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Published: 8/30/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Dantin, Owens will split early snaps

UT starter for Arizona to be decided today

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Coach Matt Campbell said he is still undecided as to whether Terrance Owens, left, and Austin Dantin, right, will start Saturday against Arizona. Coach Matt Campbell said he is still undecided as to whether Terrance Owens, left, and Austin Dantin, right, will start Saturday against Arizona.
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University of Toledo football coach Matt Campbell missed his self-imposed deadline to name a starting quarterback, but it appears to be irrelevant who gets the nod for the season opener.

Expected to announce Wednesday the winner of the battle waged between his two veteran signal callers, Campbell was noncommittal but instead revealed that Terrance Owens and Austin Dantin will extend their competition to the first half Saturday at Arizona. Both will get two straight series to show what he can do, with the more productive one gaining the upper hand to finish the game.

"We'll see them both in the first quarter," Campbell said. "After that we'll decide with the momentum of the game, how the game shifts."

Campbell has long stated both quarterbacks will appear at some point. As for picking a starter, he gave himself a new deadline of today after he meets with his coaches in the morning.

The game plan is not predicated on which quarterback is on the field, Campbell said, because their skills are comparable and both are versed in the offense. Dantin, a senior who has started 22 games, got the nod the last two years but some signs point to Owens usurping him. The redshirt junior southpaw made a strong case to secure the job when he led UT to wins in the final three games in 2011, posting seven touchdown passes and zero interceptions.

Neither quarterback has been able to distance himself from the other, and their competition "will be a week to week thing," Campbell said.

"Obviously, I would like to take the first snap," Dantin said. "But going into the game we both know we're going to play a lot of downs. Whatever route the coaches want to take, that they believe in, that's what we're going to go with."

NORRILS WINS SPOT: Former Blade player of the year Cheatham Norrils will make his first career start after he and Chris Dukes pinned down jobs at cornerback.

Norrils, a sophomore from St. John's Jesuit, has apparently found his calling after floating back and forth from safety. Campbell said reserves Kishon Wilcher, Keith Suggs, and Byron Best could play early in the game.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @AutulloBlade.



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