By Stephenson Beck
The quarterback controversy is over, but it didn’t end the way the football team had hoped.
Sophomore Bret Engemann underwent successful surgery on Tuesday, Oct. 3, to repair his injured right shoulder. He will miss the rest of the season.
Engemann dislocated his shoulder twice during Saturday’s game against Syracuse. He returned to the game after the first injury, but again dislocated the same shoulder with three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The injury will take four months to heal, said BYU head trainer George Curtis.
Junior Charlie Peterson will start the remainder of the season for the Cougars, beginning Friday night, Oct. 6, against Utah State. He competed with Engemann during spring drills for the starting spot.
Although Engemann has started five of six games, the two have shared the quarterback duties for most of this season.
“You can’t say things are a relief because it’s a shame that we lost Bret, and that’s a tragedy,” said center Jason Scukanec. “But maybe now, with Charlie being the set guy, maybe it will give the offense a chance to settle on one guy and one style of play.
“Maybe that consistency will help us settle down a little bit as an offense.”
Peterson, from South Jordan, Utah, has played in four games this season and started against Mississippi State. He has completed 58 of 107 passes for 644 yards and four touchdowns.
Peterson will give the offense more speed and mobility.
“Charlie’s got some intangibles,” Scukanec said. “He may not have the pedigree that you look at when you see Bret. He’s not 6-foot-5, and he doesn’t have the arm that Bret has, but Charlie’s a competitor.
“And when he gets on the field, he’s going to give you everything he’s got, and he’s going to give you a chance to win ball games.”
The quarterback position may be decided for the rest of this season, but the controversy will undoubtedly renew itself next season. Engemann’s injury should be healed by spring drills, and Peterson will be entering his senior year.
Fortunately for head coach LaVell Edwards, that is one decision he will not have to worry about. Edwards will retire at the end of the season.
“We have a lot of confidence in Charlie,” Edwards said. “Charlie has gained some valuable experience so far this season and shown his ability to lead the team and move the ball. We think he will do just fine.”
Engemann’s injury reduces BYU’s quarterback corps to two scholarship players – two the Cougars can ill-afford to lose.
“Hopefully the offensive line can just protect him – that’s our biggest (goal),” said offensive lineman Teag Whiting.
Junior Brandon Doman will be Peterson’s backup. Coaches were hoping to redshirt him this year, but with Engemann’s injury, the Cougars need Doman to play this season.
He played for the first time this season in the fourth quarter against Syracuse.
He completed six-of-nine passes for 66 yards.