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October 18, 2017

Report: A.J. Doyle named UMass starting quarterback for Saturday

Maria Uminski/Daily Collegian

It’s officially Doyle time on the Massachusetts football team.

UMass coach Charley Molnar said Wednesday after practice that A.J. Doyle will start at quarterback for the Minutemen instead of Mike Wegzyn on Saturday night at Kansas State, according to MassLive.com.

“We just felt like maybe a change would energize our offense,” Molnar said, according to MassLive.com. “(Doyle) brings a totally different mood to the team (and) a totally different personality, which is awesome.

“We’ve got two distinctly different guys. Right now, we just felt like, based on some of the things we saw in the video, even though it wasn’t by any stretch a winning performance by him, that he put himself in a position to play.”

Doyle came in for Wegzyn for the entire second half of UMass’ 24-14 loss to Maine on Saturday and completed 7-of-17 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Doyle dealt with an injury during the bulk of spring practice and training camp, according to MassLive.com, which Molnar said put him at a disadvantage in the quarterback competition with Wegzyn.

Now that Doyle’s healthy, Molnar said his performance has improved.

“It’s not that Mike’s has gone down, it’s just that A.J. has improved,” Molnar said.

Doyle’s lone collegiate start came in last year’s season finale in the Minutemen’s 42-21 loss to Central Michigan.

Molnar said that Wegzyn was a little “excitable” and simply wasn’t a right fit at the moment, according to MassLive.com. His numbers so far this season certainly back that up.

Wegzyn has completed just 45.8 percent of his passes and has thrown two interceptions to one touchdown in his two starts.

Doyle, on the other hand, brings more of a calming presence to the offense, Molnar said.

Nick Canelas can be reached at ncanelas@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @NickCanelas.

 

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