Eagle head coach Jeff Monken decided to exchange junior quarterback Jerick McKinnon for sophomore starting quarterback Ezayi Youyoute only at 11:45 in the second quarter of the game last weekend.
“Izzy didn’t get into the groove, and it’s not like we lack any confidence in him, but it’s a team effort. McKinnon just got the offense to flow, and he started making plays, so we left him in,” Monken said.
From then on, McKinnon tallied his fourth 100-yard rushing game of his career, his longest touchdown run of the season in the third quarter for 67 yards and completed a 34-yard pass in the fourth quarter, which was the longest of his career.
By the end of the second quarter, McKinnon lead his team in rushing yardage. The second string quarterback rushed a total of 62 yards, which was 23 more than sophomore running back Dominique Swope in second place.
At quarterback in the second half, McKinnon attempted to throw two passes, one of which was intercepted by Samford University’s freshman defensive back Trey Wesley.
During his time at quarterback, McKinnon scrambled and rushed the ball all the opportunities he could get. With 5:40 to go in the third quarter, McKinnon was able to break away from the cluttered line of scrimmage on first and ten and sprint 67 yards to the endzone to put another six on the score board for GSU.
“All the credit goes to the whole offense. It was just a great offensive unity. The whole offense did a great job tonight,” McKinnon said.
By the end of the game, the junior quarterback had topped the charts in two categories for his team: rushing and passing. McKinnon ended his night with 163 total rushing yards, two touchdowns and three attempted passes with completion and was intercepted once.
“Jerick is a great leader and athlete,” senior linebacker Darius Eubanks said.
Monken said, “Tonight we were a better football team than Samford, and Samford is a good football team. I am proud of our team.”