Sophomore gets starting QB assignment for Nevada

Updated: August 25, 2003, 8:44 PM ET

RENO, Nev. -- Sophomore quarterback Jeff Rowe will get the starting assignment Saturday when Nevada opens its season against Southern Utah At Mackay Stadium.

Coach Chris Tormey said Rowe's arm strength and other abilities are enough to overcome his lack of experience.

"Jeff has a lot of potential," Tormey said. "He played in some games last year and he had a lot of repetitions in practice. He has a better understanding of the offense."

Tormey added, however, that Andy Heiser also will see action against the Thunderbirds.

Rowe beat out Heiser, a junior, and redshirt freshman Travis Moore for the job, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported on Monday.

Because none of the three quarterbacks has ever started a college game and Rowe had just one season as the starter at McQueen High School in Reno, Tormey and the Wolf Pack will keep it simple on offense to start the year.

Among the other starters named Sunday, Chris Hines won the battle at left guard with John Tennert. Tennert will likely be the sixth man in on the line because he can play pretty much any position up front.

The starters in the receiving corps will depend on the health of Tim Fleming's left shoulder. The senior has been out for nearly two weeks with the injury, but Tormey hopes he can be back this week in practice. If not, Willie Johnson, Nichiren Flowers and Del McGee will be the starters.

Chance Kretschmer is the obvious starter at running back and Anthony Pudewell is the top choice at tight end.

The front four on the defense will be Jorge Cordova and J.J. Milan at the end spots and Derek Kennard, Jr., and Chris Barry inside at the tackles.

Daryl Towns, Logan Carter and Carl LaGrone are the top three linebackers, with J.D. Morscheck and Shaun Tagatauli expected to see plenty of time.

Ronnie Hardiman and Keone Kauo will start at the two safety spots and Ali Jones and Chris Handy are at the corners.

Tormey gave the players Monday off to attend their first day of classes.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index