It’s nearly Halloween, and the West Virginia Mountaineers are still searching for a quarterback to claim the job.
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen has gone with Clint Trickett for the most part up to this point, with Paul Millard as his backup.
Redshirt freshman Ford Childress has been out with a torn pectoral muscle, which eventually needed surgery, but it’s not out the realm of possibility that he may return at some point this season.
Which, oddly enough, might be West Virginia’s best hope of finding a quarterback going into next season. It’s certainly disconcerting news that Childress might be the last desperate hope of a WVU offense trying to find prominence once again.
Coming off of a bad loss to Kansas State, a team that isn’t much better than WVU in the grand scheme of things, the Mountaineers have seemingly been left with more questions than answers at the quarterback position.
Neither Clint Trickett or Paul Millard seem to be the answer to a complex problem at the position. I’m still holding out hope that Trickett can come into his own and play well, but the evidence is slowly suggesting otherwise.
It’s even more concerning that Paul Millard has even less athletic ability than Trickett. While he is capable of making short to intermediate throws, what I witnessed against Kansas State suggests that Millard isn’t making much progress either. On long throws to the sidelines, Millard can’t even reach his receivers more times than not.
The reality of the situation seems to be that WVU is going nowhere fast with these two dropping back to pass on Saturday’s. Both have only one more season to complete, and it wouldn’t surprise me if one or both moved on after the season.
While both may be able to guide West Virginia to a .500 record next season, neither is going to win big for the Mountaineers. West Virginia is (3-5) and in danger of missing a bowl game for the first time since 2001, when the team finished 3-8 under Rich Rodriguez.
I have no doubt that it would help the program if Ford Childress were to come back from injury this season. There’s no reason to believe he’ll do any better than Trickett or Millard, but then again, he can’t do any worse.
Childress could gain valuable playing time at the end of this season, which would help solidify the position going into next season. Even if he doesn’t play well, taking some lumps while the Mountaineers are down, could provide a springboard to future success.
The Mountaineers do have a verbal commitment for next season from quarterback William Crest, who comes from Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Md., where former Mountaineer great Tavon Austin played his high school ball.
Most recruiting services do rank him rather favorably. Rivals.com gives Crest a four-star rating, while Scout.com rates him as a three-star player. Star ranking aside, it doesn’t look like Crest will be enrolling early for the spring semester, which puts WVU even further behind in the race to find a capable man under center.
This doesn’t mean Crest can’t come into fall practice and draw rave reviews, it just means it’s not likely that WVU will find an easy cure to the problem.
In my opinion, WVU needs to go with Ford Childress during spring ball, and put Trickett and Millard on the back-burner. If they choose to leave the program, then so be it.
When Crest arrives in the fall, assuming he keeps his pledge to WVU, both he and Childress will provide WVU with more raw talent than Trickett and Millard.
It’s not that Trickett and Millard aren’t trying hard, because they certainly are, it’s just that the overall talent level needed for the Mountaineers to be successful isn’t where it needs to be, and it’s becoming clearer with every week that passes.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen’s seat is getting warmer and warmer, as the losses continue to pile up, and his offense proceeds to hit the floor.
WVU needs three more wins this season in order to get back to a bowl game, but with this kind of quarterback play, they’ll be lucky to earn one more victory, even with Iowa State and Kansas still on the schedule.