The EKU coaching staff came into the season with the intention of using both senior T.J. Pryor and sophomore Jared McClain at quarterback.
The idea was basically to rotate the two talented signal-callers into games depending on the situation.
“Our plan really was to play them both 50-50 because they can both run the entire offense and they both have different things they are better at,” EKU coach Dean Hood. “It just hasn’t worked out that way.”
A hamstring injury that Pryor suffered just before the season opener is the main reason that the quarterback rotation has never really developed.
Both quarterbacks saw action last weekend in a win on the road over Coastal Carolina, but even though McClain got the start, Pryor took most of the snaps.
McClain played just three series, leading the Colonels (2-1) to a touchdown, while also throwing an interception.
The sophomore was 7-of-8 for 101 yards.
Pryor took almost every snap for the final three quarters and led EKU on four scoring drives — all of which were 73 yards or longer.
The senior was 6-of-10 for 124 yards.
McClain was under center for 18 offensive snaps, while Pryor took 48 snaps.
“McClain was playing so good early, so we never put T.J. in,” Hood said. “Then we put T.J. in and he was playing so good we didn’t want to go back to Jared. Maybe this week we will get used to the rotation.”
Because of the hamstring injury, Pryor did not play at all in the season opener at Purdue. The following week against Morehead State, Pryor got the start and McClain saw very limited action. The sophomore did not attempt a pass and had two rushes for seven yards.
Pryor said after the Coastal Carolina game that his hamstring was feeling better and that he was almost back at 100 percent.
The senior ran the ball just three times for 18 yards against the Chanticleers, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Pryor now has 976 yards rushing during his four-year career at EKU.
“I think our style of play helps his hamstring a little bit,” Hood said. “We don’t need (T.J.) to run to be successful. He looked as good to me in Monday’s practice as he has all year.”
The Colonels are set to return to action Saturday against OVC rival Jacksonville State at Roy Kidd Stadium.
Game time is 6 p.m.
Fun in the sun
During last weekend’s trip to South Carolina, the Colonels had the opportunity to enjoy a little fun in the sun.
The team stayed at a hotel right on Mrytle Beach and the players were allowed some time on the beach during their two-day stay.
“It was a little vacation time,” EKU senior wide receiver Tyrone Goard said. “We got away. We freed our minds and we came out and played a good game. I thought it was a good idea.”
Following a couple of days at the beach, the Colonels picked up an impressive victory over Coastal Carolina.
The experience may have been relaxing for the players, but it was nerve-racking for the coaching staff.
“It didn’t help my stress level,” Hood said. “That’s a slippery slope, giving them some rope. But, we felt like we had to. We were down there. We were on the ocean. I just felt like it too hard to tell them to stay in the hotel and not go outside.”
The Colonels are scheduled to play Coastal Carolina in Richmond next year, but the players would certainly enjoy another trip to Mrytle Beach in the future.
“I don’t think we want them to come here,” EKU defensive back Justin Bell said. “We want to go there.”