Friday Feedback

Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which is Logan Moore’s world and I’m just typing in it. This was a week for quarterbacks and walk-ons, so of course a walk-on quarterback captured our attention. Those aren’t like topics, sort of like apples and piano as opposed to apples and oranges, but they have one thing in common, at least around here.

Things are about to change.

West Virginia is going to trot a quarterback out onto the field Aug. 30, and if we’re lucky, we’ll know who a few days ahead of time.

And the NCAA is changing, or is being made to change, and if we’re lucky, the Have-Nots won’t kill this latest adopted legislation with the override. And that can still happen.

Two really interesting things came out of all the calls and conversations I had this week. One was the almost uniform opinion that this may be spiked by the override … because, you know, there’s precedence. (There’d be a side effect attached to that because the Haves would be even more wound up about this disparity between the top and the bottom than ever before. But that’s a story for another day.)

The other interesting thing? It seems there’s movement to no longer refer to the five big conferences as the Power Five. “I think ‘Higher Visibility’ is the talking point now,” a person told me. Tremendous.

Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, there’s a place for creativity.

Dann said:

Hey, did anyone else get a kick out of Dana’s new wardrobe? I think it goes well with the recent additions of people with WVU connections to the staff.
Perhaps there is something to that “school spirit” thing after all, and maybe coach is beginning to see the wisdom of it.

Dann

I didn’t get a ton of email or Tweets or blog comments about state of the union stuff after the spring game. I got some. And most of the some were in praise of Dana’s apparel. And that is that.

Rugger said:

If Saban is a 5 star coach, Dana has to be a 3 star at best. He’s been humbled and is learning but how do you end up w Millard and Trickett as best case? He knows head coaches live and die on qb’s and I bet he’s sweating like a gypsy with a mortgage over Trickett’s rehabilitation.

I am excited about the defense but their dominance could be misleading.

Well, to be fair, Millard was a late addition to the 2011 recruiting class — a Hail Mary, if you will. Trickett was the product of necessity and the acquisition was facilitated by convenience. Those weren’t guys Dana and his staff pursued. We might be forgetting that Ford Childress was most likely supposed to be the guy this season. Fair to say Childress forgot, too.

Bobby Heenan said:

In watching the spring game and reading as much as I can, I too think you’re looking at a Trickett/Millard battle in the fall. I’m not sure I saw any separation between Howard and Moore, either. Millard seemed the best to me this Spring.

I think you’re looking at a Crest redshirt year, with Trickett starting and us having a quick trigger finger (for a minor Trickett injury or poor performance) to put in a reliable, yet limited back up – Millard. We have a wild card, capable 3rd stringer with Moore.

Question – can we redshirt Howard? Does he have 4 years to play 3 years if he goes that way.

Ah, yes. The forgotten element with regard to Skyler Howard. He has four years and three seasons of eligibility remaining. He could redshirt and be a sophomore in 2015. That’s not a hollow condition. And what’s forgotten about Moore and what may shape this quarterback position is that he may be good enough to do stuff at receiver, where WVU needs and wants bodies. I have to think unless he’s clearly the starter or the backup at QB, he gets moved to receiver. I think he’s that good of an athlete and receiver. He an grow into a role there. Finally, with regard to what Howard or even Crest might learn before camp, both of those guys get two hours of film a week for eight weeks in the summer. That can help a lot. 

50yrfan said:

When Holg was first hired the media hyped us fans that his offense was easily learned with high production. With Geno and company we had that but they were already established as above average in talent. Hype told us that Holg could make a silk purse out of a hog’s ear. Now we find he can’t recruit a talented QB for his system and it takes forever to learn. I seen on this bog what is probably the real answer to all this. No matter what the hype you have to have talented players. At the QB position there doesn’t seem to be D1 talent. Maybe the new freshman QB will eventually be the answer. But with what we have seen so far I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Well, let’s not bend the track record too much. Trickett had a hard time last year, to the point he got pulled at Baylor on a third down. But Trickett didn’t arrive until the summer and didn’t have the rule in place to get in the film room with coaches for eight weeks. I don’t think there’s been much problem beyond that, which is what gives you reasonable optimism for what happens between now and Aug. 1. Oh, and Childress and Crest were and are regarded recruits, too. 

Sammy said:

I don’t know if Moore is legitimately in the mix, but I think we were a couple of overthrown Moore deep balls from having a really interesting conversation this summer. He made good reads and guys had a step, but he just threw it a little too far for Devonte Mathis and others to run under.

