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Quarterback controversy is the last thing UMass needs as it heads to Kansas State

Mike Wegzyn was the unquestioned starter from spring ball, through media day and in the first two games. But after getting pulled at halftime, things are looking blurry.

A.J. Doyle will most likely get his first start of 2013 on Saturday against Kansas State.
A.J. Doyle will most likely get his first start of 2013 on Saturday against Kansas State.

There is an old football cliche that goes like this: If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. Someone needs to pass that on to Charley Molnar because it seems that, after two tough losses, he doesn't know who he wants taking snaps on Saturdays.

Mike Wegzyn had a solid season as a redshirt freshman last year, considering the circumstances, and held onto the job throughout spring practices, summer drills and fall camp. But now two games into the 2013 season he seems to have lost a grip on the job as A.J. Doyle has made up some ground.

Molnar has said he plans on using the two signal callers in every game this season, which isn't an altogether uncommon practice (see Chris Leak and Tim Tebow). However, the UMass Minutemen head coach hasn't been subbing in for different looks - he's been making wholesale changes.

Monday marked the first day Wegzyn saw his first-team snaps start to disappear as Doyle got most of the looks. Molnar said that much of that has to with how much they have seen Wegzyn work with the first-team since the spring, but its hard to ignore the timing of this reduction.

UMass made its quarterback change at the beginning of the second half of its embarrassing 24-14 loss to Maine on Saturday after an inconsistent first half saw the Minutemen trail 10-7. Doyle didn't do much better than Wegzyn, leading exactly the same amount of scoring drives (one) as his predecessor, but seemed to take all the wind from Wegzyn's sails.

To put it simply: there is no reason to think A.J. Doyle will not start Saturday's game against the Kansas State Wildcats.

The last thing this team needs is a shakeup at the most important position on the field, but the next-to-last thing it needs is to continue doing what it's doing. Doyle is a more athletic style of quarterback and could open up the option game a bit more, but whether that is the right question to answer at the moment is unclear.

The best-case scenario is that Doyle starts, energizes the offense and builds off the little victories UMass has had in the trenches. He continues working well with Tajae Sharpe, opens up more running lanes for Stacey Bedell, and UMass puts up 17 points before going home with another loss.

The worst-case scenario? Doyle is no better than Wegzyn, except the offense falters even more because everyone else has to adjust to a new quarterback. Molnar will continue doing the two-QB thing, receivers keep looking out of sync, and UMass gets shut out for the second time this season sending it back to Square One next Monday.

This is a sport ruled by quarterbacks and while UMass thinks it has two of them, as the saying goes, it really have none.

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