Starting QB not announced

From left to right; senior Allan Bridgford, junior Cole Weeks and freshman Nick Mullens execute passing drills as the search for the starting quarterback continues duing a preseason practice at USM. Christopher Little/Printz

From left to right; senior Allan Bridgford, junior Cole Weeks and freshman Nick Mullens execute passing drills as the search for the starting quarterback continues during a preseason practice at USM.
Christopher Little/Printz

As the search for the 2013 starting quarterback continues, head coach Todd Monken challenges the quarterbacks during his search to find a starter.

The quarterback position is the most important in the game of football. More times than not, the quarterback is the leader who guides the team. The quarterback’s job is to execute plays, maintain  composure and read the defense.

Every quarterback has a unique playing style. At the beginning of August, head coach Todd Monken described his quarterbacks’ play as inconsistent.

So, who will be the starting quarterback for the Golden Eagles this season? We all have our suspicions of who will be taking the snaps on Saturday night, but the decision for quarterback is down to Cole Weeks, a redshirt junior, or Allan Bridgford, a redshirt senior. Head coach Todd Monken is not announcing who will be starting for USM Saturday against Texas State.

“Oh I’m comfortable with one guy, I’m just not going to announce it. We’re at that point. It does us no good to announce it. I don’t even know if it does us good to announce it. I can’t tell you if it’s good or bad. I’m just not going to do it. I don’t think (Texas State is) going to change what they do against us. I wouldn’t think so. But there is no sense in divulging who that is or what their skill set may be,” Monken said.

There are many arrows that point to Weeks for the starting position. At the beginning of August, only two days into fall camp, Weeks was asked what his goal for the season was and he did not hesitate to say being the starting quarterback. Weeks said his greatest asset will be his “underdog mentality.”

“Cole wants it so bad he can’t even see straight. You know, he’s a feisty little competitor. He’s going to make it hard for those guys to beat him out, which he should,” Monken said.

Allan Bridgford, who transferred from the University of California, is also in the running for starting quarterback. Bridgford is 6 feet 3 inches, 210 pounds and did not arrive to campus until July. He has experience in big games as he started three games for the Golden Bears last season when starter Zach Maynard went down due to injury.

Bridgford is from Mission Viejo, Calif. and is categorized as a “pro-style quarterback” by Rivals.com. Bridgford has stayed under the radar, but has put himself in the position to become the starting quarterback. Bridgford’s late arrival is likely the reason he has not already asserted himself as the starter.

“Allan’s behind just because he wasn’t here up until a couple of weeks ago, but I thought he picked it up well. He’s a smart guy,” Monken said.

Unfortunately for Bridgford all signs point to Cole Weeks for the starting position. After walking on the team as a freshman, Weeks was finally awarded an athletic scholarship over the summer.

Weeks said he has been preparing to take on the position for months.

“Right now I mean, I’m not doing much preparation as far as the mental side because right now it’s time to play and go win the job, but as far as the summer happening I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in my entire life as far as physically,” Weeks said.

Regardless of who will take the first snap at The Rock on Saturday, Monken knows which player will give Southern Miss the best chance to win.

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