Coach Sitake and select players spoke to the media Monday afternoon looking ahead to the South Florida game. We highlighted some of the depth chart and personnel changes from the last game versus Toledo.
- Quarterback: With Zach Wilson out, Jaren Hall is the starting QB. Baylor Romney and Joe Critchlow are listed as co-backups; Kalani declined to name a backup in the case that Hall were to go down. Romney is similar to Hall in that he is a great athlete and runner, while Critchlow is more of a pocket passer and has starting experience.
- Running Back: Emmanuel Esukpa is listed as the number one back for the first time this season, with Lopini Katoa behind him at number two. Sione Finau is third string while true freshman Jackson McChesney is fourth.
- Offensive Line: For the first time this year, there are no “or” designations along the offensive line. Chandon Herring is the starter at left guard and Keanu Saleapaga the starter at right tackle. Kieffer Longson and Harris LaChance are the backups in those respective spots.
- Defense: Strong safety had the lone change on defense, with Beau Tanner listed as the starter and Sawyer Powell as the backup. They were listed as co-starters going into Toledo.
Injuries and Personnel Notes
- Kalani confirmed that Zach Wilson’s hand injury is not season ending, but declined to divulge a timetable for his return. Doctors have given the team a recovery window, but the team likely won’t publicly reveal when Zach will return to force teams to prepare for both Zach and Jaren once we get into November and closer to Zach’s potential return.
- South Florida Injury: The Bulls will once again be without 5th-year Senior Blake Barnett at QB. Barnett missed the last game versus UConn. In his place will be freshman Jordan McCould, who isn’t quite the passer Barnett is but is a better runner.