I also thought this quote was interesting:

“Logan Moore puts it on a string, and Paul (Millard) hangs it up there. Just a few things that’s different, but nothing that would change our game,” added [Kevin] White about why it’s so hard seeing three guys taking reps behind center.

http://westvirginia.247sports.com/Article/Kevin-White-The-Defense-Won-Spring-28116005

Interesting quote, for certain, and I thought the play calls put the job out there for someone to make a run at. They tried to push the ball down the field, which is something they want to do because it’s something they didn’t do it well last season. No one made the most of the opportunities. You have to think the person who makes the field bigger than the others has a big advantage. 

Clarence Oveur said:

I’m very confident in saying that if Logan Moore is a legitimate option at QB, then we have a real problem.

There shouldn’t be a question as to Millard, Trickett, and even Howard being more viable candidates for the job.

Then again, if you have to ask the question…

The conversation around WVU about Moore is shaped by the people around WVU. A lot of people would like to see a walk-on from not far down the road get the keys. It’s the best story. It might not be the best idea. I don’t know why we can’t agree on that. I think WVU is in trouble if Moore plays a lot. I’m willing to be proven wrong. I don’t see the issue there, either. We all have opinions, but we should have tolerance of other opinions. That’s kind of why we’re here, right?

Frederick said:

Game #1 depth chart.

1. Trickett (if healed)
2. Millard

That’s easy as Moore looked OK but definitely did not beat out Millard which is what he would have to do. People are just rooting for the ones they’ve never seen in games because they didn’t like what they saw in games last year. People are now pushing Moore because Howard was obviously a major letdown and everyone knows he’s not going to play this year, if ever.

What’s harder to say is who gets the call if we have to go to #3 due to injuries or extreme ineffectiveness. Ordinarily, I’d agree that Moore would get the call because Crest is going to be a project and it would make sense to redshirt him. The old why trade a player’s best year for his worst position is sensible.

These are not ordinary times though. These are desperate times for Holgorsen. He’s not going to save Crest so he can have his best year under a different coach. If Crest is close to what the hype says, he will probably play if we get down to option #3. The only way I would see that not happening if both Trickett and Millard are out is if Holgorsen gets canned midseason and someone else makes the decision to redshirt Crest.

This is good, but I’ll push back a little against “…Howard was obviously a major letdown.” I think that’s a bit too harsh or permanent. He didn’t stun, but he didn’t fail, either. He had a first-timer’s struggles that are not uncommon. The rest? Very valid, and under your scenario, wouldn’t Moore be the No. 3 while Howard and Crest redshirt? He could play receiver and be the emergency guy at QB, because WVU goes, like, 80-20 with reps in practice. There’s no third guy in practice. There’s barely a second guy.

JC said:

I’ll take this even further….if Moore is a legit option to start, Holgo should be fired. A walk on?!?!? Really?!?!?

Millard was far and away the best in the spring game, which itself is concerning. I didn’t see Howard’s supposed speed either, or maybe the defensive speed made him look ordinary. None of the 3 have a good arm, although neither does Trickett.

If Crest can even come close to driving, hand him the keys. People may be more forgiving of a horrible season with the QB of the future playing….maybe

Question about Trickett: Did we ever see his arm apart for three pretty good quarters against Oklahoma State? It was never the same after that, right? What if it’s healed now? Isn’t he owed a second chance at a first impression? But, again, if Crest is as physically prepared as Shannon Dawson says, and if Crest makes the most of the eight weeks in the summer, I think he’s got a shot. Dawson already said he will be given a chance early on before WVU has to cut the crop.

Bobby Heenan said:

It’s a tough call for Dana on so many levels.

If you have a horrible year you can maybe keep your job with the promise of unveiling an unseen redshirt freshman stud Crest. Or do you play him in hopes that he shows enough promise to give WVU fans enough hope to seeDana for another year?

Obviously, you play the best you’ve got day 1 – likely Trickett or Millard. But if their best looks like a 1-3 or 2-5 start (both definitely possible), then what? Do we see Crest then? I personally hope we RS him, but a desperate coach may play him.

I’ve thought about this and I have no idea how much it factors into the situation. Could be a lot. Could be not at all. Right now, I have it at a strong zero percent. Five weeks into things? I have no idea. It’s sort of fascinating, but you probably hope your coach operates in a vacuum, right? But is that even possible? I have a feeling this will become an eventual conversation.

smeer said:

here’s a different take on playing Crest – which I realize may be borne out of necessity

if we start on this cycle – Crest becomes THE starting QB for four years, there will be some other legit QB prospects who will look elsewhere rather than sit three years behind an incumbent. do we end up in this feast or famine – no depth behind the starter.

