MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Paul Millard continues holding firm as West Virginia’s backup quarterback job, a reckonable outcome given his three seasons in Dana Holgorsen’s offense.

Freshman William Crest, who has all of 15 days in Holgorsen’s system, might still be an option as becomes better acclimated.

“Yeah, Paul looks good,” Holgorsen said Thursday. “He has been taking reps and is obviously the most game-ready, but I haven’t made that decision for sure yet.

“William is a guy that is going to continue to rep and continue to get better,” Holgorsen said. “His ceiling is high. How far he can advance, I don’t know yet, so he will continue to get reps as well.”

West Virginia hopes to see senior Clint Trickett taking all the meaningful snaps this season, just as Holgorsen’s starting quarterbacks typically did at Texas Tech, Houston and Oklahoma State. Yet Trickett has been knocked out of three of his nine career starts, a worrisome precedent with WVU breaking in two new tackles.

Throughout camp, the media have prodded coaches and players for clues as to whether WVU might devise a situational package to utilize Crest’s athleticism. That hasn’t been Holgorsen’s method in previous years, though no one in his line of pocket passers could match Crest’s elusiveness.

“I never done it—not to say I’m against it—I never done it based on not having a guy to do it,” Holgorsen said. “Then in addition to that, we always had starting quarterbacks, discard last year, but we always had a guy that was the main guy, that was pretty good and we didn’t want to take him off the field. Period.”

A timid mixture of new personnel in 2013 forced West Virginia to huddle far more than Holgorsen prefers. With most of those skill players returning this season and showing steeply improved awareness, the uptempo attack is back.

“I am very happy with it,” Holgorsen said. “We worked two-minute (offense) the other day for the first time, and it was almost like we have been doing it all along.”

Friday brings a full-padded practice followed by a Saturday scrimmage that will signal the close of preseason camp. After classes begin Monday, Holgorsen intends to spend five days simulating “game week” against Alabama.

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  • Sober

    4-8 last year.

    Lost to both Kansas and Iowa State.

    Lost 6 of 7 last games.

    Top two defensive linemen gone.

    3 starting offensive linemen gone.

    Top running back gone.

    2011-2013 recruiting classes mediocre at best.

    Touting very average performers as leaders based on nothing more than another year gone by.

    Tougher schedule.

    QB situation a huge concern.

    We have some winnable games. Towson and Kansas we should beat no problem (even if Kansas smoked us last year).
    Maryland, Texas Tech, TCU and Iowa State have mediocre talent and any advantage is limited to coaching.

    Upsets are not uncommon and no team other than Alabama and Oklahoma will be huge favorites.

    It would not be shocking to win a game among Baylor, Texas, Kansas State and Oklahoma St.

    With this coaching staff though we have seen that we are considerably more likely to underachieve than over achieve and to lose winnable games more often than we pull surprises

    Towson and Kansas , we win both.

    Maryland, Texas Tech, TCU and Iowa State, we go 2-2.

    Baylor, Texas, Kansas State and Oklahoma St., maybe we win 1 and manage 5-7, but another 4-8 would be no shock.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      Thank you Sober. Finally a rational comment.

  • any major dude

    2 deep on defense. More experience across the board. A beastly White and comfortable Alford. Lots of flexibility at slot. Deep running game. A smart, mentally tough, experienced QB. Weakness: O line. 2 Frosh, center who couldn't cut it last year but 2 studs at guard. Biggest ? is Trickett's health.

    Still lots of stuff that can go awry, but you're crazy if you can't see a ton of improvement in this club. How it translates? Pick up two more wins. 6-6. Just don't see a whole lot more with this schedule.

  • wvufanatic

    And the 15 and 16 seasons are gonna be exceptional should we progress steadily with depth through recruiting. People need to understand when you change regimes from stew to holgs personnel isnt as interchangable and we have seen the effects from that

  • wvufanatic

    see thats what im talking about i like your picks I have to say I feel that they return the favor to maryland and I think that the sooners beat a bama team that didnt want to be there and i feel we could beat the sooners and texas tech but im with you on the others

  • Mister Man

    Millard is extremely important to our team.

  • wvufanatic

    I would love to come on here and talk about football as it concerns my mountaineers Instead I read a bunch of crap about spelling errors and stuff having nothing to do about football if there are any football fans I would like to see some predictions on our teams record this year and what people think about the idea that our defense seems to be much deeper than last year and will that lead to improvement personally I say yes


      You want a prediction, here is mine......
      Alabama - Better game than experts think but WVU comes up short.
      Towson - Win but closer than WVU would like.
      Maryland & Oklahoma - WVU splits these games. Both close competitive games.
      Rest of Big 12 Schedule - W's vs. KU, ISU and TCU. L's to OSU; TX; TTU & Baylor. Swing game is KSU which WVU wins by a hair.
      Final record 6-6. Low level bowl game. Holgs keeps his job and WVU gets ready for a banner 2015 campaign.

