ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (KTHV) -- Following their 55-3 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State, the No. 21 Ouachita Tigers and their coaching staff received some bad news in regard to reigning GAC Offensive Player of the Year, senior quarterback Casey Cooper.
Cooper went down early in the contest with a knee injury, which has been labeled as season ending. Cooper helped lead the Tigers to the GAC Championship in 2011, racking up 957 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, while adding 1822 yards and 10 touchdowns through the air.
"All I can say is that I've been blessed with the opportunity to have played college football," said Cooper. "Injuries are part of the game and we have complete confidence in anyone who steps in."
The Tiger offense rode the shoulders of redshirt sophomore quarterback Benson Jordan in their victory, and now Jordan will take on the starting role for Ouachita.
Head Coach Todd Knight was high on Jordan heading into week two of play, saying, "I think Benson is probably the most prepared number two guy in the country. First of all, he took every snap with the first team in spring football. It also helps that he's a redshirt sophomore, meaning that this is his third year here, so Benson's not your typical number two quarterback. In fact, most places he's going to be a starter. He's done a superb job preparing himself and he's ready for the challenge."
Jordan will record his first start for the Tigers on Saturday, but seemed very confident and feels as though he is prepared heading into the Tigers' match-up with Stillman.
"It's under unfortunate circumstances that I have taken over the starting role, but I feel like we are very well prepared," said Jordan. "Our team quote is, 'Leave No Doubt' and that is what we try to do every day in practice so that we can take it with us into the game."
His performance against Northwestern Oklahoma was solid, as he completed 11 of his 15 pass attempts for a total of 186 yards and four touchdowns. He also added 21 yards on the ground. Jordan finished his interview by referencing a quote from his grandfather, Ouachita coaching legend Buddy Benson.
"My grandpa always told me, 'Winners make things happen and losers let things happen,' and that's really the mindset that I'm bringing in to this year. If I'm mentioned in the same sense as he is when my career here is over, I will feel accomplished."
The Tigers will be looking for another stellar performance from Jordan this Saturday, when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for their match-up with Stillman College. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.