James Madison coach Mickey Matthews promised changes following his team's loss at Hofstra this past weekend.
And Matthews didn't disappoint Tuesday, announcing redshirt freshman Justin Thorpe would start at quarterback for Saturday's game against No. 1 Richmond.
"We just felt like Justin, he was going to give us the best chance of winning," explains Matthews. "That's the way we make any decision."
"I was pretty excited," says Thorpe. "We didn't play as well as we wanted this week, but I kind of had a good game. I guess the coaches saw something in that, and I can just hope to come out and play well against Richmond."
Thorpe had been rotating at the position with junior Drew Dudzik. Tuesday marked the first time this season Matthews designated a starter prior to a game.
"We had team meetings this morning, and I found out afterwards," says Thorpe. "(Matthews) told me. Sat me down, talked to me."
Thorpe ran for 96 yards and a score and completed all three pass attempts for 37 yards in the Hofstra loss. Dudzik was 5-11 for 19 yards and an interception, and ran for 11 yards against the Pride.
Matthews said after watching film from the loss with offensive coordinator Jeff Durden, the two agreed to increase Thorpe's repetitions this week in practice.
"Jeff and I were unanimous, because there's only two votes," says Matthews. "The term we're using, we're giving Justin most of the reps this week, he's going to start the game. But we're going to get Drew ready, and Drew Dudzik will play in the game."
Matthews didn't make Dudzik available for comment at practice Tuesday.
Thorpe said the announcement wouldn't affect the way he prepared for Richmond.
"I always prepare pretty well for the games," says Thorpe. "I always watch a lot of film, study the opponent. So I'm just going into this game the same way."