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WVU will ‘shake things up’ in pass game

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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