CINCINNATI (AP) — One lopsided loss has coach Tommy Tuberville ready to make significant changes in Cincinnati.
The biggest one is out of his control. Sixth-year senior Brendon Kay moves back into the starting quarterback job for a game against Northwestern State on Saturday night now that Munchie Legaux is gone with an injured left knee.
Kay took over for Legaux midway through last season, led the Bearcats to a 4-1 mark and was the incumbent before he developed a sore passing shoulder in camp that cost him significant practice time and allowed Legaux to move back into the starting role.
The Bearcats (1-1) have no concerns about Kay's ability to run the offense. Their main question is whether his shoulder holds up.
"It's 90 to 95 percent," Kay said. "By Saturday, I'll be full-go. Last week was a good week of practice, my first full week in a long time. So I'll be ready to go this Saturday."
Tuberville has been moving players around following a 45-17 loss at Illinois that gave him a better idea of how his new team might fit together. He'll get the first chance to test it on Saturday night against the Demons (2-0).
Here's five things to look for in their matchup at Nippert Stadium:
HOW'S THE SHOULDER? Kay played the fourth quarter of an opening 42-7 win over Purdue and at Illinois after Legaux was hurt. Last week, he went through a full week of practice for the first time since the shoulder became sore, an indication it's close to normal.
"He is ready to go," Tuberville said. "He is excited and understands the situation. The great thing about this is last year he came in later in the year and played pretty well. It is not like we have an inexperienced guy out there running the offense. Our players respect Brendon and they know what he can do."
WHO'S NEXT UP? Redshirt freshman quarterback Bennie Coney had only a few plays in practice when Legaux and Kay were running the offense. Tuberville's staff has to get him ready to go in case something happens to Kay. That means getting him into a game in a low-pressure situation.
"He will go in the game on Saturday no matter how we are doing," Tuberville said. "We have to get him into the game. We can't put him into a tough situation when the first time he goes in he looks around and hasn't taken a snap."