Zeb Noland is a graduate assistant coach on staff for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team --- but last weekend he was the team’s starting quarterback.

Expected starting quarterback Luke Doty had injured his left foot during practice. The lingering injury caused a bit of concern for the coaching staff as the team’s roster was not very deep at the quarterback position.

The coaches were made aware that one of their assistant coaches, 24-year-old Zeb Noland, still had one year of eligibility remaining after the COVID-19 season.

So, he got rid of the clipboard and suited up as the starting QB for last weekend’s season-opener home game against Eastern Illinois.

How did he do in front of nearly 65,000 fans? He threw 13-22 for 121 yards and four touchdowns. More importantly, the team won, crushing the Panthers of Eastern Illinois, 46-0.

He played at Iowa State in 2016 and 2017, seeing action in four games and starting one. With ISU, he wore jersey #4, threw 36-66 for 533 yards and two touchdowns. (he was a redshirt his freshman season)

He left Iowa State in 2018 and eventually transferred to North Dakota State. In the 2021 spring season with the Bison, he started 7 games, leading the team to the FCS quarterfinals game, losing to Sam Houston State. On April 10th, North Dakota State defeated the UNI Panthers 23-20. Noland threw for 154 yards and a TD in the win.

Over 24 games in his college career, the native of Georgia completed just under 53% of his passes, compiled 2,115 yards and 12 touchdowns.

It appears that Luke Doty will be healthy enough to suit up on Saturday, so Noland most likely will be going back to his coaching position on the road against East Carolina. The game will be televised on ESPN2 on Saturday.


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