After struggling on offense against Jackson State University in Sunday’s season opener, Florida A&M football coach Willie Simmons announced Tuesday that true freshman quarterback Junior Muratovic would replace RaSean McKay as the starter.
“After reviewing the film and talking it over as a staff, you know we’re going to go with Junior [Muratovic],” Simmons said in a Tuesday morning media session.
McKay never found his rhythm and struggled against the Jackson State defense in a 7-6 loss in the Orange Blossom Classic. In three quarters he completed 18 of 29 passes for only 78 yard and no touchdowns.
“You know, I really hate it for Sean,” Simmons said. “I mean, Sean’s a guy that’s been in this program for four years. He’s worked his butt off, he cares, it means the world to him.”
Simmons is not afraid to admit that McKay was under a lot of pressure and that they have to do a better job of protecting the quarterback.
“I played the position, you know, so I know how it is when you’re looking at the sky every time you throw the football,” he said. “It gets to you, it affects your rhythm, it affects your timing. It affects that internal clock in your head and makes you think that you have time to throw the football.”
At the start of the fourth quarter, down by one point, Simmons decided to insert Muratovic, a 6-foot 171 pound true freshman from Orlando, into the close contest. Muratovic went 5 of 12 for 47 yards.
Simmons said even after getting pulled, McKay didn’t mope.
“Even when we made the move on Sunday, you know he stayed in the game mentally and tried to help you out as much as possible,” Simmons said. “But you know, Junior gives us something in the form of just a little bit of savvy, a little bit of fundamental passing, I guess, that will be what we missed on Sunday.”
Simmons is still confident in McKay’s ability to lead this Rattler football program.
“I feel confident that he [RaSean] will bounce back, he’s a resilient young man, he works extremely hard,” he said. “No one was more hurt about the loss than him.
“We’re going to go with Junior this week and RaSean and Cameron will be ready if need be,” Simmons said.
FAMU will host Fort Valley State University a 6 p.m. Saturday.