JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Suspensions and the injury bug plagued ETSU in Saturday’s 24-6 loss to Mercer on homecoming.
And it appears they will be in the same boat this coming weekend.
A winless Wofford team comes to Johnson City on Saturday (3:30 p.m.), as both squads look to crack the win column in SoCon play. Starting quarterback Tyler Riddell will not be on the field due to the knee injury he sustained against the Bears.
“Don’t know how long,” head coach George Quarles said. “He’ll find out more today (Monday), I think he’s getting an MRI.”
Third-string quarterback Timmy Dorsey is also doubtful for this weekend after sustaining a concussion in Saturday’s second half. So, it will likely be redshirt-freshman William Riddle under center against the Terriers – the team’s fifth quarterback.
“You just don’t think you’re going to be in that situation,” Quarles admitted. “But here we are.”
“I did think William did some OK stuff on Saturday,” he continued.
The Chattanooga native didn’t get a single team practice rep leading up to the Mercer game, according to Quarles. In fact, most of his time wasn’t even spent with the starting offense.
“He was the scout team player of the week on offense this week,” Quarles said. “Then he got to play some on Saturday. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that before. But, it just says a lot about him and his willingness to prepare, meet and study what’s going on.”
Riddle’s teammates were also quick to praise some of his best attributes on Monday.
“He makes a lot of good reads,” senior linebacker Stephen Scott said. “I know it’s scout team and you say ‘he’s a scout team quarterback, he knows the plays.’ But, for not knowing the offensive scheme, to look at it and make the certain reads and still kind of make the plays – that’s something not a lot of people can do.”
“I know he’s a hard worker,” graduate offensive lineman Luke Smith said. “He’s one of the last guys to lead the practice field every day.”
The reality is, however, the Bucs offense will ultimately not be the most robust while Riddle is in at quarterback.
“We got to have other guys step up and and play well,” Quarles said. “And, you know, it’ll probably look a little different. You know, we probably won’t be able to run everything we want to run, but that’s okay. Just find out what we can do well and try to focus on those things.”
Still, the locker room is ready to rally around the young signal-caller, and anyone else that may take the field.
“Because we just got to go out there and do our job regardless,” Smith said. “So, I mean, I think we’ll all back them up and we’ll all get behind him. We’ve kind of been dealing with this all year.”
“I think that’s very important right now,” you know,” Scott said, “for us all to kind of come together as one, you know, make sure that everybody knows that I can depend on you and you can depend on me.”
ETSU and Wofford kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.