College football odds: William & Mary at West Virginia

The post-Geno Smith era at West Virginia begins on Saturday against FCS school William & Mary and it appears that former Florida State transfer Clint Trickett will be the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback. Bet on the game at WagerWeb.

Right now, Trickett and junior Paul Millard are listed as co-starters. Millard is the only one of the three quarterbacks in the competition who has thrown a pass wearing a WVU uniform. The Flower Mound, Texas, native has completed 16 of 34 passes for 211 yards. He’s tossed three touchdowns and an equal number of interceptions.

Trickett played in 12 games at FSU before coming back to Morgantown, where he lived when his father, Rick Trickett, coached the Mountaineer offensive line under Rich Rodriguez. He threw for 947 yards and seven touchdowns, compared to just four interceptions, in his time on the field for the Seminoles.

At running back, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen named senior RB Charles Sims starter. Sims graduated from Houston in the spring, allowing him to maintain eligibility post-transfer. West Virginia ran the ball on 46.9% plays last season, the most ever for a Holgorsen-run offense, and it’s not out of the question that they could be even more landlocked this season with questions at quarterback. In three seasons with the Cougars, Sims rushed for 1,672 yards and 20 touchdowns and caught 88 passes for 948 yards and seven touchdowns.

It isn’t necessarily a surprise that Sims — the Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2009 and first-team All-Conference USA selection in 2011 — won the job over Andrew Buie, who started nine games and had a team-high 851 rushing yards last season. Sims has the versatility valued in Holgorsen’s spread offense as well as three inches and nearly 25 pounds on Buie, who is listed at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds. Buie didn’t even make the two-deep.

William & Mary finished 2-9 last year. The Tribe has played well in many of its recent FBS matchups, as it defeated Virginia, 26-14, in the 2009 opener and led at Maryland in the fourth quarter last season before being edged, 7-6. Additionally, W&M held a double-digit fourth quarter lead at North Carolina in 2010 before falling, 21-17.

Saturday’s game between W&M and WVU will mark the 17th time the two programs have met, as the Mountaineers lead the series, 15-0-1. WVU claimed the initial meeting, 20-6, in Williamsburg on Nov. 13, 1954, while the Mountaineers won the most recent matchup, 49-34, on Oct. 7, 1972 in Morgantown.

Five of W&M’s losses last season came by a combined 11 points.


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