As Dana Holgorsen said last week during one of his press conferences, quarterbacks Clint Trickett, Paul Millard and Ford Childress all took an equal amount of reps with the first-team offense during the time media got to watch.
It was Trickett who got to take the field for the first series with the first-team offense. The Florida State transfer was joined by Houston transfer Charles Sims in the backfield and had K.J. Myers and Ronald Carswell on the outside at receiver, with freshman Mario Alford in the slot.
Trickett was effective on his drives, and was the only WVU signal caller to take chances throwing the ball downfield. Both Millard and Childress took most of their attempts during the session hitting a lot of shorter routes and screen passes near the sidelines.
But it was Sims who made possibly the biggest play of the day with the offense. The senior running back broke a long run that would have gone for a touchdown in a live game situation.
Dreamius Smith took the majority of the carries with the second team offense, and Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison rotated in and out with those two throughout the session.
Millard didn’t show quite the same amount of arm strength as his counterparts did, but was equally effective during his drives. The junior completed the majority of his passes, including a few on his first drive to Terrence Gourdine, Daikel Shorts and Shelton Gibson.
The same went for Childress, who never really took a lot of chances to make big plays downfield, but was able to consistently get the ball out to his receivers in space with a chance to pick up a few yards after the catch.
The only big play in the passing game came in Trickett’s second drive, when he hit Gourdine for about a 20-yard pickup.
Defensively, defensive coordinator Keith Patterson was constantly shuffling players around and mixed up his rotation quite a bit throughout the session. The defensive line primarily used Will Clarke, Kyle Rose, Shaq Rowell, Eric Kinsey and newcomer Dontrill Hyman.
Sophomore Isaiah Bruce spent the majority of his time on the field at outside linebacker, after playing inside as a freshman. Junior Brandon Golson was on the opposite side of Bruce in the 3-4, with Shaq Petteway, Nick Kwiatkoski and Doug Rigg taking reps inside.
The WVU secondary kept Darwin Cook and Karl Joseph in the back at the safety positions with the first team, unsurprisingly, and rotated Brodrick Jenkins, Travis Bell and Ishmael Banks around at the cornerback positions.
With the exception of Sims’ big run, the defense did a decent job of making sure the offense didn’t break off a lot of big plays – although the secondary wasn’t tested much vertically in the passing game. The defensive coaching staff continued to stress the importance of their unit getting ready from one play to the next as quickly as possible. After the team period was over, Patterson’s displeasure with the defense’s conditioning was apparent.
On the injury front, a few players in green were held out of team drills that would have shaken up the rotations even more. Wide receivers Kevin White and Jordan Thompson both went through practice in a limited fashion, as did linebackers Wes Tonkery and Jared Barber on the defensive side of the ball.
As for the players totally held out of practice, not much changed. Nana Kyeremeh, Dante Campbell and Adam Pankey were still watching from the sidelines, along with Jewone Snow.