If you’re Dave Doeren, the season has gone about as badly as it possibly could, because not only is your team struggling, you’re now in a spot where people are clamoring to see MJ Morris play ahead of Brennan Armstrong.
Those people aren’t wrong, exactly, but they are a negative factor you have to deal with for two months solid if you’re going to stick to your guns on redshirting MJ Morris. Dave’s got a lot of headaches ahead.
There are a lot of good reasons not to play Morris this year, let alone next weekend. Some folks wondered why Morris did not see action against VMI late, but that’s an easy one: given the recent injury history at QB, and given that a player can appear in four games without losing a redshirt, why would you burn one of those appearances on garbage duty in a non-competitive game? You wouldn’t.
Maybe Brennan Armstrong gets hurt in late October and has to miss the last four games; under this scenario, Morris could start all four games in November and still redshirt, giving the team a chance to be competitive in those games. Throw an appearance away against VMI and then you’ve got to make a tough decision in November.
The other consideration is simply this one: nobody wants to put MJ Morris in a position where he cannot succeed. The vibes have become toxic at this point, and the offense is what it is—there are not a lot of guys who are going to be able to step in there and make everything demonstrably better.
Best to clean the slate after this year, and let MJ Morris get in a full offseason of work with Kevin Concepcion and State’s incoming freshmen receiver class, and go from there. This dynamic will eventually turn around, but there’s no reason to subject Morris to the butt-clenching tension that now surrounds every State possession in 2023. He doesn’t deserve that, and nothing about what’s happening this fall is going to be helpful.
So Dave’s got to wear this one.