Football, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU’s quarterback battle isn’t over yet, but Greene and Marchiol are getting to where they’re supposed to be

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s quarterback competition is not nearing its conclusion as the Mountaineers have passed the halfway mark of their fall camp, but quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan said he’s happy with where both players are at.

The competitors, junior Garrett Green and redshirt-freshman Nicco Marchiol passed an important milestone with the team’s first scrimmage on Saturday but there are still several weeks until Reagan and head coach Neal Brown will name a starter.

Making this fall a little easier on Reagan is the similarities between the two. Because both are athletic quarterbacks, Reagan is able to use the same game plan for both.

“It’s easier on the offensive staff when we’re trying to plan practice,” Reagan said Friday. “Two years ago, we had (Jarret) Doege and Garrett. That’s two different plans, now it’s the same plan.”

The other aspect of having a signal-caller who can run is the freedom it creates in the offense.

“You give them parameters and you give them the rules of a play but then at the same time, you don’t want to handcuff two athletic quarterbacks like we’ve got,” Reagan explained. “You kind of let them ad-lib a little bit more than we did in the past with (Austin) Kendall or Doege. You’ve got to let them make plays, but you’ve got to keep it within the boundaries of what you’re trying to do.”

Marchiol received limited playing time while redshirting in 2022. He played at the end of the team’s game against FCS opponent Towson and then as an injury replacement in the season finale against Oklahoma State. All told the left-hander completed four of 13 passing attempts for 61 yards and a touchdown.

“Nicco’s really, really talented, he’s had a pretty good fall camp so far,” Reagan said. “There’s been a little bit of ebb and flow for him, some ups and downs. What he does a really good job of is, when he makes a bad decision, his resilience and response to that to make a good play after. That shows his maturity. Maybe some days it’s fast for him and some days it’s not, but he’s improving every day and I’m proud of where he’s at right now.”

Greene was used as a gadget player his first two seasons but came on more as a true quarterback last year. He took over for starter JT Daniels against Iowa State and Oklahoma and then started the final two games of the season.

“The next step we have to do is we’ve got to get him to not think as much and just react,” Reagan said. “If we can get those plays eliminated, then he’s got a chance to be really good as well.”

Greene completed 43 of 78 passes for 493 yards and five touchdowns. He was intercepted three times while running for 276 yards and five more scores. It’s obvious that Greene plays with a lot of emotion, something that’s gotten him in trouble in the past.

“He’s such an emotional player and he’s still working on it today,” Reagan said. “He’s night-and-day better than two years ago when he was really a young buck here. It’s controlling that emotion because you don’t want him to stop being emotional because that’s what Garrett is.”

The biggest area of improvement Reagan has noticed among the duo this fall is a reduction in repeated mistakes.

“That’s really why I’m pleased with where we’re at,” he said. “Do we have a long way to go, yes. But when we correct it, they do a really good job of trying not to make that happen again.”