The Times West Virginian

Sports

April 13, 2014

Moore ‘back at home’ under center

MORGANTOWN — There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.

The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

The second way is to say he didn’t play himself out of a job and, quite honestly, has every bit as much of a chance to come into August practices with a chance to earn the starting job against Alabama on Aug. 31 in the Chic-fil-A Classic as his spring rivals Paul Millard and Skyler Howard.

And that’s just fine with him, having drawn more praise than either following the spring game. Moore completed 10 of 21 passes for 109 yards … not quite matching Millard’s 14 of 19 for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns or Howard’s 9 of 13 for 70 yards and a touchdown, but it also doesn’t tell the whole story.

There is more to quarterbacking in today’s game than just throwing the ball, and Moore wound up WVU’s fourth leading rusher with 35 yards rushing on three carries, an average of 11.7 per carry, including one 28-yard scramble. And under the category of sacks, Millard had one, Howard two and Moore none … and much emphasis has been put this spring on being sack-free.

“Logan stuck out making some plays with his feet, hanging around and throwing it,” said offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Shannon Dawson.

Making a quick judgment on the three quarterbacks, Dawson saw it this way. “All of them had their ups-and-downs days. Logan, with the reps he took, obviously got better. Paul has probably been the same for a long time. He’s pretty consistent on what he does and inconsistent on what he does bad,” he said, then added, “One thing Logan and Skylar do is have the ability to extend plays when things get bad.”

Now the competition, of course, is not narrowed to those three for the starting job, for this summer it’s expected last year’s starter Clint Trickett should be recovered from off-season shoulder surgery and he has the advantage if he’s healthy.

But there are no guarantees there and he is somewhat frail, which means his putting in a full season is questionable enough that both Holgorsen and Dawson said plans will be made if Trickett isn’t ready.

Then there is freshman William Crest, a talented high school graduate who will come in and be looked at as a potential starter, too. So things are not as simple as they seem, but freshmen aren’t always ready to assume the quarterback job right out of high school and certainly Holgorsen would like to give him a redshirt season to mature.

Moore’s story, however, is compelling. He transferred to WVU a couple of years back after doing a spectacular job as Fairmont State’s quarterback. Holgorsen, however, was knee deep in QBs and opted to use Moore’s athletic skills as a wide receiver, meaning he missed an entire season of quarterbacking last year.

This spring he was moved back to QB with Trickett unable to go through practice and now he’s back making his presence felt.

“Finally,” he said. “When I transferred I planned on playing quarterback, but I got switched to wide receiver last year. Now I’m back home to where I wanted to play, so it’s nice.”

The problem is he has a lot of catching up to do.

“I still have a lot of work to do but I feel more comfortable,” he said. The coaches see that and have watched the way he attacked the job.

“With the work that I’ve put in and what I’ve done, I think they have to give me a shot. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Moore even believes that his time spent at wide receiver was not time totally wasted.

“Quarterback-wise it might have set me back, but it might have helped me mentally,” he said. “Being a receiver I got to see things from a different point of view. Now I have a different understanding of how things operate. I don’t see it as a complete disadvantage.”

What it did was open his eyes to see things from a wide receiver’s perspective.

“Seeing things from their point of view, seeing how defenses line up, seeing what they see and how they can get open. I think I have a better relationship with the receivers now,” he explained.

And he also has that running ability that makes him a dual threat.

“It helps me a lot, since I’m not the typical quarterback being recruited at the big colleges. I’m under 6-foot, so being able to run helps me out in this offense,” he said. And so it did on this day when, in a surprise move, the coaching staffs let the quarterbacks go live. Normally they wear gold jerseys in this game and can’t be tackled, but they are involved in competition and the coaches wanted to see how they reacted to pressure.

“We don’t have a starter right now,” Dawson explained. “When you are a quarterback and it’s not live, there’s a whole different mentality and the game is not like that. You are trying to make practice as much like a game as possible. There’s only one way to make it realistic and that’s to make it real. We talked about it and decided there was only one way, make it live. For the first time in Dana and my careers, we made it live and it turned out good.”

It will be interesting in early August as they cut to three quarterbacks to compete for the right to start against Alabama.

What if, Moore was asked, they came to him a week before the game and told him the job was his?

“Hopefully I put the work in to put myself in that position. I’d just go out and take advantage of it,” he said.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Steelers’ Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG Post 17 falls short in Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.
    Post 17 Fairmont is hoping that they’ve now gotten all of its bad games out of the way, falling to Post 2 Morgantown, 10-0, via a 7th inning mercy rule, crowning Morgantown Area II American Legion champions.
    After playing 18 innings the night before, Fairmont couldn’t seem to get anything going at East Fairmont High School Sunday afternoon.
    As rain clouds loomed over the field, so, too, did one settle in over Post 17’s offense, Fairmont collecting just four hits the entire game.
    “Definitely not one of our better games as a team,” Fairmont’s Austin Norman said of his team’s performance. “We’ll come up tomorrow, hit and get on the same page.”

    July 28, 2014 7 Photos

  • Harrison’s 4 hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday.

    July 27, 2014

  • MLB inducts newest members into Hall of Fame

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.

    July 27, 2014

  • Post 17 falls short of Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.

    July 27, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali wins Tour de France

    Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Italian in 16 years to triumph in cycling’s greatest race by chiseling a lead over his main rivals a few seconds at a time and dominating them in the mountains.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: La Russa gives old pal Leyland a taste of Hall of Fame

    Jim Leyland didn’t expect it, at least not yet, but there he was in Cooperstown, New York for this week’s induction ceremony.

    July 27, 2014

  • JAMES UNDER RAINBOW -TS.jpg Post 17 plays itself into Area II championship game: PHOTOS

    The goal was simple for Post 17 Fairmont: Beat Bridgeport and advance to the state American Legion Tournament. But it left with more than a state tournament berth Saturday night at East Fairmont High School.
    After beating Bridgeport, 11-8, Fairmont secured a spot in next week’s state tournament. But with one challenge down, Fairmont moved on to the next: Playing itself into an area championship game.

    July 27, 2014 14 Photos

  • Knowing facts key to preventing sports injuries

    Youth sports injuries have been on the rise in recent years, leading parents, players and coaches asking one thing: How can we prevent these things from happening?
    A recent poll on the Times West Virginian website revealed that 41.8 percent of readers believe that there is no way to prevent injuries, while 26.47 percent said the best way to prevent injuries was to not play at all and 20.59 percent said that working hard was the best way to limit injuries.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos