During this past week’s game in El Paso, UTSA QB Blake Bogenschutz (Bogie) took several hard hits, also sacked by a UTEP player and was slow to get up and off the field after the sack. He did not return to the game. In his place, backup QB Dalton Sturm stepped in and led the Roadrunners to victory.
Bogie was seen in the highlight video high-fiving fans after the game, and flew back to San Antonio with the team. Upon further testing, UTSA doctors and staff decided it was best to give Bogie a few days off and monitor his situation for effects of a concussion.
At Monday’s media roundtable, Coach Coker said of Blake:
“You can’t keep getting hit like that every week. It’s just too much. We’ve got to do a better job protecting him and getting rid of the ball. Blake should be fine… We need these guys healthy and you can’t let our quarterbacks get hit in the head like they did last week.”
During Tuesday’s practice, back-up QB Dalton Sturm was practicing drills with the first team offense. As it looks right now, Sturm will be the starting quarterback this Saturday against Louisiana Tech. That’s not to say that Bogie won’t be padded and dressed for the game, but as Coach Coker touts, all players must be ready to play at all times. I suspect Bogie will get some playing time in, but right now it’s just a matter of wait and see.
If Blake Bogenschutz is out the entire game, and Sturm gets hurt, it’s down to two freshmen QBs: Manny Harris, and Jaylon Henderson who is a true freshman. The coaches don’t want to play either of these guys, so they can keep their red shirts. It’s really important that the team have well developed, experienced quarterbacks. Coker said had this to say about redshirting the two QBs:
“I’d like to redshirt both of them, but for sure redshirt one. I don’t want them to have to play either one of them,” Coker said. “We’re trying to build this program for the future. My whole career it’s always ‘this guy, we needed to redshirt, redshirt to have him back next year.’ We just want to take care of those guys and keep them for as long as we can. It’s also what’s best for them and they know that.”
Another huge twist for UTSA is that two backup quarterbacks already left the team since fall practice started. First to leave was Austin Robinson, who left when UTSA went on the road to play Oklahoma State. I don’t think he ever really felt like he fit in, like he clicked with the rest of the team. He played last year, but I think he wanted more playing time during games, and the coaches just didn’t give him the opportunities he was looking for. Then this past weekend while the team was in El Paso, Russell Bellomy quietly left the team, without giving any specific reason. Bellomy transferring to UTSA was huge news in the spring, because he transferred from the University of Michigan, and was immediately eligible to play due to his spring semester degree from Michigan. He was a senior, and would be able to be a leader for UTSA’s young team. My personal thoughts are that he came to UTSA because he thought he would be the shining star of the team. Like the savior that would take the team to a bowl game. But the coaches had already made the decision to stick with Bogenschutz as the starting QB, much to Bellomy’s dismay. His decision to leave the team ultimately ended his college football career.
But back to Bogie and Sturm–they have been sharing the quarterback spotlight this season, and each bring something a little different to the table, as each individual does. This Saturday, don’t be surprised to see a lot of number 14, but also don’t be surprised if coaches decide on Friday to name Bogie as the starter.
Louisiana Tech is a tough, physical team. We’ll have to wait and see how the week progresses, and what the coaches determine to be the best decision.
Let’s show up in force this weekend to support the Roadrunners! Follow me on twitter @Laurieadyer for updates.