Box to start under center on Homecoming
Crimson Hawks to start new quarterback as they host undefeated Edinboro on Homecoming
Published: Friday, September 30, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011 12:09
The Crimson Hawks (1-2, 0-1) will have a new quarterback when Edinboro (4-0, 1-0) comes to George P. Miller Stadium at 2 p.m. Saturday for Homecoming.
According to reports, Michael Box, the transfer from the University of Connecticut, will start in place of the injured Pat Smith.
Box made his first appearance of the season last week at Slippery Rock. He played a series in the first half after Smith threw an interception and later replaced Smith after he was knocked out with a concussion.
According to IUP Head Coach Curt Cignetti, Smith was taking test daily to see if the symptoms were still there.
Box, who split first team reps last week with Smith, will now has had the whole week knowing that he is the starter.
Box has played in a similar type of offense before while at UConn.
"Most of the concepts, he has done before," Cignetti said during his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon. "They just have different names for them."
Box is going to have improve on his numbers from the Slippery Rock game for the Crimson Hawks to have a chance on Saturday.
He completed only five of 12 passes for 83 yards and threw three interceptions.
Cignetti believes that only one of the interceptions wasn't his fault as the wide receiver didn't turn to look for the ball, but he did say that the team must do a better job holding onto the football.
"We need to have 11 guys doing their job," said Cignetti. "We need to do it in all three phases of the game."
When it comes to the game Saturday, all indicators are pointing to Edinboro being yet another tough opponent for the Crimson Hawks.
The Fighting Scots have a strong blitz on defense that has resulted in 14 team sacks in the four games they have played this season. Ryan Skelton and Keir Jeter are tied for the team lead at 4.5 sacks each. The Edinboro defense also has nine interceptions as well.
Not only does the Edinboro defense bring some trouble for the Hawks, but so does their offense that features three running backs with more than 200 yards rushing this season.
"They have a good quarterback," said Cignetti. "He is heady, he can make plays with his legs if he needs too and they also have good running backs and wide receivers."
The good quarterback Cody Harris, younger brother of former Edinboro quarterback Trevor Harrris, has thrown for 711 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season for the unbeaten Fighting Scots.
If Cody Harris is anything like his brother Trevor, the IUP defense could be in some trouble.
Along with Harris' strong passing game they also have three strong running backs as well.
Starting with Drew Herrell who leads the team with 329 yards rushing and has added three touchdowns as well, there is also Brian Davis who has 225 yards rushing and is the team leader in rushing touchdowns with five.
Finally, D'Andrea Vaughn has 220 yards rushing and one touchdown.
It will be interesting matchup when Edinboro runs the football, because the Hawks have done a good job all season stopping the opposing team from running the football.
If the defense can continue to their job and Box can improve from last week then the Hawks will have a good chance to hand Edinboro their first loss of the season.