Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia junior quarterback Paul Millard (14) was 21-of-41 passing for 218 yards with an interception in Saturday’s 16-7 loss at Oklahoma.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Dana Holgorsen preferred to settle on a quarterback two weeks before the season, not two weeks into it. Yet that’s where the coach finds himself as West Virginia’s passing game sputters.

With starter Paul Millard having thrown one touchdown pass and committed three turnovers, WVU (1-1) could use this week’s matchup against Georgia State as a live-game audition for backups Clint Trickett and Ford Childress.

“I don’t know when it’s going to happen to where I feel good about somebody and they take the bull by the horns and they lead the team to victory and they look good doing it,” Holgorsen said Monday. “Until that happens, we’re going to have to continue to rep all three.”

In edging FCS opponent William & Mary 24-17 and losing at Oklahoma 16-7, West Virginia has converted only 5-of-23 third-down attempts.(Millard was 8-of-11 passing on third downs against the Sooners, though only one of those was thrown past the sticks.)

Millard has completed 40-of-66 passes for 455 yards overall—a stat line that included several missed opportunities against Oklahoma, as well as several dropped passes.

“We’ll shake things up on the offensive side of the ball when it pertains to our pass game,” Holgorsen said. “Not happy with that. We need to be way more efficient than we have been. I would anticipate some starting lineup changes with the receivers as well.”

Despite its misfiring offense, West Virginia made Oklahoma look beatable on Saturday. Two unforced special teams miscues led directly to 10 points for the Sooners, and WVU had five second-half possessions on which it could have taken the lead.

“We’re a relatively young football team—not that it’s an excuse to accept a loss,” Holgorsen said. “We felt like we could be in that game. Our guys took the field and they were not intimidated, they were not scared. They competed hard and unfortunately we did not finish with a win.”

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  • Art in Ohio

    It's time to take a good look at Trickett. I believe it was to good move by DH to give Milard a chance to prove himself. He was not that bad but is Trickett a better General on the field. That is what we have to find out and very soon. I hope we see two quarters with Trickett at QB.

  • big tom

    first and foremost,, McCartney goes to the bench for good, and we let a younger more talented player take his place and gain valuable experience.
    next, we are really hurtin for a good qb... if trickett and millard are equal and childress can't match them in talent...figure we win one or two more games, with luck maybe three.
    now you think i'm crazy,,,,well you're probably right, but who ever recruited these guys, hasn't a clue.and if that's you Dana, you'd better stay out of the recruiting,, millard is young but I don't know if he has the t alent... trickett should get the nod for the creampuff game and see what he can do, or dana, are you afraid we'll bet beat.

  • JHT

    Maybe mixing it up could help some. Why not give Trickett and Childress a game look. Practice is one thing but game time is another. Someone will rise up and seize the moment.

    • Bob Smithers

      I say give Trickett his shot this weekend.I'm hoping we can maybe redshirt Childress and save him for next year.Then again,if FC can get the job done better thanCT or PM,let him have at it.

      • Oh Did Ya?

        Childress was a red shirt last year

  • Pulaski

    Joe must go!

  • Mike

    OU had a coach that knew our signals... Looked like we didn't know our own signals. They were hudling and bringing in the plays. How could Trickett screw that up.. This team has a chance for a good season but they better find someone on that sideline that can throw a football better than they can hold a clipboard. I'm still a believer. Go eers!!

  • Dave

    Where is Moe Curly and Larry and all of the other fair weather fans that said WVU would be blown out by OU? I'll check back later for their ignorant posts.

    • big tom

      yes, I was sure we would get blown out,, I was wrong,,, but thank god they have a terrible qb who kept us in the game

      • Mister Man

        You took that into consideration when you made your prediction, right?

    • John

      They posted on the other article. It's unbelievable to read. I was really encouraged by our performance. Take away two critical "rookie" mistakes and we won. Take away those mistakes and have Mcartney catch that pass in the end zone and we won big ---- in Oklahoma. These guys are young and they will get better. If they don't get better, then we have bigger problems. But they played hard and with enthusiasm. And they almost beat a team that was supposed to kill them. Good job fellows. Learn from your mistakes and get better and you'll be winners.

