Sep. 26—MORGANTOWN — Driving toward field goal range late in the 4th quarter, it was a nightmare scenario no quarterback and center combination wants to have in a critical moment.
Tied at 13-13 on Saturday night against Oklahoma, WVU was moving steadily down the field while rotating QBs Jarret Doege and Garrett Greene. Head coach Neal Brown said last week one of the biggest challenges using both is the cadence is different for each, so it can work against the offensive line.
At the worst possible time, Brown's worry became a reality, as Greene was in the game, but a snap infraction by center Zach Frazier put the Mountaineers behind the chains with a 2nd and 12.
In came Doege, but before he was ready to take the snap, Frazier sent the ball whizzing past Doege, who fell on the ball 21 yards behind the previous line of scrimmage. WVU was forced to punt and gave the ball back to the Sooners offense, which drove down the field, ran out the rest of the clock and kicked the game-winning field goal to win 16-13.
Frazier, who was a freshman All-American last season, had stretch he would like to forget. For Brown, though, this will not define Frazier's career.
"Here's the thing, we don't have a better kid or person in our program than Zach Frazier, " Brown said. "I'll take him every day, regardless if we're playing Oklahoma or wherever we're going. We got some hurt kids in the locker room that nobody is more hurt than him. You're hurt because you invest. There's nobody else that's got a more personal investment than Zach Frazier.
"I'm not sure what happened. We hadn't had a bad snap up until that point. I'm sure the noise was a factor. I'm not exactly sure but that was uncharacteristic and even with that, we still had chances."
Quarterback rotation While the sequence with Frazier was a negative of playing both Doege and Greene, there were positives, especially Greene's ability in the running game.
On the opening drive of the game—17-plays, 9:07—was capped off on a Greene touchdown run, the only touchdown of the game for the Mountaineers. Doege took the first 12 snaps of that drive, while Greene took the final five.
Greene threw four passes, mostly on screens, to Doege's 29, but Greene was far more active in the zone read and RPO schemes with the running game.
However, Greene started one drive, where he had a high throw to Wright on a screen, then was stripped of the ball on a run, fortunately recovered by a WVU offensive lineman.
According to Brown, this will be the plan moving forward, heading into this week's home game against Texas Tech.
"We had a plan when we were going to use it, " Brown said. "Garrett had a fumble there early and they ruled him down. But we had a series of plays that we liked. Some were good and some weren't. We knew that down in the red zone areas, we wanted to play him. We had a drive there in the 2nd quarter we wanted him in. But I thought he did some really good things, made some really good decisions. I thought Jarret battled. We left some battles out there for him, too.
"I think it's going to be like that. I think for where we're at and what we need to do, it's going to be a mixture of both. It's kind of the way I felt like it was going to be maybe going into the spring and Garrett didn't materialize like we thought he was going to. But he's been playing better, so I think it's going to be a mixture."
Ford-Wheaton breaks out The Mountaineers found a mismatch with wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton, especially on a crossing pattern.
Coming in to Saturday's game, he had seven total catches for 126 yards through three games. He had eight catches against the Sooners alone and tallied 96 yards.
"It's one of our go-to plays, " Ford-Wheaton said about the crossing pattern. "Our offensive coordinator did a good job of calling it when the defense was in a certain coverage and it was open again and again, so we kept calling it."