Like Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards a year ago, Elon's Scott Riddle is a quarterback Southern Conference coaches will be glad to see go after this season.
In his three-plus season as the Phoenix's starter, Riddle has become the SoCon's all-time passing leader (12,241 yards and counting), all-time leader in touchdown passes (98 and counting) and he's set about two dozen other league and NCAA records.
"I remember watching the tape of his freshman year," said University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach Russ Huesman, who was Richmond's defensive coordinator in 2008 when the Spiders played Elon, "and saying, 'man, that's a ball player right there.'"
Riddle has been a "ball player" -- he also punts and plays on the Elon baseball team -- ever since he started as a freshman in 2007, when he set five NCAA freshman records.
He's on pace for another big season in 2010. Heading into Saturday's game at No. 20 UTC (5-2, 4-1 SoCon), the 6-foot-1, 213-pound senior leads the SoCon with 2,208 passing yards and 20 touchdowns.
It's been a down year for the Phoenix (2-5, 1-3), who have lost to four ranked teams, but Riddle remains a Walter Payton Award candidate and perhaps the top passing quarterback in the FCS.
"I've played OK," said Riddle, who has thrown six interceptions in 293 attempts. "I've made a couple of mistakes here and there that I'd love to have back, but I'm sure a lot of people would say the same thing."
Among the FCS records still within Riddle's grasp is most 200-yard passing games (he's four behind Steve McNair's mark of 41). Riddle has a knack for eluding trouble in the pocket like the late Alcorn State and Tennessee Titans star.
"He's uncanny in his ability," Mocs defensive coordinator Adam Fuller said. "He'll run backward 15 yards, and I'm sure they don't want him to do that, but he hasn't gotten caught yet doing it. He just escapes and then throws the ball out of bounds or finds somebody down the football field."
Riddle has yet to lose to UTC, in part because he's feasted on the Mocs' defense. In three games -- Elon victories by an average of 26.7 points -- Riddle has completed 62 of 89 passes for 717 yards, with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.
"We've still got a lot left to prove to ourselves, not really anybody else," Riddle said. "We're 2-5 and we're dealing with that, knowing that we want to finish the season 6-5. That's our main goal right now."
Sophomore J.J. Jackson will start at running back Saturday, Huesman said Wednesday. Huesman said Jackson's "consistency" was the reason he got the nod. ... Center Justin Galyon (back/hip) and wideout Chris Marshall (quad) did not practice Wednesday.