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August 26, 2013

QB race shaping up



West Virginia's quarterback battle is down to two.

Only junior Paul Millard and redshirt junior Clint Trickett remain in the battle to lead the Mountaineers offense Saturday when West Virginia takes the field against William & Mary according to Head Coach Dana Holgorsen Monday morning on the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference.

Both players have raised their games over the past week in practice, forcing the coaches to scale back the reps for redshirt freshmen Ford Childress.

Each brings something different to the table and for the first time publicly, Holgorsen hinted at the possibility of using both quarterbacks throughout the season.

As for Millard, the head man is comfortable with his knowledge of the offense and ability to put the ball where the coaches want it to go due to his overall experience. Trickett, on the other hand, brings leadership at the position and remains calm under pressure while keeping plays alive.

"It might take some game experience to figure out which is the guy and it may be a situation where they complement each other and we continue to rep both of them all year," he said. "Don't know yet."

Ultimately if a decision is made between the two it will boil down to which of the two is going to make the least amount of mistakes while being able to effectively distribute the ball to the various skill positions.

One name that was noticeably absent from the depth chart released late Sunday evening was Andrew Buie and Holgorsen addressed the issue during his segment.

"I think both him and Dustin Garrison both have proven to be guys that have experience but anytime you add the likes of Charles Sims, Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood it's going to change the dynamic in that room," he said. "…We feel pretty good about the depth at that position."

Smallwood, a true freshman that arrived in January, is currently listed at the No. 2 spot on the depth chart at running back and Holgorsen said he has been impressed with his maturity and the improvement he has shown since he arrived.

"The speed which he plays, he's the fastest guy we've got back there and he plays fast on a consistent basis better than the other guys," he said.

Holgorsen said that they are currently working toward around eight wide receivers to use this season and much like the quarterback situation it will ultimately be the play on the field that should begin to separate players at the various spots. Once that happens, it will reduce some of the backup reps.

"It's about 50/50 with all of those guys at all four receiver spots," he said.

Mike Molinari has secured the kickoff job, while Nick O'Toole will be the punter and Josh Lambert the place kicker. On the injury front, junior linebacker Shaq Petteway tore his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Defensively, Holgorsen said that his team is a year older in the defensive scheme and comfortable with what they want to accomplish on that side of the ball, along with some newcomers that should add some valuable depth.



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