Was there no depth behind Geno because good QBs would rather play than sit and Geno had the position locked?

Baylor’s Florence was a system QB that waited patiently behind RG3, but how many kids are like that? (Millard on a lesser scale)

UNLESS – and we’ve seen it at Ohlahoma most notably with the Bulldozer – you give a frosh a chance to play/platoon – not start – by giving him a package or two or put him in certain game situations.

I’m thinking long term, to be a consistent winner, we’ve got to get on a cycle of grooming these guys in the “system.” But I know that right now maybe HCDH (and surely the fans) are seeing the urgency of this year.

Fair point, and, again, Childress was supposed to be there, which would have deferred Crest’s hypothetical early start. I have to think WVU would have no qualms starting Crest 52 times in a row if he’s that good. Big if, but reps and experience are huge. If a prospective QB doesn’t think he’s good enough to derail Crest, I wonder if WVU really wants him. And I bet WVU would love to be in that position.

BIGRED said:

Logan Moore had the best Spring Practice
if you listen to the players’ comments.
He is the best option for winning now. His
athletic ability and live arm is apparent.
However, I don’t think these coaches egos
will allow them to give him a real shot.
He would have a better chance if playing
if he was from Texas.

I like the veracity, but I need something to convince me he’s the “best option for winning right now.” Is he athletic? Yes. Does he have a live arm? It’s better than some others around him. But there are so many other elements you don’t get to see in a scrimmage. There is no “best option” right now, and if there were, it simply doesn’t matter right now. We’re a long way from Atlanta.

WVU FAN4-LIFE said:

You guys must not know anything or do you remember anything from last year!!! Millard is awful he had 1 good throw the entire spring game both his TD’S were give mes against the 3rd team D Holgs even stated it.. Logan Moore is by far the best QB they have there right now Crest might give him a run..All last year Moore tore up the frist team D in practice and Holgs was even heard stating that he cant put a walk on out there it would ruin his rep..Well guess what i dont care if he crawled on if the boy can play and gives us the best shot to WIN they i say lets go…Millard was awful last year and again will be awful this year we need a guy who can run and throw and Logan Moore is that guy…

OK, but he’s not by far the best. He’s not, especially absent any wording to support that. 

SheikYbuti said:

Welcome to the blog, WVU FAN4-LIFE. The unfortunate truth, as least as I see it:

1. Trickett is average, at best.

2. Millard is below average.

3. Howard is below average and lacks experience in the system.

4. Crest is probably unsuited, by virtue of inexperience, to be a high-major QB, such that playing him this coming season would likely be an act of desperation.

5. Moore will probably never be suited, by virtue of limited physical ability, to be a high-major QB, such that playing him at all would likely be an act of desperation.

And there is your WVU QB hierarchy. I do not think HCDH will be shown the door, regardless of record, until it is seen what Crest can do (caveat: if the overhauled defense is again among the worst statistically, that could be the catalyst for dismissal). And the jury won’t be on Crest until after the 2015 season, at the earliest.

…and we’re back.

avb31 said:

Moore was 10-21, but he also had some drops that would have made his stats look much better. Is he a starting QB? No. Are Millard and Howard THAT much better than Moore. Again, No.

IMO, Moore > Howard. At least right now.

 Ah, good point, and I will say this: He’s not looking up at titans. 

chocolate covered bacon said:

Moore may be the third QB behind Trickett/Millard, and my bet is Trickett is penciled in as the starter right now. However, should Crest come in and knock everyone’s socks off, Moore becomes the number two QB on the depth chart.

Dawson stated last week that Crest is physically ready to play in the FBS, it’s a mental question. Or is he mature enough on a mental level to handle the FBS. The answer to that question changes the offense that Holgorsen employs enough that Trickett and Millard get knocked down the depth chart. Moore then becomes Crest’s backup.

Call me crazy, but there are two quarterback camps, one with Trickett as the starter and one with Crest. Crest and Moore can compete in Trickett’s and Millard’s offense. Trickett and Millard cannot compete in Crest’s and Moore’s.

