Football, Sports, WVU Sports

Greene’s status still uncertain, WVU coaches comfortable with Marchiol

MORGANTOWN — For the second week in a row, the status of West Virginia starting quarterback Garrett Greene was unknown when head coach Neal Brown met with the media Monday morning.

Greene, who suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago against Pitt, dressed for Saturday’s game against Texas Tech but did not play as redshirt freshman Nicco Marchiol got the start.

“Garrett was available on Saturday, but he did not warm up very well,” Brown said. “He would have been ready in an emergency, but we would’ve had to help him out.” 

Brown said Greene was healthy enough to play, but was far from 100% on Saturday.

“Garrett would’ve been the backup on Saturday because we thought he could protect himself in emergency duty,” Brown said. “I really don’t want to play him until he’s fully healthy and he didn’t really make a whole lot of progress from Wednesday to Saturday.”

Monday brought more uncertainty as Greene continues to heal. The Mountaineers travel to TCU this week (8 p.m./ESPN2) and then have their bye week, giving Greene an extra week to recover if needed.

“He worked with our trainers (Monday), we’ll see what he has Tuesday and Wednesday,” Brown said. “If he can practice full-go on Tuesday and Wednesday, then he’ll play. If he can’t then it’ll probably be the same.

Marchiol led WVU to a 20-13 win making his first career start in Greene’s place. The southpaw completed 12 of 21 passes for 78 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also led the team with 72 rushing yards.

“I thought he made a considerable jump from the first game he played against Pitt,” Brown said. “I think he’s made steady improvement and that’s to be expected. He threw some nice balls. The first pick was not a very good decision, but I thought he threw the ball pretty well.”

The most disappointing aspect of the offense to Brown was the lack of plays made around Marchiol. Tight end Kole Taylor was the team’s leading receiver with 39 yards and running backs CJ Donaldson (15 carries, 48 yards) and Jaylen Anderson (eight and 18) were held in check.

“He just didn’t get a whole lot of help,” Brown said. “Our offensive skill guys have got to help him out, whether that’s making plays or making people miss, we’ve just got to do a better job around him.”

The performance was more than enough for WVU’s coaches to be comfortable with Marchiol making future starts if Greene continues to miss time.

“This is the first time (Marchiol) had the entire week to prepare for it. He knew he was going to start, knew he was going to be the guy. I thought he handled it really well,” said offensive coordinator Chad Scott. “But then there were times in the game when guys didn’t make plays for him. He didn’t fret, he handled it really well and went out there and made plays.”

Marchiol is now 25 of 44 on the season for 213 yards with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions.

“Can he play better? Yes. Will he be better? I believe so,” Brown said, “But I wasn’t displeased with how he played on Saturday. He gave us a chance.”

Another DB Down

WVU has lost another defensive back for the season as Brown announced that safety Keyshawn Cobb will be having surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.

Cobb a senior transfer from Buffalo, had played in two games this season. He will be able to redshirt and retain eligibility for next season.

Cornerback Montre Miller had season-ending surgery last week.