Starting QB will be game-time decision

Published 9:22 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Whether it’s Brett Clay or Patrick Pinkney, it’s still up in the air. And that decision likely won’t be made until game day.
With starter Rob Kass suspended for East Carolina’s season opener Saturday at No. 9 Virginia Tech, Skip Holtz will now turn to one of two back-up quarterbacks — Clay or Pinkney. Holtz said whoever performs the best during practice this week will get the starting nod.
Kass was supposed to get his first career start, but that all changed when the sophomore quarterback was arrested and charged with driving while impaired over the weekend. He was suspended for one game for a violation of team rules.
Of the three quarterbacks in camp, Kass is the only one with game experience. He completed 14-of-30 passes for 184 yards last year.
Clay, a 6-0, 201-pound sophomore, said he’s been preparing all along to be the starter.
Holtz wouldn’t rule out playing both Pinkney, a 6-0, 198-pound junior, and Clay on Saturday. Either way, the team loses quite a bit of bulk as Kass is listed at 6-4, 247 pounds.
Holtz said he’ll talk with offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Todd Fitch and make the decision Saturday morning.
Holtz tried to simulate Lane Stadium, site of Saturday’s game in Blacksburg, Va., to try to prepare his quarterbacks for what to expect. The offense worked out at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium under the lights with crowd noise pumped in for a portion of the practice.
Kass, who wasn’t available to the media Tuesday, is getting the support of his teammates.
As for the status of Kass in the near future, Holtz said he would make that decision at a later date.
Cotton named to Butkus Award Watch List
ECU’s Quentin Cotton has been named one of 66 candidates for this year’s Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker.
The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Oct. 18, and then trimmed to three on Nov. 9. The winner will be announced in December in Orlando, Fla.
Cotton finished with 68 tackles, including eight for loss, and two sacks last year. He also had one interception and one forced fumble.