WVU seeks a QB

Just when fans believed the quarterback battle at West Virginia University was over, third-year head coach Dana Holgorsen announces it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“We are definitely going to shake things up a good bit on the offensive side of the ball,” Holgorsen said following the Mountaineers’ 16-7 setback at Oklahoma. “Especially when it pertains to the passing game. I’m not happy with where we are at. We need to be more efficient.”

That means that instead of going into the team’s first-ever meeting with Sun Belt Conference member Georgia State with a solid No. 1 under center, it means a week of preparation where as many as three signal-callers will see work with the first unit – present starter Paul Millard, Florida State transfer Clint Trickett and redshirt freshman Ford Childress.

“I would have liked to have settled on somebody two weeks ago,” continued the coach. “We settled on Paul (Millard) because we felt he gave us the best chance to win the opener. Until somebody leads this team to victory and looks good doing it.

“Until that happens, we are going to continue to play all three.”

Millard’s first outing in a 24-17 come-from-behind victory over William and Mary witnessed the Texas native connect on 19-of-25 attempts for 237 yards and lead the Mountaineers to 17 second-half points. Trickett’s performance was less memorable — 0-of-2 passing – with only six plays under his belt. But, the son of former WVU offensive line coach Rick Trickett has the better pedigree among the trio having started at least two games with the Seminoles while proving to be a solid backup to NFL first round pick A.J. Manuel.

Childress, who came to Morgantown following a standout high school career, is yet to prove he can get the job done in a live game and remains a mystery as the quarterback battle begins to heat up with upcoming games against border state rival Maryland as well as eight more Big 12 contests.

There is no guarantee, however, that an answer will be found following Saturday’s noon contest with the Panthers, an 0-2 team that is making their debut in the FBS division.

After losses to Samford and Chattanooga, Georgia State comes to Mountaineer Stadium surrendering 36.5 points and 403.5 total yards per game. Most of that yardage, 253 per game, has come on the ground which should have running backs Charles Sims, Wendall Smallwood, Dreamius Smith and Dustin Garrison all foaming at the mouth to get an opportunity to rush against the Panthers’ defense.

But, with Holgorsen’s displeasure over the team’s passing attack, the run game may be sacrificed so that offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson can get a better picture on his quarterbacks.

Make that quarterbacks – and receivers.

“We may have some different starters at receivers as well,” added the coach. “Saturday showed us that we are not getting the production there that we need.”

Contact Jim Butta at jbutta@newsandsentinel.com