University of Idaho junior quarterback Steven Wichman, who came off the bench in the season opener against Washington State, will start against UNLV on Saturday.
Wichman replaces senior Michael Harrington, who has started 13 consecutive games.
“We wanted to make sure we weren’t jumping into anything,” head coach Nick Holt said. “He’ll be fine. The more reps he gets, just like anybody, the better he’ll be and he’ll feel more comfortable.”
Wichman passed for 143 yards and one touchdown in a 38-26 loss to WSU last Thursday. Harrington was 6 of 9 for 37 yards and one TD.
“Michael was disappointed, as anybody would be,” Holt said. “It’s hard; he’s a done a nice job and done everything we asked him to do. But he still has to get ready to go because some time (in the future) we’re going to need both guys.”
Holt picked Harrington to start the opener but planned to play Wichman at some point in the first half. No such arrangement exists for the UNLV game, Holt said, adding “if (Wichman) plays well, he stays.”
“We wanted to see if Steven could function, and he did just fine, which we didn’t have any doubts,” Holt said. “I didn’t want to put him in the pressure cooker so quick.”
Wichman displayed a strong throwing arm against WSU but made several mistakes with formations and alignments. Holt said Idaho’s offensive system won’t change with Wichman at the controls.
Idaho appears to be healthy, with one exception. Offensive tackle Hank Therien (strained neck muscle) and cornerback Jason Martin (ankle) have practiced and should be available Saturday. Backup offensive lineman Matt O’Donnell, a JC transfer, is out indefinitely with a neck injury. “He has some things that could be serious so we have to get some other opinions,” Holt said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.