CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Twice quarterback Skyler Howard drifted into and out of the pocket, scanning for downfield receivers, and failing to spot the dump-down man open in the flat.
The same dump-down receiver standing directly in front of coach Dana Holgorsen.
Finally, Holgorsen threw up his hands in exasperation, before pointing for Paul Millard to replace Howard mid-drive.
On the heels of another frustrating scrimmage Saturday, the junior college transfer clearly remains in developmental mode. As his inability to spot the uncovered check-down receiver showed, Howard needs time to grow comfortable with his options.
Holgorsen wasn’t available to reflect on Howard’s struggles because the coach had met with the media pre-scrimmage. But offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson admitted the newcomer wasn’t making decisions quickly enough.
“There were a couple times down here with Skyler, where he needed to put the ball in play,” Dawson said. “Taking a sack when somebody blitzes and comes wide-open free is one thing. But sitting back there holding the ball for 10 seconds and taking a sack? I mean, come on—get rid of the damn ball.”
Howard also was hemmed up for a safety when the situational scrimmage called for the offense to start against its own goal line.
“I thought we got caught with the ball a couple times—Skyler and Paul both,” Dawson said. “You’ve got to have a clock in your head.”
The day wasn’t a total bust for Howard, who bought time for one 20-yard completion to Cody Clay.
PASS OF THE DAY
Logan Moore found Devonte Mathis along the left sideline for a 31-yard touchdown on third-and-16.
IN THE SLOT
Redshirt freshman Elijah Wellman, the Mountaineers’ 235-pound H-back, lined up in the slot and easily beat man coverage on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Millard.