West Virginia QB race heating up
College Football Videos
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia is perhaps its strongest at running back. It needs to break in a new quarterback and several inexperienced receivers.
Still, no one expects a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense at Milan Puskar Stadium this autumn.
After all, this is a Dana Holgorsen-led program. This is the Big 12. This is a team that ranked among the top 10 nationally in passing yardage and passing efficiency last season.
No matter how deep and talented West Virginia's stable of running backs is — it is arguably the finest collection of quality and quantity of any position — Holgorsen figures to stick with what the Mountaineers do best.
“We'll have a really good running game this year, and I think we'll try to get those backs the ball, as many as we can,” redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress said. “But we're still going to air it out. It's in our DNA.”
The only question is who will be behind center. Holgorsen has said Childress, junior Paul Millard and Florida State transfer Clint Trickett are competing for the starting job.
Trickett, a junior, offers the most experience. Despite transferring, he is eligible to compete for the starting job immediately because he is a graduate student. Millard is most familiar with the offense, and Childress, though the most raw, has the highest ceiling of the three.
“We're all fighting to be the starting quarterback,” said Millard, who backed up Geno Smith last season. “We all have that same goal in mind, so it's going to be competitive throughout.”
Millard, a 6-foot-2 Texas native who has seen action in 11 games over his two seasons on campus, has been in meeting rooms with the big, strong-armed Childress for more than a year.
Trickett was added to the mix when he chose West Virginia after electing to transfer following spring practice at Florida State. Trickett started two of 17 games he played for the Seminoles over the past two years.
Intelligent enough to graduate high school and college early — he earned a degree in social sciences in three years — Trickett will need a rapid learning curve to overcome his biggest weakness: lack of knowledge of Holgorsen's system.
“You throw a guy in there who is taking snaps in our offense for the first time, and if there is hesitation and panic, nervousness, lack of communication and all that stuff, then we've got a little bit of an issue,” Holgorsen said after the first practice of camp. “I knew he would handle that well. That's not something I'm concerned with with him.”
But Holgorsen said Millard and Childress have shown calmness in the pocket, too.
“We need our outright leader to step up on offense, and hopefully, that person's going to step up in the quarterback room,” Childress said. “We needed more competition. Me and Paul pretty much finished even after spring practice, and we brought in another guy so that we can all compete and see who can come out on top.”
The stakes are high: The losers earn headsets and clipboards; the winner is handed the keys to a spread offense that has a streak of producing a 4,000-yard passer for 11 consecutive years.
Whoever is taking snaps likely will put up gaudy statistics.
“We don't know who's going to win the quarterback competition,” senior receiver Ivan McCartney said, “but at the end of the day, we know all three of them will do a good job in getting us the ball and in leading our team.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Rutherford shines as old boss pouts
- Penguins’ Kessel ‘thrilled’ with chance to play with Crosby, Malkin
- Hurricanes owner rips Rutherford, Penguins
- Attorney general’s twin sister sued by FBI agent ex-boyfriend
- Young Nebraska girl’s organs give 2 Pittsburgh-area boys a chance to live
- Liriano, Pirates complete sweep of Tigers
- Shaken by economic, political turmoil, MLB forsaking Venezuela
- Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $37B deal
- Hempfield bicyclist gets one last chance from Westmoreland County judge
- Lower Burrell couple charged with 6 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty
- Gov. Wolf vetoes bill to privatize Pennsylvania’s liquor system