If Kill were coaching the Purple, it looks like Ponder would be the starter. Loyalty is admirable, but there is plenty of outside pressure to give the ball back to Cassel and capitalize on any momentum. The Vikings garner more interest, and therefore more criticism, than any sports team in the state.
Minnesota State faced this problem last season. Jon Wolf was the starter, but he was injured early in the season and missed two games. Mitch Brozovich stepped in and played well enough for the Mavericks to win. When Wolf was deemed healthy, he returned as the starter, continuing the Mavericks on that magical season.
However, Brozovich showed enough that he continues to get a few plays each half, building for next season, when he’ll likely become the starter.
There’s no pre-written plan on how to handle injuries, especially at quarterback. It’s a position that brings far too much scrutiny, and there are many factors that go into which player gets the start.
But each coach needs to make the right call. Nelson or Leidner, Ponder or Cassel? You can make a case for all four starting, and none of the four have done enough to ensure the job.
It will be interesting to see how each coach makes the decision, and what consequences occur.
Chad Courrier is a Free Press staff writer. To contact him, call 507-344-6353, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter feed @ChadCourrier.