Monday, April 22, 2013
Big 12 spring game review: West Virginia
By David Ubben
Time for a closer look at West Virginia's spring game, where the main attraction was well before kickoff.
What we learned:
- Paul Millard earned the first snaps with the offense and finished with 185 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-27 passing.
- Ford Childress completed 14-of-21 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown.
- Jordan Thompson caught six passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns.
- Dustin Garrison and Dreamius Smith combined for 89 yards on 14 carries.
- Defensive lineman Kyle Rose finished with two sacks.
- Blue (defense) beat Gold (offense), 41-33.
- There's not much movement in the quarterback race. Saturday's game was a rough start for the offense, which didn't score until midway through the second quarter, but both quarterbacks played pretty well, and coach Dana Holgorsen will have a tough job over the next couple months figuring out the starter. There's something to be said for Millard getting the first reps, but that might just be experience, and the fact that somebody had to do it. "Not only are we not ready to name a starter at quarterback, we’re not ready to do that at about 20 other positions," Holgorsen told reporters. "The team that we field in September is going to look a lot different. We have so many new guys coming in, and we have so many young guys that are going to continue to develop."
- Don't fire up the Jordan Thompson hype machine yet. Thompson's play was outstanding, but after looking like the next Wes Welker last spring and disappearing in the fall, even Holgorsen couldn't help but have some fun in the middle of frustration about his lack of production. "He had a good game last spring, too. He will go down in the history books as the greatest spring-game player of all-time. Until he plays like that in a game, we’re going to call it like it is," Holgorsen said. "I haven’t seen him play like that in a game yet. Until he does that in a game, we’re not going to talk about it." Fair enough.
- The receivers are showing some potential. I do see Thompson turning a corner this fall, but you've got to be encouraged by juco transfer Kevin White grabbing five balls for 72 yards and a 46-yard score from Millard. Connor Arlia's four catches for 39 yards was the only other major standout, but I'm intrigued to see if he holds off Thompson to start at inside receiver next fall.
- WVU's new uniforms are outstanding. The team had a presentation before the game to reveal the new uniforms, which will have blue, white and Old Gold helmets, jerseys and pants, giving the Mountaineers 27 possible combinations. You can see them all here. Really sharp look. I love the all gold unis, and the white jerseys with blue trim look fantastic, too. The numbers, inspired by miners' pick axes, have been a little polarizing, but I'm a fan. What do you think?