COMMENTARY: Medlock should start against Duke

Photo by Kristi Camara

Photo by Kristi Camara

By: Brandon Wise / Staff Writer

The weather at FIU is unpredictable. It is raining in the morning and sunny in the afternoon or vice versa. That can affect how students get to school or even go to class.

The quarterback who starts on Oct. 1 could be just as unpredictable.

Wesley Carroll, senior starter, was hurt in the first half of the game last week against Louisiana. He has been starting for FIU for the past two seasons after he won the job last year.

This season, Carroll has been nothing short of awesome.

Going through three and a half games without throwing an interception is nothing short of miraculous, seeing as he threw 14 of them last year.

For Carroll, maintaining those statistics is unrealistic, but his improvement is undeniable.

However, he is recovering from an injury and this is a meaningless game, especially if winning the conference is their priority.

To risk your starting quarterback getting even more severely hurt is a like betting the house on red one in roulette. It is just too risky. There is no need to start him against a non-conference foe like Duke.

Make room for Medlock

With Carroll hurt last week, the Golden Panthers had to rely on the unproven redshirt freshman Jake Medlock. However, the weight of the moment did not phase him. He showed that he can handle the offense, and the future is bright for the 6’3” 220-pounder.

Medlock has been seen as the heir to the Carroll crown for the past two seasons. He has been noticeably itchy to get on the field and he finally got his shot.

Even though the Golden Panthers had a let down, losing a game they shouldn’t have, Medlock was productive. He went 17 for 27 for 216 yards and one interception. The redshirt freshman has done everything asked of him and more. When he gets to carry the ball, he is not afraid to take the big hit because, at times, he delivers it.

He brings a different aspect to the offense that Carroll does not, having the ability to scramble outside of the pocket. Unlike Carroll, Medlock has a bit of speed to add to his strong arm. Not to mention, the kid is not afraid to lower his shoulders.

Medlock’s ability to escape the pocket can change the way a defense plans for the offense because now, instead of just seeing a quarterback sit back in the pocket to find receivers down field, there has to be an eye on him at all times.

Medlock is still a young man with very limited experience. He is still not as mature in the pocket as Carroll and is prone to make some bad decisions. If the Golden Panthers decide to air the ball out this week, the Jacksonville native could be more of a flight risk than a safe haven for this team.

Who Starts?

This is homecoming week and you don’t want to lose on homecoming. Just like in high school, when you lose on homecoming, it is the worst because then you have to go to the dance pissed off that you lost to a team they schedule for you as a win.

That being said, the starting quarterback should be the guy who gives the team the best shot at winning the game. It is a tough decision to make for the coach, but Medlock is the better option for this week.

Even if Carroll is just a little banged up, this game has no meaning toward the Sun Belt. Let him get healthy and prepare for the upcoming Sun Belt schedule that the Golden Panthers end the season with.

Medlock can get the job done against a banged up Duke team that has not proven that it is out of the cellar of the ACC. With the loss of their top pass rusher for the season, Medlock has the opportunity to show that he can run the offense when Carroll is gone next year.

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