MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It remains to be seen who will start at quarterback for West Virginia (2-1) on Saturday against visiting Texas Tech (1-2). Garrett Greene’s status is questionable due to an ankle injury he suffered last Saturday in the Backyard Brawl.
Redshirt freshman Nicco Marchiol played all but six offensive snaps against the Panthers. Neal Brown said Marchiol would take all of the first-team reps in practice Monday and Tuesday, though that’s as far as the fifth-year head coach was willing to publically forecast when he spoke with the media earlier this week.
If Marchiol is, indeed, West Virginia’s starting quarterback against the Red Raiders, true freshman Sean Boyle will be the team’s backup QB.
“Today, he got the same amount [of reps] that Nicco got … the previous week, and tomorrow Sean will get those same reps,” Brown said Monday.
Boyle has not appeared in any of the three games this year. His only on-field appearance in a WVU uniform came in April during the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game, though he did not attempt a pass.
When Greene went down in the first quarter last weekend, Boyle assumed the role of in-game backup to Marchiol, meaning he was potentially just one play away from taking the field for the first time against West Virginia’s biggest rival.
“He was a little nervous on Saturday night. I kind of looked at him and said, ‘You know you’re next, right?’ And he kind of gave me the big eyes,” Brown said with a chuckle. “I don’t think he had really thought about that.”
Following his senior season at Charlotte Catholic High School, Boyle was named the Southwestern 4A Conference Player of the Year. He led the Cougars to a 9-3 record, completed 68.3 percent of his passes, and threw for 1,941 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Boyle was a consensus three-star prospect coming out of high school, and viewed as one of the 40 best high school quarterbacks in the country by ESPN and On3.
One year later, in his first season with the Mountaineers, he is on alert — potentially one play away from making his debut.
Brown said earlier this week that Boyle will get an increased number of reps in practice this week, especially during scrimmage periods.
The head coach added, “He’ll be ready. He’ll be ready if called upon.”