Football: Graham Wilbert to start at QB versus Middle Tennessee

Rolando Rosa

FAU quarterback Graham Wilbert. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.

Stephen Curtis’ 30 minutes of fame are up.

FAU football head coach Carl Pelini announced via a Sun Belt Conference call on Monday that quarterback Graham Wilbert will start on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Middle Tennessee.

Curtis, a redshirt sophomore, was benched after being shut out in the first half of the season opener against Wagner. In his first-ever college start, he completed 4 of 10 passes, and the Owls had 85 yards of total offense at halftime.

Wilbert, a redshirt senior, stepped in and delivered the game’s only touchdown, a 39-yard strike down the middle to Byron Hankerson with 11:36 left in the game.

Pelini was impressed with Wilbert’s performance but explained why Curtis got the nod over last year’s starter.

“Graham did a tremendous job,” Pelini said. “When we decided to go with Stephen [Curtis] we did it based on what our strengths as a team were and what our philosophy of a team was going to have to be this year — we’re going to have to run the ball, we’re going to have to play good defense, we’re going to have to play soundly on special teams, and we felt Stephen [Curtis] being a little bit better runner would fit better with that philosophy.”

FAU plays at Middle Tennessee on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m.