Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports

Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat strips West Virginia’s Paul Millard during the Longhorns’ 47-40 win. Millard and Clint Trickett combined for six fumbles in the game.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The first priority for West Virginia’s Paul Millard, this week’s likely starting quarterback against Kansas, was learning from mistakes he made against Texas.

The junior fumbled four times in a 47-40 loss to the Longhorns, three of those on third-and-long sacks when Millard failed to make the necessary quick throws.

“When they’re bringing more guys than we can block, it’s my job to get the ball out of my hand or make somebody miss. So for me,” joked the notably immobile Millard, “I’m probably going to need to get the ball out of my hand.”

Texas registered six sacks total, one of which knocked out West Virginia starter Clint Trickett and resulted in another turnover. WVU’s quarterbacks combined to fumble six times, losing three.

After emphasizing ball security during practices and meetings, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was chafed by his quarterbacks’ sluggish reactions.

“The times we fumbled the ball were third-and-long, high-blitz percentage by them,” Dawson said. “We knew that going into the game and we hold on to the damn football. For me to be able to explain that to you, is outside my realm of knowledge.

“It’s something we harped on. It’s third-and-long, what are they going to do? They’re going to blitz. Well, should you hold the ball on blitz or get rid of it?”

With Trickett awaiting clearance from post-concussion symptoms, it’s likely Millard will garner his third start of the season during Saturday’s game in Lawrence. Better decision-making in the pocket will be crucial, though the Kansas pass rush has lacked the fervor MiIllard witnessed from Texas. Though six Big 12 games, the Jayhawks have a league-low seven sacks, compared to the Longhorns’ 24.

Millard’s bullpen appearance against UT had its moments: He led WVU to 31 points and threw for 259 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown to Mario Alford. But he also was picked off twice, missed two open receivers on possession routes and overthrew an uncovered Charles Sims on a seam pattern that could have become a 75-yard score with the middle of the field vacated.

No longer dwelling on those mistakes, Millard said he’s focused on playing better at Kansas: “If you ask yourself what-if questions you’ll make yourself sick all the time. We had a lot of chances to win that game and didn’t get it done.”

WHO’S ON-DECK?
If Trickett can’t play Saturday, Millard’s backup becomes an interesting hypothetical. Walk-on Logan Moore, the former quarterback at Division II Fairmont State, would be an option after shifting to receiver during fall camp. Then there’s Ford Childress, who last played Sept. 21 at Maryland, but has begun throwing again after experiencing setbacks in his rehab from a torn pectoral.

“He did more quarterback drills (Tuesday) than he usually has done (since the injury). He’s slowly getting involved,” Dawson said. “I don’t know what that means at this point, other than he’s taking a few reps.”

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Comments

  • Artie Smithers

    Maybe it's just the "guy who never got to see the field even in Junior High" in me.....but I think it would be kinda cool to see Logan Moore get some playing time. You know EVERYONE has told him "you'll never play a down at WVU". Be neat to see him get to realize a dream. (And what happens if he comes in and just tears it up? How funny would that be?)

  • pghmountaineer

    Not sure if you all know this, but talk in the inner circles say Luck is going to give Dana and the assistants long term extensions to keep them locked up so they don't bug out once they turn this thing around.
    Things are lookin up!

    • Billy

      Sounds like another stupid move. That is the problem now, too high of a buyout to payto part company with him. Another potential questionable move by the over glorified luck

      • JimJim

        The Dude doesn't have to take the extension, does he??? He will want to move on, please!

    • Pruntytown

      This years BassMaster's champion is pghmountaineer. Troll.

  • pghmountaineer

    Big Larry. We're on the verge. I think Mallard needs two more games under his belt to get the offense down and then we'll be rollin.

    Let's GOOOOOOOOOO Mountaineers!

  • Beavers

    How long have we played against lower tier teams?? to long. How many times, compared to this year, have we had every game televised.. prime time included??? NEVER!!! WVU is just now getting the wake up call that just about every team in our conference.. ok every conference other then the Big East.. years ago. We are beginning to come into our own. The quality of recruits we are drawing attention from.. and are getting into our program.. are alot better than just how many stars they have. Holgerson is a good coach and the guys around him are too, but they need a cpl years to learn to work together. Don't at least 3 of them have just a year each at their respective positions?? Things are bleak at the moment.. yes. But it's always darkest before the dawn. Let's Goo Mountaineers!!!!!!!

    • Billy

      Yep, been on tv alot. Quite embarrassing. Had a friend call me from Florida at half time of the Baylor game and he never said a word, just laughed and laughed. I hung up on him.

    • Rick S.

      "How many times, compared to this year, have we had every game televised..prime time included??? NEVER!!!"

      Well, I think every game for at least the past decade has been televised. The last time I remember a game not being televised was in 2000.

  • Big Larry

    Last season, Holgorsen , like Huggins, said that he would "Fix It"...

    He never "Fixed It" last season...
    He hasn't "Fixed It" this season...

    Did he mean he would "Fix It" in 2014 or was it 2015?

    Just sayin...

  • Billy

    This season is over. We fell faster than a base jumper without a parachute, again.

    • Richard

      Billy,

      what would be acceptable record each year?

      • Billy

        6 and 6 with a loss to a former so called little east member is kind of sad. Especially when a coach with a 9 and 3 record was let go because that was not good enough. WVU football has gone from sniffing around the top 25 to being irrelevent in the college football world.

  • Protechcpa

    If Trickett is not ready, just go with Moore. He cannot be worse than Millard. I have seen all the snaps to Millard I ever want to see. I doubt he would start for Fairmont State is he was on their roster. Anyone who cannot avoid throwing into the dirt in the flat should have NEVER been a quarterback. With him "leading" the offense, even the Kansas game may be a loss.

