QB race to be in the spotlight

MORGANTOWN – Mountaineer football fans will get their first glimpse of the 2013 West Virginia University football team at 2 p.m. today when the annual Gold-Blue game brings spring practice to its conclusion.

Tickets can be purchased at the stadium on game day for $10, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the WVU Children’s Hospital. The gates open at 1 p.m. All fans attending the game should enter through the north and west gates.

Fans are also encouraged to head over to the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility for the Mountaineer Gear Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Football and basketball gear used by the team’s will be available for purchase.

But the biggest thing Mountaineer fans will want to see will be which quarterback will step up to replace NFL-bound Geno Smith. Junior Paul Millard, the back-up for the past two seasons, and red-shirt freshman Ford Childress have been waging a battle for the starting job throughout the spring.

“There’s more on the line, but it’s just another day,” Millard said. “The spring game is the spring game. You’re not playing an opponent. You have to look at it as another day because right now, it’s all about getting better.”

WVU coach Dana Holgorsen pledged to not name an heir apparent to Smith during the spring unless one player played far and above the other. So far, Holgorsen has kept his promise.

“The meeting room is still loose,” Childress said. “But you have to take every week like you are going to start, even if you’re the back-up.”

Childress sat out last year’s spring game, and he said he is looking forward to showing Mountaineer fans what they can expect out of him.

“There may be some butterflies,” he said. “You have to look at it as just a scrimmage, but still have some fun for the fans. I’m really excited to get out there in front of the fans and just relax and play.”

Millard, too, is looking to show that he can emerge from Smith’s shadow and lead the Mountaineers.

“It’s a slow process,” he said. “We have good days, and we have bad days. But I know what they want out of me and what they want out of the offense.”

For those unable to attend the game, it will be televised on WBOY and WTRF at 2 p.m., and it will feature pre-game, halftime and post-game interviews with Holgorsen and other WVU players.