Five games into a season when Western Kentucky University football has struggled offensively, the Hilltoppers on Tuesday made a change in starting quarterbacks.
Sophomore K.J. Black is out, senior David Wolke is in.
"Honestly, when you look at the big picture through five games and just evaluate our base stuff - we had the opportunity to look at both with K.J.'s injury and we think (David) gives us a better chance to win," head coach David Elson said after Tuesday evening's practice. "He's more of threat to run, he's throwing well, he's a fifth-year senior who's shown great leadership and toughness and we just decided that's what we needed right now."
Wolke started two games after Black suffered a dislocated left shoulder in WKU's game at Eastern Kentucky and went 1-1 in Black's absence. But Black returned to lead the Hilltoppers this past Saturday at Kentucky and the WKU offense stalled - gaining just 157 yards while Black finished 3-of-10 passing for seven yards and took four sacks.
Elson said he told Black of the switch early Tuesday and that Black had no reaction to the news. Then, Black missed Tuesday evening's practice - an absence Elson said was unexcused.
When asked if Black would be punished, Elson said, "I don't know why he wasn't here, so I guess we'll try to find out and go from there." Elson also said he hadn't spoken to Black since meeting with him earlier in the day.
WKU associate athletic director/communications Todd Stewart said late Thursday evening via text message that there was no update on the reason Black wasn't at the workout.
And punishment or no, Elson said Wolke will be his team's quarterback from now on, barring injury.
"We'll stick with him - he doesn't have to look over his shoulder or anything like that," said Elson. "It's like any other position, we're going to continue to always evaluate - but they don't need to go in thinking they're going to get pulled after one quarter if they don't play well.
"We're not going to get into a rotation or anything like that - we're going to go with one guy and we just feel David gives us a better chance to win."