Mickey Matthews is going with the young gun over the captain. After the Dukes picked up their first FCS loss of the season, he announced that true freshman quarterback Michael Birdsong will start this weekend's game against Georgia State.
Birdsong, a Matoaca product, takes over from senior captain Justin Thorpe, a Varina graduate. Birdsong had seen action in 6 of JMU's 7 games, but he saw his most action Saturday at the University of Richmond. Trailing 28-10, Birdsong was inserted into the game, taking over for an ineffective Thorpe. The freshman threw for a touchdown and ran for another, in what turned out to be a 35-29 Spiders victory.
Thorpe has thrown just 7 touchdowns in 7 games, but he's also rushed for four. He's also thrown for 7 interceptions. Matthews says that he's been dealing with a hurt finger, and that Birdsong has looked better in practice working out with the #1 offense.
The Dukes are 5-2 on the season, and ranked #9 in this week's TSN FCS top 25 poll.