The argument could be made that the offense is primed to excel with a dual threat QB running the show. It boils down to Holgorsen’s willingness to adjust his offense and anyone that believes he wouldn’t if he had the QB…

That’s a pretty interesting argument about who can compete in what offense, but the truth as posed by Dawson is the offense is structured and called the same for everyone. What the quarterback can do between snap and throw is when and how athleticism and mobility is considered. Also, let’s be careful pigeonholing Crest as a mobile QB. I’m not sure I agree with that yet. There are a lot of Geno comparisons that I grasp, and one is mobility. But that’s from prep film and not live action.

chocolate covered bacon said:

Right now there are five QB’s in the mix. Three of those QB’s are dual threat “type”. The other two need a pocket to work from. All I am saying is the future of the QB position at WVU involves a dual threat QB.

Moore was used as a scout team QB last season to run a dual threat type of offense when needed. Add that to his spring showing and there could be something. That puts him above Howard, along with his familiarity with the offense.

I just don’t think this will be a repeat of last season on offense. The numbers may end up looking similar, the path the team used to get to those numbers will not be close to the same. Essentially, for Holgorsen to be replaced as head coach in Morgantown, no way he leaves any bullets in his gun, future be damned.

Any coach that goes for it on fourth and whatever as often as he does…

Define “dual threat” for me, ccb. Are we talking Mariotta? Because I don’t think Holgorsen’s WVU will ever really want a running QB. If we’re talking about guy who can move around to extend plays, avoid sacks and hit big plays down the field over a broken down secondary, yes, I can see that. And having said all of that, WVU did a bunch of read option stuff live this spring and some coaches sought to brush it aside or act like I didn’t see what I know I saw — even after Holgorsen said we did see what we saw.

Sammy said:

I think our defense will be better, particularly against some of the Big 12 spread offenses, but our weakness is on the defensive line and overall size and I expect Alabama to really take it to us on the ground with all their offensive linemen and runningbacks. 

More concerning? You didn’t mention fullbacks and tight ends. How on Earth does WVU assemble a scout team? That’s a once-a-year look, really, for a team in the Big 12.

smeer said:

so in the off-season, what are they supposed to do but try everything to sell the program to the fans? especially after the wheels fell off last year down the stretch

it was fun. it was Spring, when who cares?

everybody keeps saying don’t make a big deal out of Spring football and then we make a big deal out of Spring football – well – because it’s the only football we have.

so Logan Moore and HTP and 1-10 no stacks . . .

I agree Dann that bama won’t be impressed or change their game plan – at least we can hope that Gibby is smart enough to not run a 1-10 against a power running football team (but maybe on third and long?)

hope springs eternal that this team will be improved. we can take heart that it finally has some depth and the third go round, which means the juniors and seniors have taken these road trips before. heck there’s even a glimmer, slight as it is, that that three-sided ball bounces funny and we sneak past Alabama (anybody else want some of the drugs I’m taking?)

Translation: Spring football! I’m happy to have had a hand in it all.

Josh24601 said:

If the arms race shifts slightly to feeding players from building nicer places that, yeah, can be beneficial to players’ development but are still just nice rooms in which to be yelled at — if that’s the shift, bully for stumbling into something humane.

Indeed. I’m one of many guilty of not giving that enough time and attention.

ffejbboc said:

There are endless possibilities, but IMO this is what you are going to have:

(1) As someone already mentioned, you are going to see celebrity chefs.
(2) You are going to get high end product. Think steak, lobster, shrimp, etc.
(3) You are going to get food “events” like BBQ, clam bakes, etc. If its permissible to share this with prospective student atheletes, these events will take place during big recruiting weekends.
(4) And the biggie…you are you going to have major restaurant chains partner with colleges and build eateries at the football and/or basketball complex. Imagine a food court at Oregon’s football complex with a Red Lobster, an Outback and an Olive Garden. Imagine a “food floor” at Kentucky’s basketball facility with a Taco Bell, a Chick-Fil-A and a Five Guys Burgers.

This is going to be HUGE.

Absolutely, it’s all possible. The more and more I think of it, it seems liek the wedge being hammered between the classes found within the FBS.

Henry said:

My son was a walk-on at WVU under Rodriguez and he was able to eat at the training table. He also lettered for 3 years. I just wonder if this “walk ons can’t eat” is something Holgersen started or whether it would depend on how far down the walk-on ranking you are, so to speak. Regardless, if you practice and make the team, you should eat for free and shame on any program that doesn’t feed all of their players. The way I see it, Logan Moore is a walk on 2nd string quarter back right now, at least pending a healthy Clint Trickett. Is WVU seriously not feeding him?

