MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Neal Brown called last Thursday a big day for his trio of quarterbacks.
It was another opportunity for them to show their progress in WVU’s latest scrimmage. They will have one more chance to do so in a closed scrimmage Thursday, and their final test will come Saturday at the Gold-Blue Game.
Garrett Greene, Will “Goose” Crowder and Nicco Marchiol have split reps with the first and second teams through the spring, ensuring they get equal action with all units.
Brown gave his evaluation of each player’s progress based on what he saw last Thursday, which marked practice No. 12 of spring ball.
“Garrett has been operating at a better level than he has. I think the game slowed down for him. He’s throwing the deep ball extremely accurately right now. He’s got to eliminate the big negative plays,” Brown said. “Not making bad plays worse. Every once in a while, just play the next one. Everyone is not going to be big one.”
Greene’s improvement with the deep ball has been noted by the head coach all spring. The quarterback rotation is based on age, so Goose Crowder’s assessment was up next.
“For Goose, it’s about confidence. The change of scheme probably affected him because he just now got the previous scheme down so he had to restart after a year,” Brown said. “I thought he had his best day Thursday and was better today as well. Everything is just a little fast for him.”
Much like Crowder, Marchiol is also battling the speed of the game as he makes his transition from high school star to college newcomer.
“You can see some real flashes. He had a great drive in the stadium on Thursday. A great drive, phenomenal play. The best play he’s had. It was a naked out to the right, and he did a really good job of getting his shoulders around, made a good progression, and it was a touchdown,” Brown said.
He added Marchiol tossed a second touchdown in that same practice, but he also turned the ball over a number of times. Coach Brown said that is “to be expected” as Marchiol gets acclimated to the next level, and made sure to note “not all were his fault.”
The head coach said the freshman’s hunger to improve is what sticks out to him the most.
“All three of them have a really good mindset. They are competitors,” Brown said. “They want to finish the spring with sending a message to the fan base that they are more than capable.”
Saturday’s Gold-Blue Game will have the feel of a true scrimmage, a change from last year’s event, which meshed practice drills with scrimmaging.
When it comes to splitting the three signal callers between two teams on Saturday, Brown said he doesn’t have a set rotation just yet, but they will be “breaking the rule” and playing on both teams.
Earlier this month, Georgia transfer JT Daniels announced his commitment to WVU. The player hasn’t officially signed with the program yet.
The Gold-Blue Game begins Saturday at 1 p.m. Live pregame coverage begins at noon during the Mountaineer GameDay Spring Game Special, which will air on Nexstar stations in West Virginia and Maryland.