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Rogers may see time at quarterback for GSU
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Freshman quarterback Chris Rogers, seen here during fall practice, may get his first college start on Saturday when the Eagles host Elon at 1 p.m. in Paulson Stadium. - photo by MICHELLE BOAEN/staff

BVG SoCon call 10.10.06

Listen to GSU heach coach Brian VanGorder answer questions in the SoCon's weekly coaches' conference call.
    Starting quarterback Travis Clark took snaps during practice Tuesday, but Georgia Southern coach Brian VanGorder said the sophomore is questionable for Saturday’s home game against Elon. Clark suffered a low-grade concussion while diving for a loose ball late in the third quarter of Saturday’s 34-14 loss to North Dakota State.
    “He is still being looked at by doctors and making sure everything is OK and sound with him,” VanGorder said. “Everything right now indicates that he’s coming along fine, but it’s just one of those things you have to be very cautious with.”
    Eagle coaches will spend the next few days preparing backup quarterback Chris Rogers, who will start if Clark isn’t available Saturday. Rogers, a freshman, has seen limited action in three games this season. The majority of his playing time came in the fourth quarter last week when Rogers completed 6 of 10 passes for 57 yards and one interception. North Dakota State’s Courtney Mitchell returned the pick 35 yards for the Bison’s final score.
    “It was a rookie mistake — he threw the ball high and inside, and you can’t do those kinds of things in those situations,” offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw said. “You have to throw the ball low and outside on those throws. He learned from that.”
    Aside from the mistake, Rogers said he felt good last week, his first significant playing time since his senior year at Athens Academy in 2004. Rogers transferred to Georgia Southern this spring from the University of Georgia where he originally signed to play baseball.
    VanGorder said he’s comfortable with Rogers running the offense and would scale down the playbook with the freshman at the helm.
    “He has some things that I think are redeeming values – he runs well, he’s got a good arm,” said VanGorder, adding that Rogers’ current limitations are based on his inexperience. “But again, he’s not seen college defenses at full speed in game situations, so you just have to be cautious and bring that along slowly. There is a passing game that’s for Chris — it’s just a little bit different than maybe what Travis can take on.”
    Hinshaw agrees.
    “He’s good at play-action,” he said. “Drop-back is not necessarily his forte, but he can do some good things with getting on the corner and running with the football.”
    Rogers isn’t getting too hyped about the possibility of starting and said he’s treating this week just like any other.
    “You’ve got to be ready to play no matter what the situation is because even if you are a backup, you are one play away,” he said. “I’m just trying to do my job, and do whatever the coaches tell me.”

Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.