North Carolina State decided it couldn’t wait any longer to make a change on offense.
After losing two of their first three home games of the season, the Wolfpack will turn to sophomore MJ Morris as their starting quarterback when they face Marshall on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.
Morris takes over for Brennan Armstrong, who transferred to NC State (3-2) after five seasons at Virginia.
Armstrong has completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 971 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions, and in the wake of his team’s 13-10 loss to then-unranked Louisville last week, coach Dave Doeren decided it was time to make a change.
“It’s clear that we need a spark on that side of the ball,” Doeren said. “(Morris) is ready to lead the offense. … It was my plan and our plan to redshirt MJ and allow him an opportunity to develop behind Brennan. But plans sometimes need to change. The time is now because it’s what’s best for our team.”
There’s no need for change for Marshall (4-0), which owns a nine-game winning streak dating back to last season following a 41-35 victory over Old Dominion last weekend.
“Really proud of them embracing the process of finding a way to execute well to win,” Thundering Herd coach Charles Huff said. “Are there things we have to get cleaned up? Absolutely.”
Meanwhile, the Wolfpack are scuffling. NC State had won 16 of its previous 17 home games prior to the two setbacks this season. The loss against the Cardinals was particularly ugly, as the Wolfpack were shut out in the second half.
“We just have to stay together and keep going,” Wolfpack receiver Terrell Timmons Jr. said. “We can’t let this loss get between us. We have to stay together as a team and keep going.”
Morris will look to spearhead a turnaround, and even with the change under center, Huff believes his team will still be prepared against NC State since it has been able to adjust on the fly this season.
“Didn’t bat an eye, didn’t get frustrated,” Huff said of his team’s resilience. “Made adjustments and made plays when they counted.”
The Thundering Herd have already defeated an Atlantic Coast Conference team this season, beating Virginia Tech 24-17 on Sept. 23.
Saturday marks the sixth all-time meeting between Marshall and NC State. The Wolfpack have won all five games in the series, most recently prevailing 37-20 in 2018 at Huntington, W.Va.