  • Health help

    What about true freshman QB, Gregory McPherson? Why not rep him and Moore instead of trying to get Childress ready post injury?

    • JimJim

      Why are we trying to select the QB, isn't that the job of the $10,000.00 dollar a day man. Can't he figure it out. (He's not a head coach, really.)

      • Jason

        Why they trying to select a QB at this point in the season anyway?

    • Keith J

      Not familiar with McPherson. Is he walk-on?
      If he's redshirted, I'd not blow it in the final two games.

      I hope they go with Millard. After he settled in he got 31 points for us. Let's see what he does with a little confidence and trust. May surprise us.

  • Big Larry

    It is a SAD SAD day to be a Mountaineer Football fan...

    ...Wherever you may be.

  • jeepster

    if Millard gets the practice reps and more gametime,he will be fine. Coming into a game situation cold isn't an ideal situation for anyone. Paul did well saturday night considering what he was thrown into. But i still blame lack of success in overtime on poor play selection.

  • tw eagle

    I've not been impressed with what I've seen and heard from Childress . . .leave him sit till the spring ball . . .compared to Quack Quacks play , Childress' play seemed like he was in a coma . . .slow feet , even slower thought (football) pattern . . .I'd like to see WVU win out and become 'bowl eligible ' . . .
    a better chance with Logan Moore in reserve to replace Quack Quack than with a Ford that has already proven that he can't ' git 'er done '

    logged onto the Beckley Herald this morning to catch Furfari and found that they have gone to a subscription based distribution like the Morgantown papers . . .will you guys be far behind ?

  • big tom

    I like the idea of millard starting. He just looks more confortable in our offense, he seems to know about checking off, etc. He throws good enough for us, we ain't no super power by a long shot, so he can throw bubble screens and short passes across the middle. Once in a while,just throw one as far has he can to keep the defense loose.
    I hope we go bowling, but for god's sake, not the pinstripe bowl in snowy, cold new york. That would suck, again.

  • James

    If we make a bowl game, we should accept it for the practices alone, but I do feel it will cost the school more to send them to play in the lowest tier of bowl games, we have went through the qbs and still haven't found a starter, and from what I seen from recruiting we only have 1 verbal commit at the position so far, I know this is only holgorsen 3rd year, but you would have thought he would of sign a top qb coming out of high school, I know Morgantown Kent that enticing, but I have a hard time thinking that Houston and Texas Tech is much better, just my opinion

    • JaneM

      William Crest is a 4 star QB and could be a 5 star after this season.....He is big and fast on his feet. Also a strong arm.... If you enjoyed and loved Pat White you will enjoy and love this kid as well..Dana has 2 others on the radar ...

    • tw eagle

      I got a feeling that Holgerson wants Childress to be 'the man' . . .if the Creek kid does show up in Morgantown , I think Holgerson will try to make him change positions . . .Childress at QB for 3 years , means to me that WVU football will really suffer - the only good thing I can see out of having a 'ford' driving the Mounties is that it will surely get Holgerson fired . . .and if that happens before the 'ford' graduates it means the 'ford' will find the bench where he should have been all along . . .

    • Pruntytown

      Wrong! The BIG XII ensures it will not cost more for us to attend a bowl game. They will buy any unsold tickets, which there will be alot of, and help with travel expenses. This may not include the band, cheerleaders, and other non-essentials...

      Yes, I just called the "Pride of WV" non-essential. Sorry.

  • leroy j gibbs

    Work in progress. Let's go mountaineers!

  • chasmo

    lets play all the returning players for next season - PLEASE, as mentioned before , if we become Bowl Eligible, PLEASE do NOT accept the invitation - this season is and has been a SHIP WRECK

    • The bookman

      Yes...please send it back...cause we don't need the extra practices that a bowl game would afford...chasmo you're a dolt! Support the team in their effort to improve!!! Let's gooooo eers!

      • Protechcpa

        That is a call that could go either way. Honestly. Surely a bowl appearance in and of itself should help recruiting. However, How many potential Mountaineers watched the Pinstripe Bowl last year and said "Oh, yeah, I want to be part of that!" No one wants to join a losing team and if one player thinks he can come in and turn a mess like that around, he is too arrogant to play a team sport. As far as practice time goes, fundamentally I do not see this team improving. Protect the football.......NOT! Pick up one yard in two downs to seal a big win............NOT! Do not leave their receiver wide open on 4th down just past the distance needed to pick up a first down when the game is on the line..........NOT! I am NOT convinced the extra practice time would help.

        • The bookman

          Then I guess it's over for WVU football...we can't recruit top players and practice doesn't improve the performance of the players we have....did you have this all figured out back in August, cause you could have saved everyone so much frustration just by forfeiting all the games for the season....OUR team is young and unpredictable, OUR program is having growing pains moving into the Big XII from the mediocre Big East, And thankfully the players, coaches and true blue supporters of the program don't share your view that all is lost...beat Kansas and Iowa State, get a Bowl and try to win it ...ending the season with 3 wins can't be a negative, can it?

    • WVniteowl

      That would be crazy. Give up 21 days of additional practice & game experience.

      • JimJim

        The practices would include the players that would not be returning next year, Why would this help? Third and fourth on the depth chart would get nothing. It would not help next years group.

        • Troll is back

          Because it's not about you! It's about the kids who choose to come and represent WVU who yes got an education but also has made many sacrifices along the way to play football for WVU! If they fight to qualify for a bowl they deserve to play wether you like it or not. Just because the " fans " aren't happy with a couple down years, the coaching, the AD, the move to the Big 12, the sun coming up every day.... or just whatever it is that makes you miserable every day you wake up doesn't mean the kids do not deserve to play.