One of the main storylines for the West Virginia football team this Spring was set to be the impending quarterback battle between Austin Kendall and Jarret Doege
Kendall and Doege both started games for WVU last season and head coach Neal Brown had said he was giving both the opportunity to play in 2020.
With both having been in Brown’s system for a year now neither one would have needed to use this Spring as a heavy learning period. Both could have just gone out in practice and competed as best they could.
Without Spring football practices, however, the battle between the two has been put on hold, at least temporarily.
When evaluating quarterbacks, Brown said he likes to focus on the things they themselves can control.
“There’s a lot of uncontrollables for a quarterback,” Brown explained. “You’re looking at your normal completion percentage, yards per attempt, those types of things, but you’ve also got to look at decision making and how many catchable balls are being thrown. That’s what they can control.”
Kendall, a redshirt senior in 2020, played about seven and a half games last season (hurt the first drive vs Iowa State, did not play second half vs Texas Tech). He completed 61.5% of his passes for 1989 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His yards per attempt was 6.54.
To preserve his redshirt, Doege, a redshirt junior in 2020, playing in only three and a half games in 2019 (played second half versus Texas Tech, started the final three games). He completed 65.8% os his passes for 818 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. His yards per attempt was 6.82.
Brown said the biggest thing he wanted to see out of the pair this Spring was that they push each other more.
“What we talk about within our program is ‘competing with’,” Brown said. “We’re not necessarily competing versus each other…becuase at the end of the day you’re going to be on the same football team…The mindset is, we’re competing with each other to get each other better so that position will be better. Not necessarily being adversaries, but helping each other.”
Brown said he wanted to see Kendall and Doege talk more with each other about things like throwing mechanics and how defenses lineup. Brown said that kind of competition is the best way for both of them to improve together.
In the QB room with Kendall and Doege in 2020 will be returning sophomore Trent Jackson and two newcomers, true freshman Garrett Greene and JUCO transfer Matt Cavallaro.
‘What We’ll Miss’ is a series that will look at all the potential storylines that won’t be able to happen because of the Big 12’s cancelation of Spring athletics. Previous stories in this series focused on two baseball players; a senior losing his comeback season and a young slugger losing his freshman season.