MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Garrett Greene dashed from the end zone to the Big 12’s Player of the Week list on Saturday, but whether or not he has run into the starting lineup is yet to be determined.
The redshirt sophomore quarterback gave West Virginia a needed spark on Saturday against Oklahoma when he took over the offense in the second quarter.
“He just played with a lot of fire, a lot of energy,” said WVU coach Neal Brown. “I thought he energized the stadium, I thought he energized our sideline. He’s gotten better and better and better and…when he had an opportunity, he made the most of it.”
Greene finished with 119 rushing yards (that Brown described as “tough”), many of which came on the final drive of the game to seal the win.
Despite the laudatory tone from the head coach, though, he stopped short of naming a starting quarterback for Saturday. Greene, he said, earned the opportunity to play more, but he did not rule out the possibility that JT Daniels could start his 11th game of the season.
“We’re going to get both of those guys ready,” Brown said.
This is not abnormal for the fourth-year WVU head coach. Brown has waited until the final week of the preseason to name his starting quarterback three times. Only in 2021 did fans definitively know who the starter was from the spring to the opener.
This is the second time that Brown is putting Mountaineer fans on the edges of their seats in the middle of the season. The coach kept his cards close before Jarret Doege replaced Austin Kendall to get his first WVU start, subsequently leading the Mountaineers to an upset over Kansas State (Ironically, almost three years to the day before Saturday’s clash in Morgantown.).
Doege wasn’t officially named that game’s starter until the Mountaineers were warming up in Manhattan.
This decision will provide two stark outcomes for WVU as each quarterback offers a vastly different arsenal to the team. Greene showed his skillset against the Sooners as he led WVU in rushing. He also flashed an improved arm, connecting on 12 of his 22 pass attempts.
“He is strong, and he is fast. He is legit fast…and he wasn’t coming out of high school,” Brown said. “He is one of the few people that has gotten significantly faster in college.”
Daniels is more of a pure pocket passer and was one of the top arm talents in the 2018 recruiting class. He has exhibited that talent at times throughout the season, but he has surpassed 200 passing yards just once in the last four games.
At Iowa State, Daniels threw for just 81 yards, a career-low. He compiled 65 yards in a quarter-and-a-half with an interception against the Sooners before Greene entered the game.
Brown also indicated that true freshman Nicco Marchiol is also on the docket to get more snaps. With two games remaining in the regular season, Marchiol could appear in both those contests plus a possible bowl game without sacrificing his redshirt but is very unlikely that he would get the nod.
“I think they’re all good people involved so, however it goes, it doesn’t mean they like it, but they’ll move forward with it,” Brown said.