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Reports: Daniel Santacaterina to start at QB for NIU vs. San Diego State

With Ryan Graham out, “Santa” has a chance to deliver another W for the Huskies.

Northern Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Daniel Santacaterina will be the starting quarterback for the Northern Illinois Huskies when they take on San Diego State on Saturday afternoon, according to multiple reports.

The news was first reported by WREX-TV’s Dan Cohen on Twitter.

Santacaterina has been the backup to Ryan Graham this season, but pushed Graham, the incumbent returning starter, in fall camps. Graham, the QB1 on the two-deep, is still dealing with an elbow injury suffered in week one.

“Santa,” as he is referred to fondly by NIU fans, led the Huskies to an upset of Nebraska on the road last Saturday and currently holds a 2-0 record this season in place of Graham, who was the starter for NIU’s loss against Boston College to start the season.

Thus far in the 2017 campaign, Santacaterina has gone 38-of-56 for 380 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He did not throw for a touchdown or interceptions againt Nebraska, but did manage 128 yards while completing approximately 69 percent of his passes.

Santacaterina, a sophomore, is 3-0 in his young career, also collecting a win over Kent State in 2016. That season, he also came in to relief of an injured Graham in an overtime victory agaisnt Easter Michigan.

If Graham’s recovery takes longer than anticipated (which, at this point, it looks like it will) Santacateria could be the guy moving forward at quarterback for the Huskies as they advance into conference play. Carey might still try to get Graham some reps when he is healthy, but with “Santa” being only a sophomore, Saturday could very well determine if he could take over the job on a permanent basis.