The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 4, 2013

Soza latest running QB to face Herd

First there was Austin Boucher at Miami (Ohio). Gardner-Webb had Lucas Beatty. Of course, Ohio’s Tyler Tettleton worked his magic one more time. And Logan Thomas did just enough to lead Virginia Tech to a comeback win.

Marshall’s league opener against UTSA on Saturday will further illustrate the evolution of offense in college football.

The Roadrunners’ Eric Soza is just the latest running quarterback to challenge the Thundering Herd’s improved defense when the teams meet at 2 p.m. at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

“It looks like every week we see some type of quarterback that can run very well,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. “You look around our league and most teams have that kind of dual-threat quarterback. They create big problems for you.”

Soza, a 6-foot, 210-pound senior, leads an offense that likes to run the ball, but also utilizes its quarterback’s arm. Soza is UTSA’s second-leading rusher with 118 yards and a touchdown in five games. In coach Larry Coker’s offense, several players line up at tailback and run the ball. Even receivers get a chance to carry the football.

Soza has nearly as many carries (36) as leader David Glasco III (41-188, 4 TDs).

As a passer, Soza has completed 122 of 185 attempts for 1,342 yards and eight touchdowns.

“(Soza) creates problems not only throwing it, but he is a speed option guy,” Holliday said. “He'll run the football as well as throw it.

“This week we are facing the same type of thing we've faced all season. I'm sure we'll play against more dual threat quarterbacks this season.”

— E-mail: gfauber

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