MORGANTOWN - Watching a replay of last year's 50-49 shootout in Morgantown won't do a bit of good, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said, because the two gunslingers who threw the football all over the lot are both gone.
Instead, both Oklahoma and West Virginia are breaking in new quarterbacks, and both quarterbacks bring something different to their respective teams.
While WVU has gone with junior Paul Millard and Clint Trickett getting a few snaps here and there, Oklahoma has gone back to its traditional running roots with a redshirt freshman in Trevor Knight. Knight ran for 103 yards in last week's win over Louisiana-Monroe, though he also tossed three touchdown passes.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
Paul Millard (14) got the starting nod at quarterback for West Virginia in Saturday’s season-opening game against William & Mary. He threw one touchdown pass in his debut as the Mountaineer starter.
"We were throwing the ball all over the place last year, and this year, we're running the ball a lot," Holgorsen said.
"They are going through the same things that we are. They are asking Knight to do a lot of different things than we're asking (of Millard). I don't think anyone is going to get a kick out of watching Paul Millard run the triple option or speed option."
The dual threat will make for an interesting evening Saturday when the two teams collide in Norman. The game will kick off at 7 p.m., and it will televised nationally on Fox.
"Since there are so many options he can take and since he is a dual threat, we have to play sound football and do our jobs," WVU linebacker Isaiah Bruce. "It definitely opens the door for a lot of things and makes us play more sound."
Knight completed just 11 of 28 passes for 86 yards. He was also intercepted once. But OU coach Bob Stoops said Knight will be just fine as the season wears on.
"The run game, getting all the reads and figuring out what's there and pulling the ball and using his legs are all really positive," Stoops said. "I bet there was a bit of jitters going out there for the first time. I believe he'll calm down and throw the ball like I know he is capable."
Holgorsen jokingly said he hopes that improvement doesn't come this week.
"I would anticipate him figuring things out and being a very good quarterback at Oklahoma," he said. "Hopefully, he doesn't get things figured out this week.
"His completion percentage wasn't very good. But when I watched the tape, he's pretty good," Holgorsen continued. "When you watched a guy in the past and said his completion percentage wasn't great, he couldn't throw. He can throw. He's a talented quarterback. They're going to rely on him to make plays in the running game and passing games."