The Dominion Post  

Grier traveling with WVU to Oklahoma

Created on:   Fri, Nov 24, 2017   11:56 PM

Last modified:   Fri, Nov 24, 2017   11:56 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — It wasn’t his broken hand and dislocated finger that bothered WVU quarterback Will Grier after diving for the pylon against Texas on Nov. 18.

“He’s more pissed off that we didn’t score more than anything, which was a funny conversation with him,” offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said.

Grier fumbled over the pylon, giving the Longhorns the ball back, but there were much bigger ramifications. Grier broke his hand and needed surgery to repair it, ruling him out for the Nov. 25 game, at Oklahoma. It was supposed to be a showdown between two of the best quarterbacks in college football, but instead Chris Chugunov will get his first-career start for the Mountaineers.

That doesn’t mean Grier won’t be there to help whenever he can.

“We rarely take injured guys on road trips — he’ll be going,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “He’ll be on the trip. He wants to support his guys and help be a coach on the sidelines. That’s the kind of kid that we’re dealing with. We all know Will and what kind of a teammate he is and his football IQ, It’ll probably be pretty comforting to ‘Chugs’ to have him on the sidelines to be able to talk to him.”

Grier is a leadership presence not only to Chugunov but to the rest of the team. Holgorsen said in August, before Grier even took a snap in a game, that Grier established himself as a leader and someone the team can trust.

With the injury, Grier knows he won’t be able to play, but it’s time to move on and see how he can help in other ways.

“He is not much of an emotional guy,” Spavital said. “He understands that this is what happened, these are the circumstances and it is time to move on from it and try to rehab as fast as possible and hopefully get back by the bowl game. While in the process, be a great teammate. He wants to travel to Oklahoma, he wants to be on the sidelines and he wants to be there for ‘Chugs’ and the rest of the team. Not just the offense, but the rest of the team, as well.”


The loss to Texas officially eliminated the Mountaineers from contention for the Big 12 championship game. WVU is playing to see which bowl game it will be in, while the Sooners have much more at stake.

O.U. looks to clinch a spot in the title game and is clinging to the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Sooners have everything to lose, and Holgorsen knows that.

“I can’t remember the last time we’ve been in this situation,” he said. “What do we have to lose, you know? Let’s go play ball, let’s have fun, let’s rally around ‘Chugs’ and let’s play our tail off.”

As for Chugunov, Spavital has tried getting that message across to him — it may be his first start, but there isn’t much pressure.

“We really don’t have anything to lose, that is what I have been telling ‘Chugs’ all week,” he said.

“Go out there, cut it loose and have some fun. How many guys get to say that their first-career start is going to be versus probably the No. 3 team in the country right now? Go out there, cut it loose and have some fun and see if we can kind of spoil them and mess up the rankings a little bit more.”