Howard University's football team, searching for some answers after three consecutive defeats, will make several lineup changes Saturday against winless Morgan State.
One change will be by design, the others because of injury.
The major change is likely to be at quarterback, where freshman Chris Dubose is expected to start in place of junior Donald Carr.
After five games, when Howard was 5-0 and averaging 29 points per game, Carr had thrown only three interceptions. But among the 15 turnovers in the three losses, 10 have been interceptions thrown by Carr.
"Donald will play Saturday, but I will not stand here today and tell you how he will play," said Coach Steve Wilson yesterday when asked if Carr would be the starter against Morgan State, which is 0-9 and has the nation's longest Division I-AA losing streak at 16. "Maybe it will be Dubose against Morgan."
Wilson said he was unhappy with Carr's performance (nine of 25 for 63 yards, five interceptions) in last week's 17-7 loss to previously winless Towson State, but he stressed that he did not want to blame all of the team's offensive problems on his quarterback.
"Donald has tried to make some plays that are not there, but it is not just Donald. It is also the people around him," said Wilson.
"But Donald has made some bad decisions lately. . . .
"We have three other young quarterbacks, and to be honest, they are not ready yet, but Chris Dubose is closer than the other two."
Just after the loss to Towson State, Wilson said he was going to reevaluate the quarterback situation.
Carr probably will come off the bench Saturday. He struggled in the middle of last season, and after being used as a reserve for several games, came back to finish the year with two of his best games.
Dubose has played at least one series in every game. He started the season's second game, against Division II Morris Brown, when Carr had a bruised shoulder. He completed 11 of 25 passes for 183 yards in a 29-0 victory.
Injuries will force several other offensive changes, so Wilson will use practice this week to make sure Dubose can fit in comfortably.
Wilson said starting tailback James "J.J." Carpenter, who rushed for 128 yards (8.0 per carry) against Towson State, will be replaced Saturday by Robert Taylor.
"J.J. is just beat up," said Wilson. "It's his shoulder, his knee, his hand and his back."
On the line, junior left tackle Nigel Green is doubtful with a sprained ankle. Right guard Dante Reed is questionable with ankle problems.
Defensively, outside linebacker Anthony Hooper (ankle), one of Howard's best pass rushers, will miss his second straight game.
Wilson said there will be no strategy changes or wholesale personnel shakeups just for a new look.
"We don't want to hold a prison camp on the practice field, and we're not so sick we can't get well," he said.
"As a football coach, I can't panic. If I panic, everyone else will panic around me."