Hmm. It’s not a Holgorsen thing. It’s a NCAA thing. You can’t feed walk-ons that free and, more importantly, convenient training table meal you can feed scholarship players. And that’s one meal a day five days a week. At most, a scholarship player can eat four times a day (the training table and three meals on a university meal plan). But rarely can a student-athlete playing football get to all four sittings. If your son started out as a walk-on, he had to play by walk-on rules. If he became a scholarship player, then the rules changed for him. Walk-ons can eat training table meals during camp, if they travel and on competition days.

smeer said:

question – is there a limit to the number of walk-ons a school can carry?

if not, I see the Alabamas and others doing what used to be common before scholarship limits – getting as many athletes on the team (now walk-ons) as possible to keep them from going to another school – for all those kids who get “promise scholarships” or similar for going to an in-state school

and if so, it will hurt parity (if there is such a thing) though not to the extent of yesteryear

it needed to be done – as per the letter above – but NCAA opening pandora’s box without regulating? (because – how are they gonna police it?)

so anybody know the answer to beyond the 85 scholarship limit?

You can have 105 players on a team and no more than 85 can be on scholarship.

ffejbboc said:

It won’t be long before a Jimmy Johns opens at the basketball practice facility.

Enjoy the weekend!

6 Responses to “Friday Feedback”

  1. Dann White says:

    Ah! Spring!! Where thoughts of football begin to drive out all distractions from other less entertaining notions. I am ecstatic today, reading the double-f and listening to “Scoop and Score” simultaneously on my trusty desktop, while the wife is not at home. It don’t get no better than that.

    There seems at times to be an idea that the measure of a successful season is winning the approval of the fan base by winning enough games and attaining the right bowl invitation. Boy that’s a reach! Everyone should know and understand that the team exists just to please the folks on this blog!

    My prediction on job one: Unless he again does everything in his power to give the job to someone else, Paul Millard will get the nod against Alabama. DH wants his QB to know what he wants, without him having to say it. Paul has that part of the job DOWN PAT. Were I coaching this team, I would make Paul take first team reps at a very fast pace, rushing at least three at a time.

    If he can be conditioned to execute when things get frantic, if he can wait to plant his feet when he hears the hoof-beats coming; he may actually become a decent pro-style quarterback. Will Dana heed my advice? Of course not!

    By the way Mike: In all honesty, your radio persona is really coming together. While I didn’t peg your voice right off as necessarily of radio quality, it has matured with what I would guess to be increased confidence through practice. Likewise, your ability to ad-lib has come full circle. Kindly pass that learning curve off to the QB rotation.

    I’ve got to hand it to you little brother, you have broadcast talent. Don’t wait too long to make your next move; writers who can also express themselves on the air are probably few and far between. If you don’t have a good, no – GREAT agent, start sending out some clips and some clippings in search of one, he who hesitates is lost,

    Dann

  2. Sammy says:

    “Precedence”? “Precedent”? Awww I’m a jackass.

    The tough part about “finally we have a healthy Clint Trickett” is if he only made it through 3 quarters of OKST how is he going to make it through 8 quarters of Alabama and Oklahoma? And then where are we?

    I do think Dana will try to get back to getting the ball out quicker this year. Last year had a lot of slow developing play-action, including that play where Trickett got knocked out against Texas and looked dead.

  3. Sammy says:

    Also, for a guy with no margin for error, why does Paul Millard still throw off of his back foot so much? Is Shannon coaching this?

  4. Dann White says:

    Hey Sammy,

    Do you think Jake was teaching it? He didn’t just start that last season.

    The poor mechanics appear to be a reaction to the pressure he senses. Some of that pressure is real, some imagined. The results, unfortunately, are the same.

    He won’t play well while he’s snake-bit.

  5. chocolate covered bacon says:

    Mike, dual threat as in RG3 before the Shanahan brothers destroyed his wheels and Colin Kaepernick in the NFL.

    In the FBS, Brett Hundley at UCLA and Taylor Kelly at Arizona State come to mind. Guys that force a defense to commit a defender to keep the QB from running for a first down and can force the same defense to honor the read option as a viable threat.

    Since we are talking about WVU, I’m not looking for Crest to be the second coming of Pat White, or even Major. Though if I had to pick a WVU QB to compare my expectations of Crest, ironically I’d pick Oliver Luck. Crest probably cannot approach the game on the same level mentally, but he is faster, and there are more playmakers for Crest on the roster than Luck enjoyed as WVU’s QB.

    Bottom line, I just look at the roster and the future of the QB position at WVU is a dual threat QB.