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Schneider to remain No. 1 QB

Normally the starting quarterback is the player to take the blame for a 45-0 blowout loss in which he throws for 14 yards.

Head coach Ted Roof thinks differently, however. He plans to continue starting Mike Schneider and using the more athletic Curt Dukes on certain series.

"Mike Schneider threw some good balls and we had a couple of drops," Roof said of Saturday's game. "On a lot of plays we had 10 guys doing what they were supposed to be doing and we had one guy make a mistake."

Roof also believes that the poor play of the offensive line makes it difficult to judge Schneider's performance. Throughout most of the game, the Duke signal caller was harassed by the Virginia Tech defensive line. The Hokies recorded 5 sacks for a loss of 29 yards during the game.

"It is tough to evaluate [the quarterbacks' progress] because they were under duress a large part of the time," Roof said.

Because of the lack of protection on pocket passes, a more athletic quarterback may seem like a logical choice. Dukes has been given numerous opportunities in the season's first two games to prove this hypothesis and has shown flashes of success, including a 13-yard run Saturday-Duke's longest play from scrimmage.

But many fans have questioned why the Blue Devils have not put phenom athlete Marcus Jones under center if they would like to employ a run-first quarterback.

Jones, a freshman from Georgia, is officially listed as a quarterback/athlete. During his senior year in high school, he threw for over 1,000 yards. listed Jones as the 19th-best dual-threat quarterback in the recruiting class of 2005.

Roof, however, does not believe that the freshman is ready for the responsibilities of playing quarterback.

"If he became a guy that only played a few snaps a game it would be too much for a freshman to learn both quarterback and receiver because there aren't enough reps in practice," Roof said.

Additionally, Roof does not want to lose Jones' skill at the wide receiver position. Thus far, Jones has started both his first collegiate games at receiver and recorded a catch in each.

"If Marcus is at quarterback, he isn't at receiver," Roof said. "If he is a quarterback then he needs to be paying attention to Mike or Curt when they are in the game and if he is at wide receiver then he needs to be running those routes. Therefore it wouldn't be looking at the fundamentals or the reads of the quarterback. I think that he has to be one or the other."



Ben Patrick was hurt in the first quarter of Saturday's game and did not return to action. His status for the Sept. 17 game against VMI is uncertain.


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