Last year on September 28th the Coyotes were on the verge of falling to 1-3 at Western Illinois when Head Coach Joe Glenn made the switch under center from the runner, Josh Vander Maten, to the pocket passer, Kevin Earl. Heading into this season it's now Earl the pearl's time to shine.
The 6'6 Lincolnshire, IL native made his first USD Spring Game start on Saturday. He threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns while completing 17-35 attempts. However he was more concerned with the three interceptions and two questionable sacks.
"I think the O-line did a good job protecting," USD Quarterback Kevin Earl stated. "I mean there were a few sacks called, but realistically I don't think they would have been sacks. Not only did the line do a good job, but the receivers got open. You have to credit the defense as well. They forced three turnovers, which is pretty good. They were quick to jump on balls and they recovered a fumble too."
In just over eight games last season Earl completed 53% of his passes totaling over 1,900 yards through the air. Now entering his first off season as the starter and his senior year, Coach Glenn feels with Earl's ability to take the top off the defense he can be a top QB in the Missouri Valley Conference.
"I think people saw a real good quarterback today in Kevin Earl," USD Head Coach Joe Glenn said. "That guy has had a terrific spring for us. He is seasoned now. He has a season under his belt and an entire spring that he has taken every snap. I think he is ready to go and he will be one of the better quarterbacks in our division next season," Glenn added.
Conference play won’t begin until October. With the Spring Game in the books the Yotes can now focus on their toughest task of the season, the high flying Oregon Ducks.
"Well we have a lot to work on," Earl said with a sigh. He then added, "To prepare for a team like that we have to be disciplined, that's probably the biggest thing, as well as being conditioned. We are going to have to run with them and their speed. We really need to be extremely disciplined because we're not going to be able to hear each other think in Autzen Stadium."
Football fans in South Dakota will want to circle August 30th on their calendars and begin planning trips for week one. As mentioned, the Yotes will be in Oregon on that day, while the Jackrabbits will travel to take on SEC powerhouse Missouri.