Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma State football: Will West Virginia change quarterbacks?

by Berry Tramel Modified: September 24, 2013 at 10:15 am •  Published: September 23, 2013
West Virginia quarterback Ford Childress (7) finds wide receiver Mario Alford (5) as he is rushed by Georgia State's Brent McClendon (9) and Robert Ferguson (10) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. West Virginia won 41-7. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)
West Virginia quarterback Ford Childress (7) finds wide receiver Mario Alford (5) as he is rushed by Georgia State's Brent McClendon (9) and Robert Ferguson (10) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. West Virginia won 41-7. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)

The West Virginia game appears to get easier and easier for OSU. The Cowboys play in Morgantown on Saturday, and West Virginia is coming off one of the Big 12′s most embarrassing losses in years — 37-0 to mediocre Maryland on a neutral field in Baltimore.

Dana Holgorsen arrived in West Virginia in January 2011 with a reputation as an offensive wizard. In two seasons with Geno Smith as quarterback, Holgorsen’s status held firm. The Mountaineers won the Orange Bowl after the 2011 season and piled up a bunch of points and yards despite a disappointing 7-6 season in 2012.

But this season, West Virginia’s offense has been el busto: 24 points against William & Mary, seven against OU, zero against Maryland. Only in a 41-7 rout of Georgia State did the Mountaineers look anything like a Holgorsen offense, and Georgia State is a program barely off the ground.

Holgorsen dallied with backup quarterback Clint Trickett against William & Mary, went with starter Paul Millard the whole way against OU and has used redshirt freshman Ford Childress the last two games. Childress was not good Saturday against Maryland — 11 of 22 passing, 62 yards, three turnovers — but it sounds like Holgorsen will stick with Childress against OSU.

“That’s as poor as I’ve ever seen the offensive line play,” said Holgorsen. “When you can’t run the ball and they have (only) five (defenders) in the box, and you can’t protect the passer when they’re only rushing four, you’ve got some problems.”

Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was a little less convinced, saying he would have to evaluate film. Trickett, who transferred from Florida State, has played only six snaps all season. It might be time to see what he can do.

The West Virginia offense is wildly disappointing. Hiring Holgorsen figured to invigorate the WVU offense, and it did that for two years. But now the Mountaineers have gone splat.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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