Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz announced Monday night on the Inside Tech Football radio show that West Virginia transfer Austin Kendall would be the Bulldogs starting quarterback when it takes the field Saturday in Starkville against Mississippi State.
Kendall has been competing all fall for the starting position along with sophomore Aaron Allen and freshman JD Head while senior Luke Anthony continues to recover from off-season surgery.
“Right now Austin Kendall will be our starter going into the first week,” said Holtz on the coaches show. “He has come in here since July and done a great job. Joe Sloan has done a great job with him. He has come in and he has picked up the offense.”
Holtz said that the decision came down to experience and leadership.
“Austin Kendall … with his game experience, with the number of offenses he has been in, with his age, and with how well he has picked up the offense … I certainly think this team has got a vote of confidence in him by evidence by the captains voting,” said Holtz. “They feel like he is a guy who can lead us, and we feel that way as a stay.
“We just had captains votes, and he was in the top five in captains votes. He is really making his mark on this football team and really earning a lot of respect.”
Tech and Mississippi State will kick-off Saturday at 3 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
Kendall originally signed at Oklahoma as the No. 4 pro-style rated QB in the country by Rivals coming out of Cuthbertson High School in North Carolina. After seeing action in eight games with the Sooners, passing for 265 yards and three scores, he transferred to West Virginia. During his time with the Mountaineers, he passed for 2,153 yards and 14 TDs.
“Has a good arm,” said Holtz. “He has a very quick release. Can manage the game; get rid of the ball. He can run the ball better than people think.
“He is a guy who has a great feel for the pocket as long as he has been playing. I think Austin is very, very talented. Very smart. Very accurate. I am excited to see him play.”
Holtz said he was very pleased with Allen and Head and feels they both provide quality depth at the position in 2021.
“Both Aaron and JD have done some great things,” said Holtz. “I think we have two great backup quarterbacks. I would tell you that I think these are the best two backup quarterbacks we have had since I have been here.
“I think both of these guys are going to have their day in the sun here, and I think they are both going to be really good here.”
This marks the fifth time that Tech has opened its season against Mississippi State. The Starkville-based Bulldogs lead the all-time series 11-3.
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE