‘He’s Our Starter’
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Austin Kendall can feel secure in his job as West Virginia’s starting quarterback going forward, according to Coach Neal Brown.
Asked at his weekly Tuesday press briefing his plans for the quarterback position coming out of an off weekend and with a Thursday night game at unbeaten Baylor on Halloween, Brown indicated there would be no changes.
“He’s our starter and he will be moving forward,” Brown said.
With the Mountaineers having lost three straight games to Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma and having scored just 14 in the last two, there has been a cry on social media to give young Trey Lowe III a chance to show what he has.
And when Bowling Green transfer Jarret Doege made the trip to Oklahoma — something redshirt players seldom do — it raised some speculation that Brown may be thinking of getting him some playing time. (That despite the fact that Doege has been on all of WVU’s road trips to date.)
Since last year a player can play in up to four games without losing his redshirt.
Doege, the brother of Seth Doege, a one-time Texas Tech star quarterback when Brown was an assistant there, will be battling for the starting position next year with Kendall and backups Jack Allison and Lowe.
When asked why Doege was allowed to make the trip to Norman, Oklahoma, Brown offered up a logical reason … and one that wasn’t quite so logical.
“First of all, we don’t have as many guys as normal traveling. I thought it was important for him to go be in that venue and get a feel for a Big 12 atmosphere at a high level,” Brown said. “We have aspirations that he can be a really good player for us and he’s going to have to perform in those venues if he wants to be a high level quarterback.”
That was the logical explanation.
Less logical but nonetheless rational was what Brown offered up next.
“I thought it might be good luck, his brother was starting quarterback there when we beat them,” Brown said with a smile.
Older brother Seth led a 41-38 upset of the No. 3 Sooners on Oct. 21, 2011, throwing for 441 yards and three touchdowns to end OU’s 39-game home winning streak.
Brown might get Doege into games, but he is behind Kendall as his starter at the moment.
“I thought he played well on Saturday in the first half. The second half he did not perform as well as he needs to,” Brown said.
“The first half he handled all the noise around the game pretty well,” the noise being the talk about him returning to the school from which he transferred after having spent three years behind Heisman Trophy winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
When Oklahoma brought Jalen Hurts in from Alabama, Kendall transferred.
“It was a unique situation, you have to go back and play the home team in their stadium,” Brown said. “I thought he threw the ball pretty well. We had three or four dropped passes in that first half and I thought he made good decisions.”
The second half I didn’t think his decision making was good and he missed on several deep throws you have to make if you are going to be competitive in that game.”