Former LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux is expected to start Friday night when the New Orleans VooDoo hosts the Tampa Bay Storm at the Smoothie King Center.
Starter Kurt Rocco’s status for this week’s game is doubtful, coach Pat O’Hara said Tuesday morning after practice. Rocco did not practice Tuesday, three days after injuring his knee during a 50-41 loss to the Iowa Barnstormers.
Perrilloux entered Saturday’s game late in the fourth quarter, going 4-for-6 for 50 yards with two touchdowns.
“It was good to go out and execute, have success,” he said. “I felt good, and that’s what I’m trying to build off of — just go out and let it go.”
O’Hara said he’s pleased with Perrilloux’s ability to handle the mental challenge of not being a starter immediately, as well learning the Arena Football League’s unique challenges, from different defensive reads, to pass trajectories.
He was impressive during training camp and had an opportunity to compete with Rocco for the starting job. Then both quarterbacks suffered injuries during the regular season opener at Tampa Bay. Rocco injured his shoulder, and Perrilloux the thumb on his throwing hand, an injury which still bothers him.
“He’s come a long way through the ups and downs,” O’Hara said. “He’s been grinding it out and studying. And he’s certainly capable. He’s got all the tools. Hopefully, he can put it together. He looked good today (at practice).”
This season, Perrilloux has completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 444 yards and eight TDs. He’s also thrown eight interceptions and been sacked eight times. Perrilloux has rushed for a team-high 46 yards with three scores.
“I like Ryan. Me and him, we were connecting during camp,” said VooDoo receiver Quorey Payne, who last week caught seven passes for 76 yards and four TDs. Payne caught both of Perrilloux’s TD passes.
“Being that I got hurt, I wasn’t able to continue practicing with him,” Payne continued. “But he’s got a strong arm. Only problem is he just has to make quicker reads at times.”
The VooDoo (2-7) offense ranks 11th out of 14 AFL teams in scoring (44.8 ppg) and 12th in total offense (247.7 ypg). Tampa Bay (4-6), meanwhile, is allowing 55.5 points a game.
The VooDoo will sign former Tampa Bay quarterback B.J. Hall. He has also played for Dallas and Orlando.