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Mountaineers OL Tomas Rimac Feels Front Five is Ready for Any QB



Likely for the first time all season, West Virginia is faced with what could be called, in retrospect, a good problem.

After Garrett Greene’s performance against Oklahoma that earned him the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, the Mountaineers see they have another viable option to use at quarterback along with JT Daniels. West Virginia beating the Sooners for the first time since joining the conference was just icing on the cake.

WVU QB Garrett Greene Named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week

The question now is, who does Neal Brown start against Kansas State? Does he stick with the veteran pocket passer Daniels, or turn to the up-and-comer mobile arm Greene?

No one will find out until this weekend, as Brown said he will not be naming a starter ahead of Saturday’s matchup. Brown, however, did note that Greene earned the opportunity to play more.

Nonetheless, offensive guard Tomas Rimac said during Tuesday’s news conference that it doesn’t matter who is behind him for the first offensive series, he and his fellow linemen will be prepared.

“I can speak for myself and probably the whole line,” Rimac said. “It could be anybody back there. It could be JT, Garrett, Nicco (Marchiol) … We’re just gonna do our job and we’re gonna try and win the game.”

Between Daniels and Greene, Rimac and the rest of the Mountaineers’ offensive line are protecting two quarterbacks with skill sets at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Daniels, in his sixth year in college football, has shown that he sticks to a style like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady — stay in the pocket, find the receiver, and only run if necessary.

Greene, however, showed he holds a Lamar Jackson-style arsenal. After taking over for Daniels late in the second quarter against Oklahoma, Greene ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries while also completing 12-of-22 passes for 138 yards and another score after throwing just 15 passes all season.

To compare, Daniels set a career high with 10 rushing yards in the loss to Kansas in Week 2. In all six of Daniels’ collegiate seasons, he finished with a negative rushing yard total.

But, as offensive coordinator Graham Harrell mentioned Tuesday, the Mountaineers set time aside four days a week during practice for all back-ups to get repetitions, so Rimac and the rest of the line have already spent time with Greene in the backfield before this past Saturday.

Watch: WVU OC Graham Harrell on Preparing Without Knowing Starting Quarterback

“I feel like we just already have a feel for it,” Rimac said. “We’re just gonna go out and play the game.”

Rimac was in the aforementioned position up until a few weeks ago. Rimac, who served as a backup to James Gmiter, recorded his first start of the season two weeks ago against TCU when Gmiter was ruled out due to a family matter.

Gmiter has since then left the team to pursue a career in law enforcement, so Rimac has stayed the Mountaineers’ starting left guard.

WVU OL James Gmiter Leaving Football to Pursue Career in Law Enforcement

As a redshirt freshman, Rimac has been keying on the little things to help his repertoire on the line. He said his nerves kicked in during his first action against TCU, but quickly dissolved. Rimac maintained a strong mindset the last three games, and will attempt to do the same against Oklahoma.

“Playing any game, you get a little nervous because you want to perform well, obviously,” Rimac said. “For me, I was a little nervous before, but after that first hit, you just lock in.

“You just do your best and try to win the game.”

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