to even more issues for a team struggling to find an identity and compete in a division that many think they have no place being in.
The last thing the Minutemen needed was a quarterback controversy, but like the loss to Maine it has happened and won't go away anytime soon.