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Monday, September 28, 2009
Eastern Michigan looks to replace QB Schmitt


Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

Eastern Michigan coach Ron English is undecided as to who will take over for starting quarterback Andy Schmitt, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Michigan on Sept. 19.

The Eagles have been off since that game and both junior Kyle McMahon and freshman Alex Gillett have been taking first-team reps in practice.

Gillett came in at the end of the fourth quarter of the Michigan game after Schmitt was injured and completed 2-of-4 passes for nine yards and rushed for 36 yards.

Gillett is the frontrunner to start this weekend’s Mid-American Conference opener against Temple.

English said on Monday’s MAC teleconference, that he felt bad that Schmitt ended his career with an injury. Schmitt was the team’s best player and a team leader. He finished his career ranked second in school history in career completions (607) and total offensive plays (1,210), third in career pass attempts (966), passing yards (5,867), and total offensive yards (6,745) and tied for fourth in career touchdown passes (33).

In three games this season, Schmitt had completed 51-of-81 passes for 428 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions.

English said Schmitt would still be a part of the team.

“He’s been through a lot here in terms of playing and they haven’t had the great success that they would hope for,” English said. “I just think that he’s very valuable as a person. We want to always have him around. Like I told him, he needs to be at everything. And we’re going to still travel him with the team and keep him with the team because he can help our team that way.”

Eastern Michigan now faces a huge uphill battle at 0-3 and starting a inexperienced quarterback. The Eagles play a Temple team that defeated Buffalo 37-13 last week and is 4-0 all-time against Eastern Michigan.