MSU Still Waiting to Name Quarterback

Midwestern State football will open the season Saturday against Tarleton State, ranked #13 in the nation.

But there's still a big question to answer: who will start at quarterback when the Mustangs take the field?

This week, Newschannel 6 talked to the Mustangs, and they said there might not be a decision to make.

"I think we've got to give both guys a chance to see what they can do," Head Coach Bill Maskill said.

It's a two-horse race for the job. Senior Shavodrick Beaver and junior Jake Glover have been in a neck-and-neck competition since the spring.

Beaver, a former Rider High School standout, has a Division-I past and is a better runner, but Glover has more game experience and is a slightly better passer.

"It's been a battle back-and-forth," says newly promoted offensive coordinator Adam Austin.

He has plenty of experience with the position. He was MSU's quarterbacks coach the past two seasons after a playing career under center at the University of Arizona.

"It's not like they're both grading out, one day bad and the other one's really good," Austin said. "They're both grading out good, it's just one's hotter than the other at practice."

Coaches Austin and Maskill both said they won't hesitate to use both quarterbacks until one wins the job.

"I see us playing both of them," Coach Maskill said. "Now, if we've got one that's got a hot hand, we're probably going to stay with him."

Whichever quarterback is under center will have a dynamic running game to help him out, led by senior All-American Keidrick Jackson. The Arlington native led the Lone Star Conference in rushing and broke the school's single-season record for touchdowns in 2012.

On the defensive side, the Mustangs will be led by an experienced secondary, featuring two senior corners: Neiko Conway and Taiyon Jackson.

"Well, you'd like to think Neiko, being a four-year starter, would be a guy," Maskill said.

Conway was second in the LSC last season with four interceptions, and has ten for his career.

But one thing Coach Maskill said Conway needs to work on is deciding just when to go for that pick.

"Neiko's one of them riverboat gamblers, you know?" Maskill said. "I mean, he's got an instinct to the ball, and sometimes he takes too many chances."

"I still play within the system," Conway says. "But those instincts just take over. You can take gambles, but you don't want to take too many gambles."

Maskill added: "What we've tried to get him to do is put himself in position, and then take a chance."

For the second-straight season, the Mustangs will open up against conference rival Tarleton State, this time under the big roof at newly-named AT&T Stadium.

They won their previous two games at then-Cowboys Stadium by a combined 97 points against overmatched Texas A&M Commerce.

After a bye week to open the season, the Mustangs are ready to hit the field.

"They're excited to play this game," Coach Austin said. "Not only just against Tarleton, but to hit somebody else in another jersey."

"Oh, yeah we're very motivated," Conway said. "I mean, yeah, you know they did hand us our first loss last year, the first game. But coming back into this season, the first game... Man, I'm lost for words right now. I mean, I just want to play on Saturday."

The Mustangs will kick off with TSU Saturday at 4 p.m.

If you can't make it, don't worry: Newschannel 6 will be there to bring you complete highlights and post-game reaction Saturday at 6 and 10!

The game will also be available on the radio on the new home of MSU sports, 95.5 FM, ESPN Wichita Falls. Newschannel 6's own Chris Horgen will be the analyst along with the play-by-play voice of the Mustangs, Bill Powers.