Millard, Trickett Could Split Reps as Season Approaches - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Millard, Trickett Could Split Reps as Season Approaches

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MORGANTOWN -

A two-letter word was one of the most intriguing parts of the depth chart when West Virginia released its projections for the season's starting lineup on Sunday.

That word was "or" and its placement between two quarterbacks meant the staff is working into the final days before the opener to determine who takes the first snaps.

At this point, all that is certain is the fact that redshirt freshman Ford Childress has been dropped from consideration and no longer gets the same number of snaps that he did when the Mountaineers fancied a three-horse race under center.

Paul Millard and Clint Trickett, both juniors with more experience than Childress, are still in contention and there is a real thought that perhaps each of them get in Saturday's game against William & Mary to begin the season.

"If we were playing tomorrow, yes, that would be the case, just because they've both risen their game and [are] competing pretty good," Holgorsen said Monday. "How it plays out, I don't know yet. We thankfully have practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday to see where we're at."

Millard is one of only nine players of the 19 on the offensive depth chart that has any playing experience at WVU, having appeared in 12 games for the Mountaineers. At times, those snaps occurred when the game was well in hand, while others were simply because of a new rule in 2012 when players had to leave the game for a play after losing their helmet.

Geno Smith had a propensity for losing his helmet.

Holgorsen admitted earlier in the team's training camp that he may find himself a little antsy if the season were just a week away and he remained unsure of his starting quarterback, but he seemed more confident in his contenders on Monday.

"They both bring probably a little bit something different to our offense," said Holgorsen. "Paul knows the offense better. He's a little more comfortable with the communication, he's getting the calls from me and kind of knows where we want to go with the ball probably a little bit better just based on the amount of reps that he's had in this specific offense."

Trickett brings experience as a starter, but on a different team in a different offense and a difference conference, having filled in at Florida State when starting quarterback E.J. Manuel was held out. His knowledge of leading a team into a game as the quarterback from the opening kickoff is something neither Millard nor Childress possess.

"Clint's seasoned, has more game experience, has really good leadership skills, remains calm under pressure, keeps the play alive pretty good. So they both bring something different to the table," Holgorsen said. "Ultimately, it's about the guy who's not going to make the mistakes, which is just kind of what our offense is about, which is to distribute the ball to a bunch of different skill guys based on what the defense gives us."

The last time West Virginia went into a season unsure of which quarterback gave it the best chance at success, it was a battle between Adam Bednarik and Pat White. Bednarik initially got the starts in the season until White proved his worth for good in a triple overtime victory against Louisville and ultimately was awarded the job fulltime the following game against Connecticut.

By the looks of it, there may be another similar situation ahead with such a close call between Millard and Trickett.

"It might take some game experience to figure out which is the guy and it may be a situation where they complement each other and we continue to rep both of them all year. Don't know yet," Holgorsen admitted.

As for Childress, the head coach said there simply weren't enough reps to go around and while he is confident in the young signal caller's future, he does not believe he is the right option at this point.

"I had to cut Ford's reps because the other two were playing a little bit better," said Holgorsen. "I think Ford's probably going to end up being a tremendous quarterback for us, no doubt, but it's just really hard to rep three quarterbacks. So we had to narrow it down and once we did that, both Clint and Paul looked good, so we felt like it was warranted to be able to keep the competition going."

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