OGDEN — Two games into the season, Weber State's quarterback battle is still being waged.
After freshman Kaden Jenks earned the starting nod ahead of the season opener, sophomore Jake Constantine saw the field in Week 2's win at Cal Poly when Jenks left due to concussion concerns.
Jenks led an impressive opening drive in San Luis Obispo and checked out healthy but, while he was gone, Constantine showed his talent, too.
Now, entering Week 3 ahead of the home opener against No. 22 South Dakota, Constantine and Jenks are listed as co-starters on Weber State's depth chart.
After Tuesday's practice was done, both remained on the field with a handful of players to get extra reps.
"They’re both winners and they both want to be the guy, so that’s a great starting point," head coach Jay Hill said.
Jenks threw 6 of 9 for 47 yards as the starter last week. He helped WSU make sure the season-opening loss at Utah didn't linger, conducting a grinding touchdown drive of more than six minutes to open the game. That included several pass completions and a 14-yard rush on a zone-read play that got the Wildcats near the Cal Poly goal line.
"Kaden looked outstanding in the first drive, took us right down, had some big completions, was efficient and did a good job in getting us in the correct runs," Hill said.
But the passing game didn't come together after that and he left midway through the second quarter.
Constantine finished 9 of 15 for 84 yards. He completed a pass on a fourth down to keep a drive going to close the second half but missed a few throws that meant settling for a field goal and a 10-3 lead.
But Constantine and the offense got rolling a bit more in the second half. Weber State did not face a third down in a third-quarter, go-ahead touchdown drive of seven plays and 77 yards that finished with Constantine delivering a perfect ball over the top to Rashid Shaheed for a 20-yard touchdown, despite immediate pressure when a play-action fake did not fool a charging defensive end.
"When Jake came in, I thought he looked like he played with poise at the end of the game. He threw the ball pretty efficiently," Hill said.
Both quarterbacks showed need for improvement but an ability to succeed all the same.
"Now, we’ve got to get the ball down the field a little bit more, and they know that, but I think there were things both of them did that proved we can win with those guys, which I’ve said all along," Hill said.
What decides Saturday's starter, which may not be known until game day, could include practice performance. It could include further review of Cal Poly game tape.
It could also include health. Constantine entered fall camp rehabbing from a torn ACL and said he did physical therapy once or twice a day. Hill said Tuesday that Constantine's knee looks better each day.
"What it comes down to is who’s playing the best and who’s moving the ball for the team, who’s scoring points," Hill said. "In that last game, they both proved they can do that at times. We’ve got to see who can do it consistently."