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Tuberville hasn’t settled on QB for Purdue opener

August 27, 2013

CINCINNATI (AP) — Coach Tommy Tuberville still hasn’t picked a quarterback for Cincinnati’s season opener on Saturday against Purdue, leaving the position in flux only four days before the first game.

Incumbent Brendon Kay had the job at the start of camp in July, but a sore passing shoulder has limited his practice time. Tuberville hadn’t decided on Tuesday whether he would start Kay or Munchie Legaux, who lost the job last season. He said both are likely to play.

“It’s not the most ideal situation,” said Kay, a sixth-year senior. “We’ll both get the opportunity to play.”

Butch Jones, who is now at Tennessee, chose Legaux to start last season and benched him midway. Legaux completed only 52 percent and had nine interceptions with 13 touchdowns.

Kay took over and went 4-1 as a starter, including a dramatic 48-34 win over Duke that earned him the Belk Bowl MVP honor. Overall, he completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,298 yards and 10 touchdowns with only two interceptions.

He would have been the starter if his shoulder hadn’t become a problem, leaving Tuberville with his first difficult decision. Since both quarterbacks have experience starting games, Tuberville felt comfortable leaving the decision for last.

“It would be a different problem if one was a senior and the other one was a freshman or a sophomore — I don’t think there would be any doubt,” Tuberville said. “But with two seniors we have the luxury of just kind of sitting back knowing both have started, both have played, both are practicing well, and when we get to Friday or Saturday we will sit down with both quarterbacks and decide which one will start the game.”

Tuberville said Legaux also has had some minor injuries during camp.

“There aren’t any significant injuries to either one,” Tuberville said. “Both can play and they are both ready to go. It’s just we haven’t had any consistent play out of either one long enough to pick a starter.”

If Kay’s shoulder is fine and he gets to start, Legaux could get into the game for some plays that feature his running ability. Like Kay, Legaux wished a decision could have been made sooner.

“Of course you would like your name to be called,” Legaux said. “At the same time, you’ve got to be ready for the game.”

Soon after Tuberville got the job, he talked to Legaux about his outlook after being relegated to a backup role last season.

“It’s hard to lose your spot in any position — especially as a quarterback — so he was obviously a little bit distraught not being able to hold onto it,” Tuberville said. “But he was really thrilled for the team and the success they had. We tried to build him back up when we got here in terms of, ‘We don’t have a preference. We don’t know you, Brendon or anybody. You got a new lease in life.’

“And he has taken advantage of it and he has been very positive.”


Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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