Millard glad to begin with a win
By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
MORGANTOWN — It’s Millard Time.
After backing up record-setting quarterback Geno Smith for two years, Paul Millard got his first start as West Virginia University quarterback Saturday afternoon against the William & Mary Tribe.
With head coach Dana Holgorsen not announcing a starting quarterback after fall drills, Millard found out Friday night that he would get the nod and when he took to the field he came out smoking.
The 6-foot-2 junior from Flower Mound, Texas connected on his first eight passes. For the game he was 19-of-25 for 247 yards and a touchdown. He did not throw an interception, but was sacked once and fumbled.
“I’m just glad we got the win,” Millard said after the game. “It was a scary first half but we came back. I’m proud of the guys, how we fought back and you’ve got to give credit to William & Mary. They came out and played a great game and they had us on the ropes.”
In a battle during spring camp with Ford Childress and in the fall camp with Childress and Florida State transfer Clint Trickett, who happened to play high school ball at Morgantown High, Millard talked about his big chance. “I was excited for the opportunity,” Millard said. “I was definitely blessed that God put me in this situation and it was fun getting out there with the guys and playing ball.
“It was exciting to get out there and be first guy for the Mountaineers this year. I just wanted to get out there and take care of the ball. I’m proud of the way we came back.”
Asked to give himself a grade for the game Millard jokingly said, “D-minus.” He then continued, “I have to look at the film. I took care of the ball the most part, except for that fumble. I’ve got to get better.”
Millard believes that his two years learning Dana Holgorsen’s offensive scheme is what helped him get the nod Saturday afternoon.
“I knew the system the last few years, seeing it all the time and just knowing what the coaches want. I think I did a better job at that. It’s something that I need to keep improving on,” Millard said.
While Holgorsen said the Mountaineers would use two quarterbacks, Trickett played only two series and it is likely that Millard will continue to get the bulk of the snaps as WVU prepares for and travels to Oklahoma next week.
The Texas native talked about the difficulty of a two-quarterback system.
“It’s hard to come into a game when you’re cold,” Millard stated. “I’m glad I got the opportunity to go out there first and we made enough plays to win the game.”
Completing 19 passes in the contest, Millard talked about one in particular, the touchdown pass to Ronald Carswell.
“We were in a heavy set,” Millard pointed out. “They brought everybody up and Ronnie ran a great route and fortunately the ball got there. Ronnie made a great play.
“It’s our first (touchdown pass) of the season. Hopefully there’s a lot more.”
— Contact Bob Redd at email@example.com