Three weeks, three different starting quarterbacks. That's the situation the Central Michigan Chippewas are in.
One start into his career as the Central Michigan starting quarterback, the brilliantly named Alex Niznak has been replaced.
During today's Mid-American Conference coaches teleconference CMU head coach Dan Enos announced that redshirt freshman Cooper Rush has been named the starter for Week 3 against UNLV.
"We're still trying to figure out who we are a little bit, in certain areas," Enos said.
Niznak was named the Week 2 starter after Cody Kater went down with a broken collarbone in the season-opener. Niznak led the Chippewas offense at the beginning of the New Hampshire game Saturday, but struggled to get anything going. CMU trailed New Hampshire 13-0 midway through the second quarter before Enos pulled the trigger and brought in Rush.
Rush played brilliantly, leading the Chippewas back to a 24-21 victory. He threw for three touchdowns, all in the second half, and finished the game with 326 yards.
During Niznak's time in the game, the sophomore went 2-for-5 with 7 yards.
"He came in and did a really good job and provided us with a spark," Enos said.
"Saturday we were out of sync and it was pouring rain when he came in," the coach said of Rush. "He put the ball in the right spot and made very good decisions for the most part throughout the day. Where we go from here? I think as we evaluated the tape we feel that Cooper deserves to be our starting quarterback at this point and he will start Saturday."
Two weeks ago Rush was the third string quarterback, and due to extenuating circumstances Rush is now the leader of the team. A dark horse candidate to win the starting job in the summer, Rush was beat out by Kater and Niznak in the depth chart. But Rush possessed superior passing abilities from the start, and with Zurlon Tipton out for the season CMU is without their running game, making the quarterback position all that more valuable.
Now Rush's tasks have changed from holding a clipboard to holding a team together that has started to unravel. After his performance in the second half of the New Hampshire game though, getting support from his teammates shouldn't be an issue going forward. now he just needs to continue to come through for them.
You can listen to the audio from Enos' full interview HERE.