Stewart to start for Owls at QB

Coach Steve Addazio announced at a press conference today that redshirt-senior quarterback Chester Stewart will make his first start of the season for the team’s Saturday road game against Maryland.

“We’ve got two quality quarterbacks, both played a lot of football for us.  We decided to start Chester Stewart,” Addazio said.  “That doesn’t mean Mike Gerardi won’t play, all playing time is based on how our players perform in the game.  That’s how it is at every position.”

The change in the starting lineup will leave redshirt-junior quarterback Mike Gerardi on the bench, at least for the start of the game.  Gerardi has thrown 30-59 for 423 yards and three touchdowns in his first three starts of the season.

The Owls posted a 2-1 record with Gerardi at center.  Last Saturday in the 14-10 Penn State loss, Gerardi went 9-22 for 95 passing yards and threw two fourth quarter interceptions. Stewart came off the sidelines late in the second quarter, and was used in the Owls’ next five offensive drives before Gerardi spelled him, with the score 10-7 in favor of the Owls, to start the fourth quarter.

Although both Stewart and Gerardi saw significant playing time in the last game, Addazio said he does not expect to run a two-quarterback system.

“It’s not a two-quarterback system in any way, shape, or form,” Addazio said.  “It’s just the simple fact that we have two quarterbacks that have played a lot of football here.  We’re giving the opportunity to one to take it and run with it.”

“A two-quarterback system is usually for when you have two different guys and you’re trying to do two different things,” Addazio added.  “Our intent is to get the right guy in there [who] is going to consistently go.”