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Oh Great, Central Michigan has a Running Quarterback

CMU Athletics

For years the Kryptonite of Kentucky football has been the running quarterback.  Naturally, that means Kentucky is going to start the season playing against one.

Over the weekend Central Michigan head coach John Bonamego revealed Tony Poljan will be the Chippewas’ starting quarterback.

Poljan is not your typical “dual-threat quarterback.”  Standing 6’7″ tall, Poljan spent the 2017 season playing wide receiver and a Wildcat quarterback of sorts.  He completed 10-of-17 passes for 61 yards, caught five passes for 97 yards and carried the ball 23 times for 110 yards and a touchdown.  To put it plainly, he’s fast enough to play wide receiver but taller than Nick Fitzgerald, the Miss. State passer who will break Tim Tebow’s SEC record for rushing yards by a quarterback this season.

Unlike some of the weapons that have dismantled the Cats in the past, Poljan’s start against Kentucky will be his first.  He has a big arm, but he isn’t very wide at just 225 pounds.  Central Michigan’s offensive coordinator acknowledged that Poljan has plenty of work to do.

“We’re taking it one day at a time,” Chris Ostrowsky told the campus newspaper, Central Michigan Life. “Besides being a strong-armed, athletic, tough kid who’s is going to be a consistent leader on and off the field, your ability to process information is so important to playing the position at this level and he continues to grow and get better at it because his work ethic is consistent and it’s every day.”

Facing a running quarterback will always strike fear in the hearts of Kentucky fans, but Poljan is no Lamar Jackson.  Instead of reliving those nightmares, think of Keon Howard, the Southern Miss running quarterback that got pulled at halftime against UK in last year’s season-opener after rushing for only 18 yards on 10 carries.

If Stoops’ defense puts early pressure on the inexperienced Poljan, September 1 should be a lot of fun.  If they give Poljan the freedom to run around and make plays, “it’s the beginning of the end” overreactions are perfectly acceptable.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

22 Comments for Oh Great, Central Michigan has a Running Quarterback

  1. Alex90
    9:13 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

    Nope. Stop. If UK can’t stop a QB from Central Michigan then they don’t even need to play the rest of the games.

    • ukwildcat1991
      9:27 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

      Dude don’t act like good players can’t play at smaller schools. There have been plenty of times where great players played at small schools and even had great NFL careers. For all we know he might be a first round pick in a few years. Who knows

    • ukisgr8
      6:47 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

      Probably a good player but if cmu beats any sec team it needs to be a major major upset that would lead to a head coach firing. We got 4 gimmees, we need to find 2 wins in the other 8. If this is of real concern we have zero chance of 5 wins

  2. Cmart0907
    9:17 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

    Isn’t it mind boggling that these coaches can’t properly game plan agains dual threat QBs? I mean what are they getting paid for? How many years does it take to figure out how to contain a dual threat QB?

    • unbridled
      9:58 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

      Isn’t not about scheming…it’s about execution and making plays. Discipline. Keeping contain. Pursuit angles. Form tackling. Uk needs to focus on the fundamentals. Schemes are the easy part.

    • shelby
      10:03 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

      This is a click bait story … u fell for it and so did I lol. The cats will roll CMU, if we can’t do that; we might be in big trouble.

    • kjd
      6:00 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

      How many teams have we rolled under Stoops?

    • Cmart0907
      10:36 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

      @unbridled – shouldn’t the coaches put these kids in that position?

    • mashburnfan1
      12:07 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

      A great qb in a great system is hard to stop, look at Brady, Marino, Montana and many more. Same with dual threat ones in college, they put upthose numbers in almost every game. Heck Lamar put up huge numbers vs the Champs in Clemson, just the Tigers got more points. So I guess by your theory no coaches are good as none or very few stop the great ones {is a reason they are great ones}

    • ukisgr8
      6:53 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

      Unbridled, if after this long and plating multiple dual threat qbs in games, and everyday in practice” we aren’t disciplined enough to stop a 3rd rate schools qb then we have bigger problems. I think we blow them out as we should but if your pessimism is founded then we will have a losing record this year because this is one of the easy ones.

    • unbridled
      7:30 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

      I agree guys. I think mark stoops is in over his head and he’s not a very good head coach. I’m just saying that when you watch a game and the teams fundamentals are poor….it doesn’t matter what defense alignment and coverage you use.

    • Cmart0907
      11:28 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

      I mean 6 years and still having a problem with a dual QBs? We can’t contain them , We can’t put pressure on them. They gotta make these dual threat QBs throw the ball. Is that hard to do? See what happens when they make Lamar throw it? His bowl game numbers was horrible. These QBs throw and run all over our defense. And you mean to tell me that these coaches getting paid 3 million a year to come out with the same defensive plan every game and don’t think about adjusting?

  3. Trevathan
    9:25 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

    Let’s just hope that there’s enough confidence in the personnel to be more risky in blitzes and coverage. Kentucky, long before Stoops, has played one of the most mind-numbingly conservative versions of “bend dont break” defense. Maybe with DL talent and depth we can start to change that a bit. Mobile quarterbacks get loose when you’ve over-covered their receivers but cant create pressure because of it. And yes, I know what happened at the end of the florida game that makes this feel like an ironic post.

  4. Jesus H. Chrysler
    9:32 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

    The only running back U.K. has ever stopped was Pookie Jones

  5. Cincy Cayt
    10:10 pm August 14, 2018 Permalink

    Hopefully Terry has been great practice for our defense then

  6. Greatcatfan
    2:06 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

    If you’re interior can get pressure you can play contain with your edge guys and throw in delayed blitzes from alternating sides/angles to shut down rushing qbs like Denver did to the mighty Newton.

    • Cmart0907
      11:29 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

      Might wanna relay that message to Coach Stoops.

  7. kjd
    6:03 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

    Come on, Nick, you can’t be serious, or do you not believe this is our best defense ever under Stoops?

  8. michaelb
    7:39 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

    Yea for a long time we arm tackled and had bad persist angles surely we won’t see another full season of that

  9. BluKudzu
    9:21 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

    We unveiled the “non cover two” last year, and ran it twice.
    I wonder what debuts this year, you know, schemes and all…
    I am in a wait and see mode. I am hoping for the best, 6 years of on the job training, we should be seeing results on the defense by now. Amiright?
    Go Cats

  10. Swizzle
    10:04 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

    Also kryptonite, covering recievers.

    • Cmart0907
      11:31 am August 15, 2018 Permalink

      Kryptonite every game. Dbs out of place on the field , receivers wide open. Walk on QBs picking our secondary apart. They have all the time in the world. These coaches gotta out these kids in the right position.