Holgorsen favors Millard as backup, but keeps options open for Crest

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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