Kaepernick will start for Nevada
August 25, 2008
Colin Kaepernick has been named the starting quarterback for Nevada’s season-opening game against Grambling State Saturday night (6:05 p.m.) at Mackay Stadium.
Nevada head coach Chris Ault made the announcement prior to Monday’s practice at Wolf Pack Park.
Kaepernick, who finished the season as the starter in 2007 after Nick Graziano suffered a broken foot against Fresno State, was able to hold off Graziano at least for the opening game.
“Kap will start, but both will play,” Ault said. “Graz’s (Nick Graziano) turf toe looks like it’s coming around and we’ll see what happens. Kap is the starter. Nick missed a little practice time (in fall camp) and that set him back a little bit. He wasn’t able to recover. It had nothing to do with missing spring practice.”
It had to help, however, that Kaepernick got nearly all the reps during the spring, while Graziano could only watch helplessly from the sidelines. Kaepernick, obviously, was happy with the decision.
“It’s a great feeling,” Kaepernick said. “I wasn’t worried about it. I just focused on getting better; getting ready for the first game.
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“He (Ault) said it was still a competition every day and the job was on the line. Whether it’s the first game or middle of the season he said we could be replaced.”
Graziano was understandably disappointed when he faced reporters before practice.
“I’m not surprised,” Graziano said. “I sort of expected it, to tell you the truth, because I’m coming back from an injury, and especially not getting the reps.
“I have to prepare and be ready to play like any other game.”
SURPRISE QB PICKS AT UH, BSU
For just the fourth time in Boise State history, a freshman has been named the starting quarterback at Boise State.
Redshirt freshman Kellen Moore has beat out senior Bush Hamdan and will start the opener against Idaho State on Saturday.
“It was a nice battle all spring,” BSU coach Chris Petersen said. “We have a few good quarterbacks here. I feel strong about Bush as well. It was an instinct thing. It was a lot of splitting hairs. Kellen was a little more consistent.”
“I’m just pretty fortunate to be in the situation I am in,” Moore said in a BSU press release. “Coach Petersen and coach (Bryan) Harsin obviously think I’m capable of doing it. I’m just excited at the opportunity.”
At Hawaii, first-year head coach Greg McMackin has tabbed JC transfer Brent Rausch as the starter for Saturday’s opener at Florida. Rausch beat out fellow JC transfer Greg Alexander and junior returnee Inoke Funaki. Rausch, a sophomore, threw for more than 2,600 yards and 28 TDs at College of the Desert.
“He is getting better everyday,” McMackin said. “He was throwing the ball real well and learning the system. It was a close call.
“We evaluated 350 snaps. Everybody got the same amount of reps because we throw the ball so much in practice. I felt he was moving away from the pack.”
McMackin said that Rausch suffered through some tendonitis issues last week, but is back at practice.
Another quarterback, Tyler Graunke, isn’t expected to accompany the team to Florida. Graunke has had some academic issues that he just cleared up. Graunke played well last year against Nevada, leading the Warriors to a last-second win.
While we’re on the subject of the Hawaii-Florida game, McMackin also said that the team is leaving today for its opener.
The team will work out for a couple of days at Georgia Tech before leaving for Gainesville, home of the perennial powerhouse Gators led by Heisman winner Tim Tebow.
“Humidity is going to be a factor,” McMackin said. “I coached at Miami (Fla.). You have to prepare for it. I’ve been hosing the field down at noon trying to get humidity.”
IU RECEIVERS MAKING PLAYS
Idaho coach Robb Akey said that entering fall camp, he needed some receivers to step up and be playmakers.
Three players ” sophomore Maurice Shaw, sophomore Eric Greenwood and true freshman Preston Davis out of Las Vegas ” have impressed the second-year head coach.
“He (Davis) is working his tail off,” Akey said. “He has tremendous speed. Maurice has had a good camp. He’s made a lot happen. Every time I look, Eric is making a big catch.”
OUT OF SPEIGHT
Utah State running back Derrvin Speight gained more than 500 yards last year and was expected to carry a big load again this year for the Aggies.
That probably isn’t going to happen, as Speight isn’t going to play against UNLV in the opener. He has been passed by sophomore Curtis Marsh, senior Derrick Cumbee, redshirt freshman Robert Turbin and true freshman Marquis Butler.
Coach Brent Guy said it was performance related.
“Robert Turbin is having a really good camp along with Marsh,” Guy said at his weekly press conference in Logan. “Cumbee is good in certain situations. Marquis has been the surprise there. He only got to carry the ball 45 times his senior year (of high school). He was moved around a lot and played both sides of the ball. We didn’t realize how natural of a runner he was. He hasn’t had much trouble hanging onto the ball.”
DAVIS IS BACK
San Jose State’s Yonus Davis, who was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA, is rounding into shape according to coach Dick Tomey.
“We were pleasantly surprised to get him (back),” Tomey said. “He’ll either start or be the primary back-up. We’re trying to ease him in. We expect a lot out of him. He’s a natural runner.”
Tomey said that Davis needed to get “knocked around a bit” to help get him back into top playing shape.
CARTER IMPRESSIVE FOR FSU
Chris Carter, who played defensive end for Fresno State last season, has been shifted to linebacker by coach Pat Hill with positive results.
“He’s had a really good camp,” said Hill, whose team opens at Rutgers next Monday. “I think he’ll be an outstanding linebacker.”
Carter had 15 tackles last season. He’ll be teaming with Ben Jacobs, the Bulldogs’ second-leading tackler last season, and Nick Bates, Nico Herron and freshman walk-on Sean Plummer are battling for the third starting job.
TV FLEXES ITS MUSCLE
If you don’t think television controls schedules, think again.
Some are thinking the Boise State-Fresno State clash on Nov. 28 at Boise State will decide the championship. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN on a Friday night.
WAC commissioner Karl Benson admitted that ESPN scheduled that game this season.
“They scheduled the Boise State-Hawaii game last year (day after Thanksgiving),” Benson said. “They were hoping that it would be a meaningful game. They were certainly correct a year ago.”
Call me a purist, but I think the best, most-meaningful games should be played late in the season.