      • Joe Cool

        That is true,but take away a few OU rookie mistakes and they win going away. This game could have gone a number of different ways with all of those turnovers.

  • mountaineerfromdc

    Good article, Allan. I was at the game and it was painful, for both teams. We blew a perfect opportunity to sneek out of Norman with a "W". We should be 2-0 against OK in B12 play. I still like this team, particularly the intensity of the defense. However, I have three big bones to pick. First off, it is past time to go with either Trickett, the logical choice, or Childress. I feel bad for Millard but he just isn't a D-1 qb. Second, what is up with Dreamius Smith only getting 2 carries after he runs 75 yards for a score? Does Dana want to win or lose with gaudy passing numbers? Unfortunately he didn't even get decent passing numbers but he got the loss. Thirdly, why is that bum Deforest still on the staff? He is getting paid 1/2 million dollars for what? To get drunk with Dana? He is a disgrace to our program and OSU, he definitely should be canned. I wouldn't be surprised if has some dirt on Dana and that is why we are keeping him. In any event, I love my Mounties and better times are coming. Gooo Eeeers!

    • jwg66

      Wow... Convicted even before a trial....

    • MountainMover

      Not sure if less carries for Smith may have had something to do with his failure to pass protect and getting called for a chop block. Pure speculation though.

      • ToddE.

        That chop block was a very iffy call at best. True our lineman had his hand on the OU rusher's back, but was hardly engaged in a block. The guy was already by him. Smith had the guy coming straight at him and he blocked him.

      • Greg

        Mover, Now lets not inject logic into these posts. That just wouldn't be any fun. :)

  • Earl Ray

    We NEED TO SUPPORT COACH. This wasn't Pitt or UCONN we lost to this was Oklahoma, a ranked team that we were 3 touchdown underdogs to. We are a laughingstock to the rest of the country still for running Bowden out of town. Wake up hicks, wake up.

    • Paco

      You go Orange Ray. The tanning bed be making you smarter

    • Brian

      This comment........coming from a guy named "Earl Ray", is laughable.
      a) OU is not a top 20 team, at least the one I watched Sat. - by a loooooong shot!!!
      b) We need to "support coach". Really? Are you in 3rd grade? If you had said THE coach, ok. Holgs is simply a highly paid mercenary of sorts and will leave town as soon as WVU wins 9 games. From what I've seen so far he'll be staying awhile.
      c) I'm old enough to have actually GONE to games that Bobby coached in the mid-70's.
      This "myth" about his treatment actually shows you don't have a clue!! With today's social media; Holgs has already taken twice the "guff" Bowden ever did!!
      He left WVU to build a program at FSU (he was smart enough to see a sleeping giant). And a heftly salary increase wasn't bad either.
      d) If by "hick"; you mean proud 7th generation West Virginian - I'll plead guilty! I'd love to know what huge metropolis you call home "Earl Ray"!!
      Geez fella - if of the program now, we are entitled to OUR opinion. YOU are NOTentitled to resort in inane and ridiculous name-calling of an entire states' population.

      • Paco

        I know an Earl Ray from Amma. It's kind of like a metropolis. It has its own exit and everything. With a gas station that has a crapper!

    • Marcus

      Offensively that game was a debacle !!! Clock management very BAD !! Pitt or UCONN would have never thrown the ball inside our 20 if they were getting 7 yards a clip running the ball !!! That game should have been worse than what it was. Josh Hypel would be right there with Manny Diaz on the chop block !!! Any one who lists their name Earl Ray and calls the people of WV "hicks" sounds like a true RACIST to me !!

    • GregG

      Well the game I watched was an OU Team handing us the game, gift wrapped with a big bow on it. Now, I'll give the D all the credit in the world for doing a 360 from what I have seen the past two seasons. They really played great, but the offensive guru better lay off the Red Bull and start coaching.

