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WVU Quarterback Battle Still Tight After Spring Game

WVU Football

WVU football is in full swing at the start of the Neil Brown era. The Mountaineers took to the field in front of over 18,000 fans in its annual Blue/Gold Spring Game. WVU had many uncertainties going into the spring game with the quarterback position as the top question. Three guys are in the mix to replace Will Grier. Jack Allison started the Camping World Bowl in Grier’s absence and the results were less-than-desirable.  Austin Kendall transferred in from Oklahoma after sitting behind two Heisman Trophy winners in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Trey Lowe was a three-star recruit that is the best overall athlete out of the three.

Allison got the party started, but his start was rather slow. His accuracy woes were still present as he overthrew a deep ball to Ricky Johns. Kwincy Hall was also in the vicinity, but couldn’t get to the ball either. However, the junior did heat up later in the game. Allison hit Randy Fields on a 16-yard touchdown pass. Overall, he finished 11 of 24 for 112 yards and a touchdown. The numbers may have been a little better if Allison was playing with the first-team offense. The offensive line struggled to protect him as he was sacked five times on the day. Another thing to note was that a deep pass to Johns that was ruled incomplete looked like a legit catch inbounds.

Austin Kendall looked the most comfortable in the pocket and showed some elusiveness when he was rushed. A 60-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Simmons got the Gold team rolling. While he didn’t throw as much as Allison, he looked a little crisper as a passer. Kendall went 7 of 12 for 154 yards, a passing and rushing touchdown for the game. He also scored on the ground on a QB keeper. The biggest issue with him was holding onto the ball for too long. He needs to get rid of it a little quicker.

Trey Lowe was probably the most anticipated quarterback to see during the spring game. He was used sparingly in the bowl game and finally received his chance to show everyone what he could do. The redshirt freshman started off shaky throwing an interception but found his rhythm afterward.  Lowe ran for 21 yards during the game and shook off a few defenders. Lowe connected with Sam James on a 40-yard pass that set up the touchdown run by Kendall. The final score of the day took place when he threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Spalding. Lowe was the most accurate passer of the day going 4 of 7, but he was playing against second and third-string defenses. Walk-on Trent Jackson went 2 of 4 for two yards as the fourth quarterback to play in the game.

Coach Brown was hoping that they would find their starting quarterback after the spring game, but he isn’t quite ready to commit to one particular guy just yet. The top-three guys showed both strengths and weaknesses during the game.

“We may have a pecking order after this,” said Brown after the game, “but I’m not going to commit myself to anything yet. I think we made progress at quarterback this spring, but I don’t think we’re ready to go play a game.”

What we do know is that no quarterback has yet to step up and take the starting job. Some people were ready to write off Allison after the bowl game, but he showed some of his potential today. Kendall is the favorite, but he didn’t show enough to take the reigns from the other guys. Lowe is hands down the fastest of the three, but field vision is a concern. So the three-man race will continue into this summer.

 

 

 

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