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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  • Crashing Down

    We need to take donations up so we can get the plane flying over Mountaineer Field with the banner "FIRE HOLGORSEN!!!". The plane hasn't been seen since the days of 1998. Bring the plane back.

    • cutty77

      Yes i remember that. Thats was very Smart,then we GOT Rich Rod who played us untill he THOUGHT HE WAS GETTING A BETTER JOB. We are on our 3rd Coach since Don Retired. Smooth Move.EXLAX

  • Crashing Down

    Silver linings Mountaineer fans, silver linings. With Texas faltering badly again under Mack Brown, this will be his last year in Austin. Just think, Texas might/will hire Holgorsen away from WVU and the Holgorsen nightmare will be over. Then WVU can go hire Doc away from Marshall. Then and only then, will WVU have a real coach. A real Mountaineer as head coach.
    Fire Holgorsen today!!!!!!!!!

  • Dougie

    Millard beat out the other two guys in practice. Everybody always wants to put the "other" guy in, but most times there isn't a "better" option. And yes, it could be much worse. We were in the entire game at OU, a game that we were supposed to get rocked in. Had we gotten down 21 or 28 points, I'm sure we would have made a change. There was no point in that game I would have felt comfortable putting in a new qb that hasn't played here, much less in that big of a game/moment. DH made the right decision leaving Millard in... HOPEFULLY we can build a big lead this weekend and let the other guys play some to watch, but that is not a given as we are bound to let up pluse we have several injuries to deal with.

  • cutty77

    i said this at the beginning of Pratice. After 4 or 5 games. The Job will be given to Ford Childress. Paul is Ok,but please get off the Trickett Train. This Kid is like J.R. House Home Town Kid,comes from a Great family,and a very Smart Kid.BUT CAN'T PLAY QB AT WVU IN THE BIG 12. This Sat he maybe able to do something,but thats it.

  • unclec

    Looks like some changes have been made. Time will tell who wants to win.

  • unclec

    Need special teams to step up.If kickoff goes in end zone take it on the 25. This cost us

  • tony

    watch what Oklahoma did- RUN THE BALL- and they won. we could have done the very same thing but when push came to shove in the 3rd and 4th, we passed and kept passing.. people were down on the w and m game plan.. that would have worked fine here..i don't buy the notion that winning is less important than throwing paul in the deep...

  • tw eagle

    I forgot the good part . . .no one seems to be mentioning the tack of huddling to shorten the game . . .very smart . . .saved the Mounties a lot of energy , less plays . . .
    QUESTION ? did coach Holgerson drop the challenge flag to give his defense time to get their heads on for another series ? it bought
    more time than a timeout . . .

  • tw eagle

    coach Holgerson needs to stop play calling . . .he's the HC now . . .it seems he
    was so wrapped in making calls he got
    "lost in space" and caused the unnecessary
    use of timeouts and was transferring his angst
    over the play calls to his QB . . .and essentially benching smith for missing an assignment ? in that respect he'd have to forfeit all games because he'd never have enough players to finish games after he benched them all ! ! !
    there should be no stressors from the
    political fight enveloping the athletic department , he'll be HC as long as Luck
    is the AD . . .BUT , he was play calling
    like his life depended on it . . .GIVE Dawson
    the responsibility for play calls , and get to
    the bigger "picture" of steering the whole team to victory . . .

  • Nick

    Look Milliard is a good guy and a solid backup. He did not lose the game for us but he did not win it for us either. We need a QB in there that the team is excited to see go out there and win a game for us. I am starting to lose faith in Holgorsen. I would only throw the ball one time a game to Ivan McCartney and it would be a jump ball situation where he could use his size and jumping ability. I don't fell sorry for Milliard because his ONLY OTHER D-1 offer was to Stephen F. Austin...the boy is smart and nice but VERY SLOW and he can't throw over the lineman. Trickett can scramble and make good throws. Ford Childress is the future just look at him play.

  • Brad

    I'm not sure if Paul is the guy, but he played good enough to win. Just need some other guys to finish the opportunities we do get. Roughing the kicker was very unfortunate for the defense to endure. Time to get better and move on.

  • Tusker

    I've personally seen enough of Millard's arm - or lack thereof.

    Chipping away in this offense is critical, sharp crisp short timing throws that require zip and placement.

    I don't believe Paul can make them consistently.

  • Duggie

    I have been a WVU fan my whole life. In the last years either we have had a great offense and a bad defense or vise versa. I expected WVU to lose the Oklahoma game after losing Smith, Bailey, and Austin. But, I was very proud of the Defense. I came away from that game feeling better than when we went into it. The offense and special teams lost this game. We lost by 9 points and gave up 10 on two turn overs. We should have won this but WVU's defense grew up. It was hard to believe that they were mostly the same guys that was on defense last year. I hope Holgersen lets Ford Childress play. That kid is extremely good. If you haven't seem him, check him out on Youtube.

    • Dougie

      Millard looks pretty impressive on youtube as well. This isn't high school.

  • Jdawg

    Yeah Ford has already been redshirted duh, where have u real fans been???? When he came to Wvu- Lee Corso, who never has anything good to say about us said himself that ford was the best kept seceret in college football!!!! Where u at Ford???????

  • jwg66

    Our WR's could have helped Millard too. There were several catchable balls incuding McCartney's miss that could have helped our QB alot! Still, the short throws when the WR's are open are on the QB. It also seems we are getting fewer long runs. That could also be weaker down field blocking.... I still like this team and think we can pull it together with some added experience.