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Published: Tuesday, 9/20/2011

Beckman says UT still a 2-QB squad

Dantin, Owens will both play at Syracuse

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Sophomore quarterback Terrance Owens may have taken the majority of snaps last Friday against Boise State, but that doesn’t mean the University of Toledo’s two-quarterback rotation is dead, coach Tim Beckman said Monday.

After junior Austin Dantin started against the Broncos, Owens played 11 of the final 12 series in the 40-15 loss, leading some to believe he had taken over as the leader at the position.

Not so, according to Beckman. The Rockets will utilize both quarterbacks at Syracuse on Saturday, with a starter being named either Wednesday after practice or Thursday morning.

“They’re very, very comparable,” Beckman said. “Both of them have shown they can be successful. That was our plan to stay with two quarterbacks, and that’s exactly what we’ll do.”

Owens completed 17-of-31 passes against the Broncos for 201 yards and an interception. Dantin was 3-of-8 passing for 50 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown pass to tight end Danny Noble on UT’s first possession.

“Watching that [Boise State] game and the way it started, Austin was a little bit off throwing the football,” Beckman said. “We knew it was going to be a struggle to run the football on their front four, no question about it, so we decided as a coaching staff and as a football team that T.O. might give us a little more throwing the football.”

Dantin admitted the benching was an unwelcome experience.

“It’s always tough not getting in,” Dantin said. “I wanted to play.”

On the year, Dantin has completed 58.2 percent of his passes (32-of-55) and thrown for 366 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. He’s also rushed for a net 50 yards and lost a fumble.

Owens is 34-of-60 passing (56.7 percent) for 460 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions.

“It’ll continue to be like any other week,” Owens said of the ongoing QB battle. “Me and Austin will just keep preparing to win a game.”

INJURY UPDATES: Beckman led off his weekly news conference Monday with updates on two of his injured players.

Junior middle linebacker Danny Molls will miss his third consecutive game this week while continuing to work his way back from a leg injury suffered in practice leading up to the game against Ohio State on Sept. 10, while senior cornerback Taikwon Paige is questionable after injuring is hip/groin against the Buckeyes.

Paige managed to play last weekend against Boise State, despite his injury, and recorded four tackles.

PENALTIES: To combat their ranking as the third-most penalized team in the nation, the Rockets have instituted a “penalty lift” on Tuesdays at 6 a.m. for anybody who committed a penalty in the previous week’s game.

UT was flagged 14 times for 102 yards against Ohio State and committed nine infractions, including seven in the decisive third quarter, for 72 yards against Boise State.

“It’s definitely something we’ve got to get corrected,” Beckman said, “because the last two games it’s definitely hurt us.”

IN MEMORIAM: Beckman offered a heartfelt tribute to the wife of Oklahoma State co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, who died late Saturday night. Angela Spencer was 46.

Beckman was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State from 2007-08.

“We talk about football and we talk about life, but I just wanted to say that Glenn Spencer is one of the greatest persons that I’ve been around,” Beckman said, his voice cracking. “I hope we can do whatever we can for coach Spencer and his family.”

TV LISTINGS: The Rockets’ game at Syracuse on Saturday will be broadcast locally on 13ABC’s second-tier digital channel on Buckeye Cable (channel 614), as well as its secondary digital over-the-air channel 13.2.

Contact Zach Silka at: zsilka@theblade.com, 419-724-6084, or on Twitter @ZachSilka.



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