All three QBs expected to play against ECU - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

All three QBs expected to play against ECU

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

After a full fall camp and one game, Ellis Johnson feels he still needs more time to evaluate the quarterback position. The head coach of Southern Miss watched junior Chris Campbell start, and freshmen Anthony Alford and Ricky Lloyd take a number of snaps, but he did not get to distribute those snaps the way he would have liked in his team's 49-20 loss at Nebraska on Saturday.

"We wanted to let all three have a good shot to play," he said at his Monday press conference, "We've evaluated them so thoroughly in practice, but sometimes it really has to be a game environment before you know." 

Campbell completed 6-of-12 passes for 69 yards and a score to Dominique Sullivan that tied the game at 14 in the first quarter. "I thought that Chris (Campbell) came out good, steady, handled a very tough environment really well," said Johnson, "The production was there. (He) had two good drives, (but) the running game kind of stalled a little bit. When we put Anthony (Alford) in, the running game pumped up a little bit."

Alford led the team in rushing for the afternoon, carrying the ball 15 times for 84 yards, but Lloyd drew the short stick. The redshirt freshman saw the least amount of action and threw incomplete on his only two pass attempts.

"The flow of the game kept us from getting Ricky (Lloyd) in the game when we wanted to and so it sort of boomeranged on us in that respect," said Johnson, who's team will have to wait until after their bye week before they hit the field at 'The Rock' to host East Carolina.

Until then, all three will gunslingers take snaps in practice and all three are expected to appear in the team's home opener on Sept. 15. "It will still be a work in progress, but I thought this game tape showed some things where each player can help us, and a lot of this decision has a lot to do with what our team has around that player," said Johnson.

"We've obviously got to improve in the vertical passing game. We've got to get more throws downfield, and hit those, and that will loosen some things up even more." Campbell's completion to Sullivan was the longest completion for the afternoon. And behind Alford's 84 yards rushing, Desmond Johnson registered 52 yards on eight carries.

Who will run away with the starting job is still up in the air, but Johnson doesn't mind having to choose from a solid top three. "Anthony obviously had the brightest day, and they all still have to work on some weaknesses, but we still got a good competition there," he said.

"There are a lot of people who would love to have the depth that we have at that position."

 

 

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