Football, Sports, WVU Sports

After bad snap at Oklahoma, WVU center Zach Frazier has complete trust from his coaches

MORGANTOWN — The camera always seems to find you at your most vulnerable, and that was the case for WVU center Zach Frazier last Saturday at Oklahoma.

After his late-game snap sailed past quarterback Jarret Doege for a 21-yard loss, which caused the Mountaineers to eventually punt the ball over to the Sooners — who scored on a field goal to win it 16-13 as time expired — the ABC crew found Frazier on the sideline, hoping the defense could make a stop.

The play before Frazier’s bad snap, he was also called for a snap infraction for moving the ball too soon. It was piling up in what was a nightmare scenario for the sophomore center from Fairmont, but after the game, head coach Neal Brown made it clear there is no one he trusts more in that same spot than Frazier.

Brown came to bat for Frazier — poignantly — again Tuesday.

“Zach Frazier played his ass off,” Brown said. “He did. He played well. Zach Frazier, if he’s not our hardest worker — he probably is — then he’s in the conversation, not to hurt anybody’s feelings. He’s the most prepared, he’s one of our best practice players. He does everything that gives you the opportunity to perform well on Saturday night.”

Frazier has been a consistent presence along the offensive line the last two seasons, and was the first true freshman O-lineman to start at WVU in over 40 years, earning freshman All-American honors. Since his first day in the program, he’s impressed the coaching staff, even moving from guard to center, and vice versa.

While there isn’t much on the surface of a stat sheet about the success of a center, Brown provided in-house numbers on just how well Frazier actually played against the Sooners.

“Of 63 accountable snaps, probably 59 of those were pretty good, and he’s playing against some really, really good players in there,” Brown said. “I thought he did a great job. He’s had two bad plays.”

As for what can be corrected moving forward, Brown said there isn’t much. It was a mistake, a costly one, but it was simple miscommunication.

“There’s not a whole lot of correcting to it,” Brown said. “He thought the quarterback (Doege) asked for the ball and he didn’t. That’s kind of what it is.”

On the previous few plays, it was backup QB Garrett Greene on the field. Following Frazier’s snap infraction, Doege re-entered the game. Brown said last week a challenge of rotating quarterbacks often is that it can mess with the rhythm of the offensive line.

On the bad snap, Doege came in for Greene just before, but Brown doesn’t think that had much to do with it in this particular situation.

“He just thought he heard a snap,” Brown said. “Did Oklahoma say something? I don’t know, it’s hard to say.”

But for now, there is no wavering confidence in what Frazier brings to the team.

“Zach Frazier, over the course of the next three-and-a-half years, I’ll take him every single time in that situation and in that kind of moment,” Brown said.

Oklahoma offsides?

Through the early part of the game, it looked like the Sooners were possibly getting a head start before the snap, but were only called for offsides once.

Following the game, Brown said he would look into it, and he has his answer.

“Here’s the deal: In my opinion, they were offsides. In (Big 12 Coordinator of Football Officials) Greg Burks’ opinion, they weren’t,” Brown said. “I don’t feel like paying a fine, so I’ll just go with that.

“But … I’ve got some video evidence.”

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