MORGANTOWN - Well, at least there's one guy who doesn't really care who West Virginia's starting quarterback is in Saturday's opener against William & Mary.Sure, Jimmye Laycock is understandably curious, just as is everyone else.Then again."As far as our preparation is concerned, it doesn't make any difference at all,'' William & Mary's 33rd-year head coach said Monday. "We haven't seen them, but if they're at West Virginia, they're good players.''
Well, as it turns out, Laycock and the Tribe might just see both Paul Millard and Clint Trickett Saturday. Perhaps the smart money right now says that Dana Holgorsen has his favorite among the pair of juniors and he just doesn't want to say. Maybe he likes the idea of keeping both on their toes right up to the end.Then again, Holgorsen swears that's not the case. He's adamant that at this point, it's a coin flip. And with no evidence to contradict that, well, we'll just have to assume he's really torn."If we were playing tomorrow, that would be the case," Holgorsen said when asked if there was a chance that both Millard and Trickett would somehow be worked into Saturday's opener as a bit of a final exam. "They've both risen their game and are competing pretty good. How it plays out, I don't know yet. We thankfully have practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday to see where we're at."
On Sunday night, West Virginia issued a depth chart that listed Millard "or'' Trickett as the starting quarterback. The only thing clear is that the odd man out is redshirt freshman Ford Childress."We had to cut Ford's reps a little but, just because the other two were playing a little bit better," Holgorsen said Monday. "Ford's probably going to end up being a tremendous quarterback for us, no doubt. But it's just really hard to rep three quarterbacks."We had to narrow it down and once we did that, both Clint and Paul looked good. So we thought it was warranted to keep the competition going."
Of course, that wasn't the plan. It never was. In fact, it was just 12 days ago that Holgorsen rather famously said, in reference to all his starters, that if it was a week later and he still hadn't made all the decisions, "I'd start to get antsy.''Which, of course, begged the question on Monday, is he antsy yet or perhaps he's actually picked a guy and just doesn't want it known?"No, I haven't picked one yet," Holgorsen said. "I'm not as antsy as I thought I'd be. They've kind of risen their games a little bit and they're battling."So what's he seen that makes the decision so hard? Well, it's pretty much exactly what one would expect - the familiarity of the two-year backup Millard with the offense and the general coolness of Trickett, who was under the kind of fire at Florida State that Millard has never encountered."They both bring probably a little bit something different to our offense,'' Holgorsen said. "Paul knows the offense better. He's a little more comfortable with the communication. He's getting the calls from me and kind of knows where we want him to go with the ball a little bit better just based on the amount of reps hat he's had in this specific offense.
"Clint's seasoned. He has more game experience. He has really good leadership skills and remains calm under pressure. He keeps the play alive pretty good.''Holgorsen in the past has always been adamant that he wouldn't play two quarterbacks. Perhaps he won't this year, either. But to listen to him, it seems that picking one or the other still might take a while. And even then, the decision might not be clear."They both bring something different to the table,'' Holgorsen said. "Ultimately it's about the guy that's not going to make mistakes, which is kind of what our offense is about - distributing the ball to a bunch of different skill guys based on what the defense is giving us."It might take some game experience to figure out which is the guy. It may be a situation where they complement each other and we continue to rep both of them all year. We don't know yet.''Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.