    • Bob Smithers

      Good one ER,I agree.I thought WVU played them pretty tough.

  • chad

    This is Millards 3rd year in the system, he should have a pretty tight grasp on it by now and yet he seems lost sometimes. I wouldn't have pulled him against Oklahoma because I doubt Trickett got many reps in the previous weeks practice. That being said I would expect to see a lot of Trickett against Ga. State

  • Joe Cool

    Are those Shepherd's old uniforms?

    • Justin

      Joe Tool

  • jr

    If I remember right Holgorsen led us to believe that Trickett could play better against Oklahoma, then he don't even appear in the game. Sounds to me like someone don't know what is goin on..!

    • EPR

      *doesn't x 2

  • Protechcpa

    Millard should not take a single snap against Ga St. We have seen enough of him. I would let Trickett and Childress shoot it out. Cannot see how we could do worse.

    • Nick

      I agree....Milliard can manage a game and minimize errors...however he can not win a game for us....if we had Alabama's coaching staff, scheme and players we might win a lot of game like they did with McElroy. I want to see Trickett or Childress. Milliard is a great kid, and he would be good son-in-law material...he is not D-1 Big Twelve starting QB material. Why can't Holgerson figure that out....or does Shannon Dawson have a crush on this kid?

  • chasmo

    MountainMover : very well spoken ! terp game @ 3:30

  • Mike

    I would have shaken it up in the 3rd qt against OK... We may have won that game. What was there to lose by doing it then??

    • WVWho

      OU has a coach who knew WVU's signals from last year. Trickett didn't know the new signals put in place this week to deter that issue.

      • Mac

        Trickett has also played OU before, and beat them. At this point you need to play the best QB. Forget signals, play the best QB, even if you have to run in the plays. Who cares how good you communicate with the QB if he can't hit a WR 10 yards downfield?

  • MountainMover

    This is the right way to approach what happened. The game was winnable, we let it slip away, we saw what happened. It's still early enough in the season to a) find someone who can run the offense efficiently and make the needed throws, b) get better at catching the ball, c) correct special teams screw-ups and d) continue improving on D. Maryland is winnable game, if we do those four things we'll win the next two and set ourselves up for a season that definitely exceeds pre-season expectations.

    • William

      Only way "TO Shake Things Up" at WVU is for Clements to clean house in the Athletic Department!

      • Vinnie

        Spoken like a true Marshall alum.

        • Scott

          Isn't he too stupid to have graduated from Marshall?

        • Mac

          William is a pain, but I really wish you guys would stop with the "blah blah is a Pitt/Marshall fan" every time someone expresses displeasure with the coaching staff. There's a lot to be displeased about. Now we have NCAA investigators coming to town over this Oklahoma State mess that Joe Deforest is "allegedly" directly involved in. I just hope Joe Eforest didn't pull any of that crap here.

          • Dougie

            I don't know about those guys, but I really do think William and EPR may be Marshall fans on here trying to cause dissention and get things stirred up. Mentioning some issues is one thing, but when every comment is negative about the program you are definitely not a true fan and MU fans for whatever reason love being on the WVU boards and stirring the pot...

        • Greg

          Vinnie, The problem with your statement here is the assumption that William is smart enough to have graduated middle school much less college.

          • BigdWV

            Well not really COLLEGE, he did say Marshall. I mean if Randy could make it through after being thrown out of ND and FL ST., 'ol Willie could pull it off.

    • big tom

      by all accts. everyone expected us to be 3-1 after the Maryland game, anything less and we are in deep,,,manure.

      • William

        Joe (Shake it up) Deforest must be great to play for, look at all the benefits you get! MONEY, GRADES, AND GIRLS! I BET MOUNTAINEER FANS ARE PROUD TO HAVE THIS GUY ON COACHING STAFF! Isn't it great to have men with GREAT CHARACTER as coaches at WVU.

        • Graywv

          Just like your character!