By JOHN RABY, AP Sports Writer
Whether it’s Clint Trickett or Paul Millard getting their first start as West Virginia’s quarterback, William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock has no preference which one his team faces.
He’s too busy trying to get his Championship Subdivision team ready to play an FBS opponent in a season opener for the third straight year.
Besides, Laycock had little to go on in film study.
Trickett attempted only 34 passes last season at Florida State and played in the Seminoles’ spring game before transferring to West Virginia in May.
Fellow junior Millard attempted that many passes in the last two years combined as Geno Smith’s backup.
“I’m sure they’re both very, very good,” Laycock said. “We haven’t seen them. Anytime you go into an opening ballgame, you don’t know for sure what you’re going to be facing. So you go in, you try to take care of yourselves.”
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen hasn’t announced who will start in Saturday’s game between the Mountaineers and Tribe.
Holgorsen indicated during fall camp he didn’t want to rotate his quarterbacks during games.
He changed his mind. He’s willing to do that now.
Holgorsen said Millard knows West Virginia’s system better, while Trickett has more game experience, shows good leadership skills and remains calm under pressure.
“It might take some game experience to figure out which is the guy,” Holgorsen said. “It may be a situation where they complement each other and we continue to rep both of them all year. I don’t know yet.”
Here are five things to know when the Mountaineers and Tribe meet:
LINE COHESION: How well the West Virginia quarterbacks fare could depend on a rebuilt offensive line that has a combined 21 starts. Junior left tackle Quinton Spain started every game last season. Senior Curtis Feigt at right tackle has seven career starts. They’re expected to be joined by redshirt freshman Tyler Orlosky at center, junior Mark Glowinski at right guard and sophomore Marquis Lucas at left guard. Glowinski also redshirted last year and Lucas saw limited action.
RB SHUFFLE: Holgorsen said if anyone on his long list of running backs gets hot, the plan is to give that player the ball as much as possible. Houston transfer Charles Sims will start, and the depth chart has freshman Wendell Smallwood, junior college transfer Dreamius Smith and veteran Dustin Garrison behind him. Holgorsen said the arrival of Sims, Smallwood and Smith “changed the dynamic” of the backfield from last year. Holgorsen said Smallwood has matured and is the fastest and most consistent running back.
SOLID STARTS: West Virginia is looking for its 10th straight win in a season opener, including nine at home. Only one of those wins came against a school from a BCS conference.
William & Mary has lost three straight openers and 10 out of 11, with the exception being a 26-14 win at Virginia in 2009. West Virginia and William & Mary actually have met 16 times before, with the Mountaineers holding a 15-0-1 advantage. Their last meeting came in 1972.
GRAHAM’S TIME: Michael Graham was given the nod as William & Mary’s starting quarterback over Raphael Ortiz and Brent Caprio. Ortiz is coming off shoulder surgery and Caprio spent much of the summer in a walking boot after foot surgery. Graham played in six games and started three last year, completing 58 of 127 passes for 776 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He had a career-high 353 yards and four TDs at Old Dominion.
LONG-SERVING LAYCOCK: Laycock enters his 34th season as head coach at his alma mater with a 215-160-2 record. He’s earned nine NCAA playoff berths.