Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Coker’s Controversy: Who is next under center?

After escaping with their first conference win Saturday night against the FIU Panthers, the Roadrunners were left scratching their heads.

It was another night of dancing and shuffling for the UTSA quarterbacks as starting senior quarterback, Tucker Carter, was scratched before the game to nurse a lingering shoulder injury sustained at the start of the season.

True freshman, Blake Bogenschutz, got the start in place of Carter, but was sidelined early in the first quarter with an undisclosed hand injury.

Redshirt freshman Austin Robinson then stepped into the game and obtained what Bogenschutz, Carter and the UTSA faithful all direly craved — a win.

“He did a super job,” said Head Coach Larry Coker. ”I’m really happy for him. People think of him as a running quarterback. But he’s really improved and worked hard this fall.”

Not only did this win put the Roadrunners back on track for a bowl berth, but it also left fans wondering who they will see next weekend.

“If we played today, obviously it would be Austin,” Coker said Monday. “He’s proven he can do the job.”

Despite this declaration of confidence from Coker, it does leave the door open for Carter — a player who’s earned the loyalty of the coaching staff as the season’s progressed.

During spring training, controversy arose over who would take the reins for the Roadrunner’s post-Soza era. Both Robinson and Carter were neck and neck.

Yet, with no question in both of the quarterback’s ability to pass and run the ball, Coker stuck with the senior-laden theme and Carter shined in the Roadrunner’s debut in Houston, winning 27-7.

In the ensuing weeks, Carter’s inability to sustain drives got the best of him and gave Bogenschutz, not Robinson, more playing time.

Bogenschutz and Carter displayed moments of success during the Roadrunner’s program-tying four-game losing streak, but neither could get their offense off the ground, sharing six interceptions and recording only two touchdowns through the air.

For example, while facing the New Mexico Lobos, Coker benched Carter who finished the game 4 for 8 with 60 yards and an interception, and opted to go with Bogenschutz.

Bogenschutz played well, completing 10 of 16 for 169 yards through the air and recording an interception.

Although Bogenschutz played well, Coker decided to switch back to Carter due to his familiarity with the two-minute drill, but the Roadrunner’s still fell to the Lobos 21-9.

In games where Coker has decided to switch his starter mid-game, UTSA has lost by a margin of 42 points — not including their win against FIU—and when sticking to his starter, by seven points.

Is Robinson ready to be a leader or will he join the quarterback shuffle once Bogenschutz and Carter are ready to play?

The Houston native finished the game against FIU completing 14 of 17 with 144 yards through the air and 65 on the ground.

He has proven his poise under center, and his natural running ability brings a new wrinkle to the playbook that UTSA has seldom experienced.

Sticking with this theme, perhaps Coker should opt with continuity and allow the red shirt freshman to grow as the season progresses.

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