What's unfolding at quarterback for Bowling Green State University is an ideal dilemma for a coach like Gregg Brandon.
Brandon, recognized as an offensive innovator around college football, has two legitimate starters and the necessary creativity to use them both. The challenge is how to do that without disrupting the momentum of the offense.
Redshirt freshman Freddie Barnes cemented, in his first start Saturday against Wisconsin, that he needs to be on the field. He kept BGSU's offense moving, and in many cases, was the offense.
Barnes set a school rushing record for quarterbacks with 158 yards on 29 carries. But barring injuries, he won't be starting at quarterback against Buffalo on Saturday. That will be sophomore Anthony Turner, returning from a one-game suspension.
"Anthony Turner was, is our starting quarterback," Brandon said after the game. "He earned the job in the spring, and he kept the job in camp."
"The pleasant decision is what we do with Freddie Barnes and Anthony Turner now. The offensive coaches, we've got to sit down and figure that one out. That's a fun problem to have."
BGSU (0-1) was for the most part a running team Saturday. Barnes completed 12 of 19 passes for 82 yards, but his poise in the running game handily exceeds his throwing game. That's acceptable from a redshirt freshman, but Turner's throwing arm is better and fits the "pistol" offense the Falcons are using this year, which is a modified spread offense. Turner had a 61.2 completion percentage (52 of 85) last year as a backup and in two starts.
"Freddie carried it 29 times," Brandon said. "We aren't going to make a living out of him doing that."
Barnes had trouble with some throws but did lace the ball through tight coverage for completions to Zach Charles and Ruben Ruiz. After the game he acknowledged he would be most comfortable playing quarterback, but he knew from the start he was in a one-game arrangement.
"It's definitely not frustrating because I know the team situation," Barnes said. "I knew coming in that's how it was going to be. I'm just really ready to be a team player and do whatever they ask me to do."
The fun part for Brandon will be to see where he can use Barnes that will exploit Buffalo the most. Brandon acknowledged Barnes could lineup as a running back, but when he added, "maybe punter," it seemed the serious scheming for Barnes' spot had just begun.
"No matter what happens next week I am pretty sure I am going to play, either running, catching or throwing the ball," Barnes said.
"Either way I feel I will be in the game helping the team."
NOTES: Senior linebackers Terrel White's suspension was for one game and he will return against Buffalo. Sophomore Antonio Smith's status is unknown after he sprained an ankle in the first quarter. Nate Waldron, a special teams player, left the game with a back injury and is also questionable for Saturday.