Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter wants quarterback Kilton Anderson to be more efficient. The coach also liked how Zack Greenlee threw the ball against Nevada.
It all adds up to a renewed competition at the position this week as the Bulldogs prepare for Saturday’s game at Hawaii.
The Bulldogs (2-7, 1-5 Mountain West) meet another struggling team in the Rainbow Warriors (2-8, 0-6), who have an interim coach and a seven-game losing streak heading into the 8 p.m. PST kickoff.
Quarterback play has been among Fresno State’s challenges, with injuries, inefficiency and an off-field issue keeping the revolving door spinning.
Anderson, a redshirt freshman, made his fourth straight start against Nevada, but Greenlee, a third-year sophomore, came on in the fourth quarter of a 30-16 loss.
We will make a determination as to which skill set fits better to try to attack (Hawaii), and they may both play.
Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter on the reopening of the quarterback competition between Zach Greenlee and Kilton Anderson
“We’re going to let them compete,” DeRuyter said. “Kilton struggled the last couple weeks, actually. He keeps competing and has an internal drive that is impressive, but he’s got to be more efficient. Just like any position, you put guys out there and if it doesn’t get done you got to look for further answers.
“I thought Zack did some decent things the other day when we got down by a couple of scores.”
Greenlee has three previous starts, including the season-opening 34-13 victory over Abilene Christian. He started in Week 2 against Mississippi (a 73-21 loss), then not again until the San Diego State game on Oct. 3. Against the Aztecs, Greenlee was sacked three times and passed for just 77 yards as the Bulldogs fell 21-7.
For the season, Greenlee (40 of 80, seven TDs, three interceptions) has a 119.3 efficiency rating. Anderson (55-117-2-5) is at 85.0.
DeRuyter said they will split reps evenly in practice, and he doesn’t plan to name a starter until Saturday.
“As we look at Hawaii’s defense and how they’re defending people, we will make a determination as to which skill set fits better to try to attack them, and they may both play.”
Don’t expect to see redshirt freshman Jesse Hanckel, the coach said, unless there is an injury.
You can’t blame everything on Kilton, obviously. But there was a reason why he was No. 4 coming out of camp.
DeRuyter on the impact this season of injuries and other issues on the Bulldogs’ choice at QB
This all might not have been an issue if the preferred early-season choice, true freshman Chason Virgil, had not broken his clavicle against Utah in the third game of the year. Virgil was in a job-sharing role initially with Greenlee, after a duel in fall camp saw Anderson slip to No. 4, but Virgil had seized full control by the time he got hurt.
“He’s very talented,” DeRuyter said. “We felt he would get better. You can’t blame everything on Kilton, obviously. But there was a reason why he was No. 4 coming out of camp. He wasn’t quite where others were. Here we were, six weeks into it when we first started going with him. He was competing and we have to help him get better. That’s why we’re having an open competition this week.”
Ederaine eyeing record – Fresno State senior outside linebacker Ejiro Ederaine needs six more tackles for loss to set a Mountain West career record. San Diego State linebacker Miles Burris had 47.
41.5 career tackles for a loss for Fresno State senior outside linebacker Ejiro Ederaine, tied for fourth all-time in Mountain West
“It would be nice to bring something to the school for the 2015 season,” he said. “I’ve been playing here for a long time and I didn’t do it by myself.”
TV reminder – The Hawaii game will get a rare airing over a local channel, with KSEE (Channel 24.1) picking up the broadcast. In another broadcast note, the Nov. 21 game at BYU is set for a noon kickoff and will be streamed on ESPN3.
Set to return – Bulldogs redshirt freshman offensive lineman Micah St. Andrew is back from an injury and listed as the starter at right guard.