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Source Says Northridge Will Start O'Laughlin

September 16, 1993|THERESA SMITH MUNOZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — J.J. O'Laughlin will be named starting quarterback for Cal State Northridge today, according to a source close to the team.

O'Laughlin, a junior who transferred from Illinois 11 days ago, has outperformed last week's starter, Clayton Millis.

When he starts Saturday night at Northern Arizona, O'Laughlin will be the Matadors' third starting quarterback in as many games. Coley Kyman started the opener against San Diego State two weeks ago but was knocked out for the season with a broken leg and dislocated ankle.

In closely charted practice sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, O'Laughlin made the correct audibles more often than Millis and completed more passes.

O'Laughlin also played better than Millis last Saturday night in the Matadors' 27-12 loss to Weber State.

In the fourth quarter, O'Laughlin drove the Matadors to two touchdowns, both coming on fourth-down plays. He threw for 165 yards, completing 16 of 27 passes with one interception.

Millis, a sophomore transfer from Oregon, completed eight of 22 passes for 64 yards with two interceptions.

In consideration of O'Laughlin's lack of familiarity with the individual tendencies of the wide receivers and a run-and-shoot offense in which the receivers and quarterback are expected to make the same defensive read during the play, the Matadors have modified this week's game strategy.

They plan to add disciplined pass routes, more play-action plays, and unless they fall behind again, more running plays.

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