The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

August 9, 2013

Holgorsen tight-lipped about QBs

BECKLEY — Dana Holgorsen would prefer to talk about anything else. The PGA Championship? The best places to eat in Morgantown? Coke or Pepsi? Ford or Chevy?

But Thursday morning, as his West Virginia University football team prepared for its seventh practice of the summer, and its second day of two-a-days, the third-year head coach was in front of the media talking about the same thing he has been for months — the quarterbacks.

“We have nine more afternoon practices before we break camp,” said Holgorsen, when asked for a time frame on when he would make a decision on whether Florida State transfer Clint Trickett, junior Paul Millard or redshirt-freshman Ford Childress will get the nod as the starting quarterback when the season begins on Aug. 31 in Morgantown against William & Mary. “I do not anticipate doing anything before that.

“We have started narrowing it down from where, instead of 33 percent of the reps of the skeleton and team, we are going 50 percent of the reps with skeleton and team. (Thursday) we will pick two quarterbacks and they will get 50 percent each and then (Friday) it will be two different quarterbacks. They will all still get equal reps over the nine practices, but they will start getting 50 percent, and 50 percent of the 50 percent will be with the first team and second teams.

“It will be 100 percent equal for the next nine practices, and then we will make the decision.”

The question remains, who will know when that question is answered? With only 30 minutes of practice open to the media each day, and Holgorsen typically very tight-lipped, it could remain a secret for longer than expected.

“I don’t know if I will tell you or not,” said Holgorsen. “We probably want everyone to be in the dark like everybody else does, but we won’t go into the first game without a clue of who is going to be the first guy.

“I would be surprised if you don’t know. With social media — and we try to get our guys to keep as much what happens inside the building to the people that need to know — but with social media and emotions, I would be surprised if you don’t know. “

Although taking a light tone about keeping the decision a secret, Holgorsen said he’s taking the responsibility of naming a starter very seriously.

“The closer it is, the harder it is,” he said. “Those decisions are not easy when you are talking about who is going to play and not going to play. It affects kids’ lives. These are guys that are working hard, and someone is going to be the guy and somebody is not. It is hard to deal with it if you are not the guy.”

Holgorsen, though, will make a firm decision, as he reiterated again Thursday that a two-quarterback approach is not an option.

“I have never done it and do not plan on doing it,” said Holgorsen. “It does not mean that we cannot have two that are ready to play. Guys get hurt and go down all the time. That is a reality in college football, and that is one thing that the second-team guy always has to keep in mind. They are a play away from getting in and playing a lot of ball.”

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WVU released its complete 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule on Thursday. The slate will begin with an exhibition against Fairmont State on Nov. 4, while the regular season will open up Nov. 8 in Morgantown against Mount St. Mary’s.

Other nonconference games include Virginia Tech and Missouri on the road, Duquesne, Georgia Southern, Presbyterian, Loyola, Gonzaga and Purdue in Morgantown, Marshall and William & Mary in Charleston and games against Old Dominion and either Wisconsin or Saint Louis at the Cancun Challenge in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Highlights of the home Big 12 slate include Oklahoma State’s trip to the WVU Coliseum on Jan. 11, Kansas State’s visit on Feb. 1 and the regular season finale against Kansas on March 8.

At this point, WVU is scheduled to play on national television 13 times.

“Once again, we are delighted with the number of national television appearances to showcase our basketball program and our university,” said WVU athletic director Oliver Luck. “This schedule is very competitive from start to finish and a schedule that our fans will appreciate at home and on the road.”

“This is another competitive schedule for our guys and also one where our great fans will enjoy seeing our team at home and on the road with our following of Mountaineer fans,” added head coach Bob Huggins. “From top to bottom, the Big 12 Conference will be challenging once again, and we are looking forward to getting the season tipped off.”

WVU finished a disappointing 13-19 in its first season as a Big 12 member last year.

View the complete schedule on the Scoreboard page.

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The Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG continues to come together. On Thursday, WVU and IMG announced that Fantasia Broadcasting’s WZST-FM in Morgantown has signed on with the new radio network as the primary-market affiliate station.

WZST-FM will air football and men’s basketball, along with the coaches’ shows for those two sports and a Mountaineer Minute report. WVU’s Big 12 baseball games will be carried on Fantasia’s WMMB-AM or WRLF-FM, and women’s basketball will be carried by WZST-FM or WRLF-FM.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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