Nevada Wolf Pack makes another change at quarterback – Henry out | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Wolf Pack makes another change at quarterback – Henry out

Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal
Nevada quarterback Malik Henry (16) scrambles out of the pocket during an NCAA college football game against Utah State on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP)
AP | The Herald Journal

The Nevada Wolf Pack is making yet another quarterback change.

Head coach Jay Norvell said Tuesday in a statement that Malik Henry, who has started the past two games, will head back to the bench.

“We’ll move forward this week with Carson Strong and Cristian Solano as our top quarterbacks as we prepare for Wyoming,” Norvell said.

Henry has completed 42-of-78 passes this season for 593 yards and one touchdown with four interceptions. The junior beat San Jose State two weeks ago 41-38 in his first start and lost to Utah State 36-10 last Saturday.

Norvell’s decision this week, however, suggests the quarterback switch had more to do with Henry’s off-the-field issues than his on-the-field performance.

“As a coach, it is my responsibility to help young men grow and mature and be prepared for life after football,” Norvell said in his statement. “I believed that by giving Malik Henry an opportunity on the field, it would help him continue to progress off the field. I’ve made the decision to take Malik off the field so that he can continue to focus on academics and his life outside of football. Malik is not suspended. He is a member of our program and we will continue to support him.”

Strong has completed 80-of-134 passes this year for 729 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. The freshman has played just one half of a game (against Hawaii) over the Pack’s last four games. Solano has completed 24-of-36 passes for 241 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The senior started one game this year, beating UTEP, 37-21 on Sept. 21.

Norvell hinted after the loss at Utah State that a quarterback change was coming. He then did not announce the change at his weekly Monday press conference.

“Offensively we weren’t productive (at Utah State),” Norvell said. “That was only Malik’s second start. He still has a lot to learn. He did some things well. And he saw where he needs to be better, checking the ball down and being more patient. It was a good learning experience for him. You know there are a lot of things you don’t learn until you start playing in games.”