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The QB shuffle?

Coach Ken Matous said he is leaning toward starting Alex Melugin at quarterback for the home game against Omaha on Saturday night. Melugin, the former Friends University standout, has been sidelined the past three games with a sore shoulder. Melugin and Derek Rasmussen split reps in practice on Tuesday night.

"Alex looked better than he's looked in a long time," Matous said.

Rasmussen, who started the year as the starter before injury and ineffectiveness cost him the job, won his first two games as Melugin's replacement. But he hurt his cause by going just 8 of 18 for 46 yards (yes, just 46) with an interception and no TDs in last week 34-38 loss at Bloomington. Matous said Bloomington brought a heavy rush and seemed to intimidate Rasmussen.

"He didn't have the confidence to make some of the throws he needed to make," Matous said.

Even so, Matous said Rasmussen too played well in practice on Monday.

"Derek jumped up to the challenge and showed he wanted to get after it and compete," Matous said.

Leftovers: WR Donald Payne, who caught one pass for four yards in his first game last week, is a likely starter on Saturday. "He was a little rusty, which we thought he might be," Matous said. ... Matous said injuries won't be a concern on Saturday. "We're healthy," he said.

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