MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jack Allison clearly isn’t among the crowd counting out Jack Allison for West Virginia’s starting quarterback job.
The junior may have the outside appearance of taking a back seat to Austin Kendall since the Oklahoma transfer arrived, but he’s still handling himself with plenty of confidence at practice.
That moxie was on full display at the end of Friday’s practice in a perfectly executed two-minute drill. Leading the No. 2 offense against the No. 2 defense, Allison fired a bullet to receiver Isaiah Esdale in the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown. Esdale’s catch against tight coverage was arguably better than the throw itself, and not unsurprising given that Esdale has also worked with the No. 1 offense.
Kendall was not as sharp in the same drill running with the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense.
Kendall attempted to squeeze in a sideline throw against double coverage, but was picked off by safety Kenny Robinson.
Other observations from Friday’s practice
— Robinson is developing into the vocal leader of West Virginia’s secondary. At one point, walk-on Henry Cook made an impressive leaping play for a pass breakup, but Robinson expressed disappointment that it wasn’t an interception, imploring “Don’t be scared to make a play.”
— The most impressive catch was a diving sideline grab by Tevin Bush in an individual pass drill against tight coverage by JoVanni Stewart. Bush has proven himself as a guy who can be dangerous when getting the ball in space, but is showing that he may also have the hands to match his speed.
— Right guard Josh Sills, linebacker VanDarius Cowan and wide receiver Marcus Simms were among the notable players who did not practice Friday. Sills place on the No. 1 offensive line was filled by redshirt freshman Briason Mays. Wheaton took the reps at receiver that would normally go to Simms.
— For much of Friday’s practice, the players running with the No. 1 defense were: Taijh Alston and Reese Donahue (ends), Darius Stills (tackle), Shea Campbell (Mike linebacker), Zach Sandwisch (Bandit linebacker), Josh Chandler (Will linebacker), JoVanni Stewart (Spear), Kenny Robinson (safety), Derrek Pitts (safety) and Josh Norwood and Keith Washington (cornerbacks).