Berry returns from injury to challenge freshman

Updated: October 14, 2003, 9:15 PM ET
Associated Press

PROVO, Utah -- Brigham Young coach Gary Crowton plans to wait until the end of the week to decide who will start at quarterback Saturday at Wyoming.

Matt Berry has returned from a broken hand and could reclaim the job he lost after getting injured in the second game of the season.

"I have to give Matt a lot of reps to get him back to where he was. I can't evaluate him unless he gets a lot of reps," Crowton said Tuesday.

Crowton is also looking at John Beck, a freshman who took over the starting job the third game of the season. Beck has struggled with his consistency, and the Cougars (3-4, 2-2 Mountain West) are just 1-3 since losing Berry, who took over the starting job midway through last season.

"Matt looked pretty good yesterday. He didn't have as much zip on the ball, but it's coming back. It will continue everyday," Crowton said. "I think I'm in a good situation, not a bad situation, because I think John Beck has had a lot of work in game situations the last four weeks."

Beck appeared to have a breakout game two weeks ago when he completed 17 of 26 for 180 yards and two touchdowns and running for a score. But last week against Colorado State, he and the rest of the Cougars collapsed in a 58-13 loss.

The defense allowed 446 yards and the Rams scored the most points ever by a visiting opponent at BYU, so Beck could hardly be blamed entirely for the performance.

Crowton said both Berry and Beck will likely play Saturday against the Cowboys (2-4, 0-1)

"I think both of those guys are getting better. And those two are going to be around for a while, so the future is going to be bright," Crowton said.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press