Fleck holds off on naming a starting quarterback

Demry Croft relieved Conor Rhoda at quarterback in the second quarter and scored three passing touchdowns.

Head coach P. J. Fleck observes the game on Saturday, Sept. 30 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Jack Rodgers, Daily File Photo

Head coach P. J. Fleck observes the game on Saturday, Sept. 30 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Jack Warrick

One of the big developments coming out of the Michigan State game last week was Demry Croft taking over for Conor Rhoda at quarterback.

Head coach P.J. Fleck responded to that development Tuesday.

“I need to settle [Rhoda] down, and while I’m doing that, give [Croft] an opportunity,” Fleck said.

Fleck said he was holding off on naming the starter, but he said he could possibly keep playing them both throughout the year.

“I want to continue to watch them perform,” Fleck said. “Hopefully by tomorrow, I’m narrowing it down closer so we can get the reps more for somebody else, but they did a great job of splitting [practice] reps [Tuesday], and that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”

Croft threw for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and ran for 43 yards, compared to running back Rodney Smith’s 44 yard total. Rhoda, who was taken out late in the second quarter, failed to score a touchdown on a first and goal situation. He went 5-12 passing and had 53 yards.

Illinois head coach Lovie Smith said he expects to see Croft at starting quarterback for the Gophers this Saturday.

“They’ve played a couple different quarterbacks and ended up with the guy that we’ll probably see, which is a little bit different than the starter they’ve been playing most of the year,’’ Smith told reporters.

Other Notes

-Tight end Brandon Lingen  is questionable with an ankle injury, and cornerback Coney Durr is questionable with a knee injury.