After collecting the first win of the season Bobby Petrino appears to be a situation on his hands when it comes to the quarterback position.
Puma Pass struggled while virtually playing in a monsoon against Indiana State that caused three weather delays. His stat line didn’t look great, as he was 8-for-14 for 89 yards and an interception. It would be unfair to judge him based of those numbers given the circumstance.
Petrino even admitted the weather was a factor.
“I don’t know. I’m not big on percentages, but it was hard out there. It was. I haven’t been in rain like that, coming down like that. Looking back on it, I probably should have just handed the ball off. That’s hard to do” Petrino said at the press conference. “You start the game and all of the sudden, it’s a downpour and our first play is a pass play. So, you try to go ahead and run the game plan; make sure the players have confidence in it. But it probably was a bad call by me.”
Petrino pulled Pass for back-up Malik Cunningham midway through the third quarter and the redshirt freshman gave the Cards an offensive spark. Cunningham lead the offense to four scoring drives. He presented a different dynamic that was similar to Lamar Jackson’s skill set. Rushing for 54-yards on 12 carries and passing for 67-yards.
Initial thought was Pass was benched because of performance. However, it turns out he was also dealing with what was later revealed as turf toe.
“The first thing is to see how they come out and what kind of health that we have. How is Jawon? How is his physical health? Turf toe is not something that is easy to get over right away. It is very painful and it’s in his big toe and the joint in his big toe” Petrino stated. “It’s not a serious injury. It’s one that can bother you, especially as a quarterback, so we just got to see how he is and where he’s at. Malik’s just got to keep getting better, keep working at it, keep getting better”
When it comes to who the starter will be against WKU, it’s a wait and see situation. Petrino didn’t shoot down the idea of both guys getting reps when healthy.
“Going into the season, it was my idea that we’d have one and he’s our starter and we’d go play. We have used two quarterbacks here before. When Stefan was a senior, we felt like Brian (Brohm) was going to be the future. We were really looking forward, so we brought him in the second quarter and he played the second quarter. He did a good job, it prepared him well. It was hard to defend us because it was like two different offenses. It was hard on Stefan. I think he did a good job of really focusing on the team in doing that. It’s really the only time I’ve played two quarterbacks. I’m not totally against it, but I think we need to get them healthy and see where they’re at.”
Daniel Bien-Aime joined The Cardinal Connect as a contributing writer in August of 2018. He is employed by iHeartMedia and previously interned at ESPN Louisville. Daniel is a former member of the University of Louisville track & field team and is from Miami, Florida.