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Laqua names Dragons starting quarterback for season opener

Minnesota State Moorhead head football coach Steve Laqua has named Bryce Meehl as the team's starting quarterback for the season opener next week. David Samson / The Forum

MOORHEAD — Minnesota State Moorhead head football coach Steve Laqua named the team's starting quarterback Thursday, Aug. 23, one week ahead of the season opener.

"I think in the end we had two right answers," Laqua said.

MSUM junior Bryce Meehl, from Oakes, N.D., edged out sophomore Jakup Sinani for the starting spot under center. The Dragons host Minnesota-Crookston at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at Alex Nemzek Stadium in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and season opener for both teams.

"We had to pick a lane and go down that one," Laqua said. "It's as good a quarterback play as we've had around here in the last four years, collectively."

Last week at the team's media day, Laqua said Sinani was taking first-team reps and held a slight edge against Meehl for the starting job. The 6-foot, 195-pound Mehl moved his way to the top of the QB depth chart over the past week.

"Bryce is a little more elusive in the pocket and capable of doing things on the run," Laqua said. "I think they are both playing at a high level, which makes that a very difficult decision."

Meehl is slated to make his first collegiate start against Minnesota-Crookston. He missed last season with a knee injury.

The 6-foot-3, 197-pound Sinani made four starts last fall and played in six games as a true freshman. Sinani completed 80 of 113 passes for 1,030 yards and seven touchdowns with three interceptions.

Laqua said the team officially started game preparation for Minnesota-Crookston on Thursday, which coincided with naming Meehl the starter.

"We've named the starter and that's the guy we are going with." Laqua said. "We have no problems playing Jakup if the situation calls for it."

The Dragons posted a 5-6 record last season after posting a 7-4 mark in 2016. Laqua likes the way the team is trending heading into the opener.

"I think team chemistry is as good as it's been in the last few years," Laqua said.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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