  • wvufanatic

    Allen in your opinion how much is this team improved from last year I personally feel like if trickett plays well our ceiling is pretty high your thoughts?

  • wvufanatic

    The thing to do would be start trickett let millard back him up and if we have games that allow crest to play without pressure you play him if this doesnt happen by week 4 or 5 then you give him a redshirt. Millard doesnt need reps he has been in the system long enough to know the offence but timing isnt going to be great as the number 2 regardless. And for the marshall fans you should be on your own teams discussions you have a good team this year I would be worried about them and how your schedule is screwing you from having a shot at a playoff spot

  • any major dude

    Monica, First it was a crush on DH, now yer looking to date Millard? Sorry, DH is taken. He's head-over-heels in love with a guy named Crest!

    I think the reason that people call Crest physically gifted and more athletic is because he's, well...physically gifted and more athletic. Especially in comparison with Trickett and Millard. Maybe also because his technique hasn't developed yet. But I still say running QBs can be extremely effective, especially on busted plays. Nothing discourages a D more than playing perfect D, everyone covered, and the QB rips off a 10 yd run for a 1st down. Like Pat White used to do. Not so much on the designed run, though.

    TruthTeller, Didn't you used to be a conservative? Yer not pulling our legs with your "racism" comment are you?

    • Ole Sasquatch

      No doubt, extremely effective, we've seen it before. Rich adapted to his talent. Will Hogorsen change his philosophy to go to a running QB.? Other than recruiting this guy, there's just no history.

      • Mister Man

        Rich adapted until he got the players he wanted to run his offense.

        • Mister Man

          I take that back. Rich got some very good players from Coach Nehlen. He didn't adapt, and they struggled. When he got the players he wanted, the team excelled.

  • MonicaMountaineer

    Millard is not a very good QB, but on to more important things. Is he single? He'd make a great catch!

    • Beaver Sniffer

      I'm your Huckleberry...

      • Ole Sasquatch


  • cutty77

    Crest will be there by Mid-season. The key word there was 2 New Tackles,Trickett can't get out of his own way. He will be dead meat just like last year. Remember this, always put the Best Players on the field,and believe me QB is The Most Important for WVU.

    • truth teller

      @cutty77: You amaze me! Sometimes you say the most profound things. Right on!

    • Aaron

      If Crest is on the field, it will only be to run for his life. He's not ready for the Air Raid offense.

      • cutty77

        The Only way Dana can win this year is this. Dana must ground and pound with all these running backs,then see if he can throw the ball. The Air Raid has been gone since Geno,Tavon,and Bailey left 2 years ago. When you run alot of good thinks happen. One you run the clock,keep the defense off the field,and you beat up the other Team which helps you dominate late in Games. How many Games did we lose in the 4th period? This is The Only way Dana has winning record this year.

        • Ole Sasquatch

          Lot of pressure on Crook to develop that offensive line. If he does, your right and we will be good. Lot centered on them last yr. but the line was never consistent and never got developed.

  • FNP

    What has happened to the intelligence of people these days? There is a very small number of people on here that know anything about football. They think since they can tune in on game days that it makes them a fan. Going through the ups and downs makes you a true fan. When we won the sugar bowl, we inherited fair weather fans. They stuck with WVU while they were winning and were quick to jump off the ship when we were hit. Just because you have a tv and go to 1 game a year that you dont even stay and watch doesnt give you the right to talk WVU football.

    • Loyal Fan

      FNP - you are so right. WVU could go undefeated and play in the NC Game and lose by 1 point and these fair weather fans would want to fire Dana and run Oliver out of town - by the way - Oliver is the best thing to come to WVU in quite awhile and with all these changes coming College Athletics, he will be very valuable to have on our team.

    • TruthTeller

      Excellent point FNP!!!

    • Pshych Major

      Breathe in, breathe out...that's it, now lie down, just relax and let's see if we can work on what's really bothering you.

      • FNP

        My point proven!

    • JimJim

      Is that a problem for you?

      • FNP

        Do us all a favor and spare us your lame comments.

  • TruthTeller

    You Marshall fans need to either grow up or get some professional mental health assistance. Get over it, WVU is and will be the top collegiate sports program of West Virginia. Stop with the hate. No other colleges or universities have any issues with WVU only Marshall. Why not focus on being Marshall instead of trying to out do WVU ? Why not focus of winning your conference
    championships, getting into bowls games, and getting into the top 25 polls? Play a difficult schedule against top 25 teams and WIN those games!!! Instead you put more focus and energy putting down WVU and acting like its all WVU fault you don't have
    the success that WVU has. Quick to blame WVU instead of putting the blame where it should go. On Marshall!! You got to work hard for success. Start winning games you are not suppose to win, do all the right things and success will follow. Just GROW UP!!!

