Childress out of QB battle
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Dana Holgorsen said Thursday night that he won't decide until game day who will start at quarterback for West Virginia against Texas tech on Saturday.
One thing is certain, though. It won't be Ford Childress.
Childress is out indefinitely after aggravating the torn pectoral muscle that has sidelined him the last two games.
That means the battle is between juniors Clint Trickett and Paul Millard, both of whom have practiced well this week.
"It will be a game-time decision this week,'' Holgorsen said on his weekly radio show.
Trickett has started West Virginia's last two games - an upset of then-No. 11 Oklahoma State and a drubbing by unbeaten Baylor. Millard, who started the first two games of the season, relieved Trickett in that Baylor game, coming in for him for a handful of plays in the first half and then most of the fourth quarter.
Trickett injured his throwing shoulder late in the win over Oklahoma State and then it got even worse against Baylor. Holgorsen gave him all of last week - WVU's first open week of the season - off to rest and now says the Florida State transfer is much better.
As for Childress, the redshirt freshman will be sidelined for an undetermined period, but isn't expected to need surgery. The starter in two games this season, Childress hasn't played the last two games after tearing a pectoral muscle. He practiced last week to see if he could play, but ended up just aggravating the injury.
Holgorsen said Childress spent the team's weekend off traveling to his home in Houston to see a doctor there. Despite published reports Thursday that Childress would be sidelined for the rest of the season, Holgorsen said that's not necessarily the case.
"It could be a week, it could be two weeks, it could be three or four,'' Holgorsen said.
Holgorsen said that when Childress took practice reps last week he simply tried to play through any pain. The next time he tries to play, Holgorsen said he will be eased back into it more slowly.
Childress started the only two games he played in this season. He took over for Millard, who had started the first two games, against Georgia State and set a school record for passing yards by a freshman when he went 25 of 41 for 359 yards. He threw three touchdowns and was intercepted once in a 41-7 win.
A week later, though, Childress completed just 11 of 22 passes for only 62 yards and was intercepted twice in a 37-0 loss to Maryland in Baltimore. One of his picks was returned for a touchdown and the other set up a Maryland score near the goal line.
It was in the days following that performance that Childress' injury was revealed. Trickett became the team's third starting quarterback in the span of four games.
Childress dressed for the two games after his injury was disclosed, but presumably was only an emergency option to take snaps and hand the ball off. He had not thrown until last week.
If Childress does remain out for an extended period, it leaves the team alarmingly thin at the position. The only other quarterback listed on the roster is Storm McPherson, a walk-on freshman from Princeton who didn't even play his senior season in high school after he transferred and was denied eligibility.
As for Childress, if he isn't able to come back this year it will likely mean a lost season as far as eligibility is concerned. He redshirted last year as a true freshman and instances of the NCAA granting a second redshirt season - a sixth year of eligibility - are rare and usually tied to a catastrophic injury.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.