By MICHAEL MILLER
Head coach LaVell Edwards played musical quarterbacks on Saturday as BYU thrashed Division I-AA Murray State 43-9 at Cougar Stadium.
Kevin Feterik, Drew Miller and Brandon Doman all saw action at quarterback in the Cougars romp over the Racers.
“We have two quarterbacks, and we need them both in order to win this thing, and I thought today was a nice example of that,” Edwards said. “I thought Drew came in and picked up the spark there a little bit in the second quarter, and then I thought Kevin came in the third quarter and made some nice plays.”
The game started off slow, almost like a bad scrimmage between two high school teams. The Cougars and Racers totaled five punts in the first quarter, and neither team could establish an early offensive rhythm. Feterik and Murray State quarterback Justin Fuente threw for a combined 61 yards in the first quarter.
Feterik started and played the entire first quarter and most of the third quarter, finishing 8-of-13 for 141 yards. He threw one interception and one touchdown. Feterik also dove for a touchdown from one yard out in the third quarter.
Enter quarterback number two. Miller saw playing time in the second, third and fourth quarters and posted numbers similar to Feterik’s, going 12-of-19 for 172 yards, one interception and one touchdown.
“It felt great,” Miller said. “I was able to get in there and take a lot of snaps, get comfortable with the game and develop a rhythm for the game. I was able to make some good throws. I forced balls a couple of times, but I’m going to learn from that.”
The game capped a week of media attention for Miller, who considered transferring after the Washington game.
“It was a distraction, it was stressful, but it was a lot less than a lot of people made it out to be,” Miller said. “It was a little blown out of proportion; a lot blown out of proportion.
“This is the place for me. I’m a Cougar. I know I’ve made the right decision.”
Edwards said there will be no change in the quarterback situation, and both quarterbacks will be playing in future games.
“They have different styles and each guy kind of complements each other. We’re glad to have both of them,” he said.
Both quarterbacks had one thing in common. Their favorite receiver was sophomore Margin Hooks. Feterik connected with Hooks on an 80-yard touchdown bomb in the third quarter, extending BYU’s lead to 29-0.
Miller then found Hooks for a 70-yard pass early in the fourth quarter that set up a 29-yard touchdown reception for freshman running back Junior Mahe. Mahe’s score gave the Cougars a 36-6 advantage.
“(Kevin) and Drew are great quarterbacks,” Hooks said. “You don’t want either one of them to feel down on themselves, because you never know who might get injured or what, but we need both of them.”
Hooks finished with five receptions for 179 yards and the one touchdown catch. It was the most yards gained by a Cougar receiver since Ben Cahoon went for 219 yards against Arizona State last season.
Hooks said he was satisfied with his performance but thinks he still can improve.
“Overall, I don’t think it was the best. I made a lot of mistakes, but from those mistakes I learn,” he said.
Enter quarterback number three. With six minutes left in the game, Doman assumed the quarterbacking duties. He handed the ball off several times to Cougar running backs, eventually leading BYU to its final score.
Doman also entered the game earlier as a receiver and caught a 7-yard pass from Miller. Doman said the idea came from the coaches, but he willingly accepted it.
“I think it is what the coaches want me to do,” Doman said. “I’ve always told them, ‘Hey I want to play. I’ll do whatever I can to get on the field.'”
This was BYU’s first game against a Division I-AA opponent since 1979, when the Cougars defeated Weber State 48-3.