    • Diaspora

      WVU is hated by VT, Pitt etc... because we have a history of behaving towards those schools like Marshall fans behave towards us. I believe that is called rivalry.

      Fortunately we are watching, let's say, Rakeem Cato, from inside looking out. MU fans are watching Wm Crest from the outside looking in. We are Power 5 and you are not !!!

      Hey, you may get lucky... Crest may get frustrated in 2014 and transfer to Marshall to replace Cato in '16. Well, I doubt that. I do believe Crest is better utilized gaining a varsity letter as a true freshman. I think a red shirt and first significant playing time coming in 2015, with the immaturity and errors that encompassed would be a mistake, and would lead to a Crest Transfer.

      Millard has earned his stripes, and quite frankly did not stand a chance last year. He will be a solid back-up. Having him at #2 does not mean Crest goes from 3 to 2 if Trickett is out long term. I believe Millard is a career #2 and is a relief man, with a chance to be a starter if he really steps up in a single game. Crest is the real # 2. Starting Trickett is all about developing Crest, just as starting Brown was all about developing Smith.

      • Aaron

        Stewart said he was "rewarding" Brown for his loyality but the truth is, as he was not redshirted, Geno Smith should have started from day one as he was clearly the more accurate QB and even at that, it would have been a wasted year.

        I'm not so sure the same can be said for Crest.

    • Capt. Obvious

      "Stop with the hate. No other colleges or universities have any issues with WVU only Marshall...." Um, 1)sPitt. 2) Loserville 3) cHokies. These are three teams that we don't play anymore that have more issues with us than Marsha does.

  • TruthTeller

    I am so tired of hearing about Crest, Crest, Crest. Do you people realize how unfair this is? The media sounds like little children asking their daddy the famous question " Are we there yet?, Are we there yet?" To me this sounds more like racism than anything. May I remind some of you media and unfair fans about the many great white quarterbacks that have played the game? I understand the idea of a duel threat quarterback. But that should not be based on the color of the young man's skin.There are and have been great quarterbacks of both colors. WVU has had success with both. The coaches know what they are doing that is why they are coaches and you are not the coaches and are not being paid to make these decisions so get over yourselves and your own desires. Have some faith in the current rotation. Things happen for a reason.

    • scott

      ok...last comment aint gonna make it...but this is officially the silliest thing I have ever read on this site....

      I have no idea what you are talking about.I guess its your "truth"

    • scott



      I could care less if Crest is black, white or comes from Mars. If Crest is WVU's best option to win football games, give him the chance and opportunity. If he isn't and Millard is, go with Millard. That is what Holgs is getting paid to do. I have to go with his opinion as he is the HC who watches these players every day. Always easy for fans to play Monday Morning QB and say "I told you so" after the deal is done. Race has absolutely nothing to do with this.

    • 4mounties

      Exactly, who said ANYTHING about color. Crest is a beast and once he learns the offense, sky's the limit. ONE HELL OF A DAY TO BE A MOUNTIE!!!!!

    • Andy

      What in the Sam hell are you talking about? Who brought up color? He's a highly talented kid that is more physically gifted than our other QBs. That's where all the hype comes from. Go back under your rock now. That is all...

      • scott

        I,m certain the liberals dont want ya...and are a FOOL.

      • Mister Man

        And, Nixon was not a crook.

      • Mister Man

        See the forest from the trees?

      • Andy

        By the way, we are talking sports not politics tough guy. But since you brought it up...Liberals are not smart you suggest? Read a book? I'll let you in on a little secret. The overwhelming majority of college educators are liberal because they are, well, liberal. I know that is difficult to fathom or comprehend, but not for those of us with 20 years of education. Have a great day.

        • TruthTeller

          Thanks for verifying my point.
          Enough said!! BOOM!!!

      • Aaron

        He just cannot throw the ball as accurate as the other QB's. Unless it gets to the point that he can win games with his legs, wasting a redshirt on him seems pointless to me. He would be better served to take a year, work on his mechanics and learn the nuisances of this offense.

        • Veteran Teachet

          I believe you mean "nuances". "Nuisances" describes most of football "authorities" who pose as WVU fans.

          Evidently that Kardashian BA didn't stress spelling.

          My weekly visit is done.

        • NotSoFastMyFriend

          What exactly is your biggest nuisance with this offense?

          • Aaron

            The speed of the game.

  • Molon Labe