MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The most notable position battle in West Virginia’s fall camp is now decided.
While not ready to publicly name his Week 1 starter, fifth-year head coach Neal Brown said Monday that the Mountaineer quarterback competition has come to a close.
“I know who we’re going to play. I know who’s going to start,” Brown said Monday. “I don’t know if we’ll share that or not. But, yeah, that’s been decided.”
Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol have battled for the Week 1 starter job throughout the spring, summer, and initial three weeks of fall camp.
According to Brown, there has not been a formal discussion between Brown, the offensive coaches, and the two quarterbacks. However, he feels confident Greene and Marchiol are aware of where the competition stands after three weeks of practice.
“They know. They know. We just haven’t done anything real formal with it, but I think they have a good understanding,” added Brown, who has come to a decision on his latest QB battle with the Mountaineers.
Asked what factors played into deciding this position battle, Brown stated a lot of data points go into it, including accuracy on passes. Decision-making was among the most important.
According to Brown, the results of Saturday’s scrimmage — during which first-team players got roughly 46 snaps second-string players received almost the same number — “verified” what the coaches have seen thus far between Greene and Marchiol.
Although he did not point out which quarterback made the erroneous decision, one of the turnovers forced by the WVU defense Saturday night was a result of the quarterback not tucking the ball when the pocket collapsed, and instead trying to force the issue. Brown noted the turnover came near field goal range.
“We’ve got two really good quarterbacks. I feel good about both of them,” said Brown. “One of them’s a little bit further ahead. And, that’s kind of where it is.”
Green, a fourth-year junior, has appeared in 22 games in his WVU career. He made nine appearances last year, including playing the majority of the snaps or starting each of the last three games of the season. Greene threw for 493 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions, and accounted for 276 yards and five more scores on the ground.
Marchiol, a true sophomore, saw action in three games during the 2022 campaign. His most extensive playing time came in the season finale on the road against Oklahoma State. Marchiol completed 4 of 13 passes for 61 yards and one touchdown.
“Both guys have gotten better. But one of them has performed at a higher level. And we’re going to continue to push them,” Brown said. He later added, “It’s been clear who’s ahead at this point.”
While the battle for who will be West Virginia’s Week 1 starting quarterback has been decided, fans should not expect to only see one of the two under center. Brown stated multiple times Monday that he feels comfortable with both players’ abilities, and said both could appear in games this season.
The head coach went even further to say, while coaches have not gotten to specific game planning for the Week 1 contest against Penn State, West Virginia “definitely could play both.”
WVU played at least two quarterbacks in eight games last year.