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WVU Quarterback Jarret Doege is Starting to Gain ‘Real Confidence’ in Big 12 Play



Jarret Doege
Junior quarterback Jarret Doege has not thrown an interception in his last four games. (Ben Queen/USA Today)

Jarret Doege came to West Virginia before last season with plenty of college football experience already under his belt.

Doege, who transferred to WVU from Bowling Green, had already started 17 games in his career prior to joining the Mountaineers. He had 4,041 career passing yards and 39 career touchdowns before he ever played for WVU.

The majority of that playing experience had come in the Mid-American Conference, however. Doege started WVU’s final three Big 12 games in 2019, but WVU offensive coordinator Gerad Parker said it was not until this season when Doege started to really benefit from his Big 12 experience.

“You’ve seen a guy who’s gained real confidence,” Parker said. “I think it’s easy to say you gain confidence by playing, but the only way to gain real confidence is to have success. Jarret’s starting to have success at a high level in big games, in a Big 12 setting.”

Doege has thrown for 2,219 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games this season with only three interceptions.  He ranks second in the conference in passing yards, fourth in touchdowns and is tied for the fewest interceptions with TCU quarterback Max Duggan.

He has also not thrown an interception in WVU’s last four games. Doege said he started to settle in after the first couple of Big 12 games this season.

“The first two Big 12 conference games I think I was just trying to do too much, trying to put the whole team on my back,” Doege said. “Now I’m just making confident decisions, decisive decisions and just playing within the system. Just trying to make things easy and not make them too hard.”

WATCH: Jarret Doege, Tykee Smith and T.J. Simmons Discuss Oklahoma Game, Senior Day

In WVU’s first two conference games this season, against Oklahoma State and Baylor, Doege had a 63.3% completion percentage and averaged 248 passing yards with three total touchdowns and two interceptions. In five Big 12 games since then, Doege has completed 65.7% of his passes, averaging 299 passing yards with nine total touchdowns and just one interception.

“The biggest compliments to a quarterback are taking care of the football and helping to lead our offensive players,” Parker said. “I just think that is the process to becoming a good player at that position. In my opinion, he’s really made steps in those things, it’s allowed him to have sustained success now and he’s starting to develop real confidence.”

WATCH: WVU Coordinators Parker and Lesley Talk About Sooners’ Fast Starts in Recent Games

Doege explained that as this season has progressed, he has learned he does not have to put the entire team on his back to win games, especially with the lowest-scoring defense in the Big 12 (17.8 points per game) backing him up.

“With a defense like ours and how well they’re playing, I might not have to force the ball and I might take a sack and it’s okay to punt sometimes,” Doege said. “Having a defense like ours, for me, I don’t have to force things as much.”

Parker said that mindset is what has helped Doege the most this season.

“Just having the observation of knowing that, being aware of situational football is a testament to him, [quarterback coach Sean] Reagan and the staff to just continue to be aware,” Parker said. “Finding situational awareness and knowing that you don’t have to be a hero at certain times to force the football or throw certain places. Just knowing that you don’t have to be that big all the time allows you to relax and digest what you see, be on time with the football and take care of the football and I think that’s certainly where he’s at.”

Doege and the Mountaineers had this weekend’s game against Oklahoma postponed due to positive COVID tests from Oklahoma. WVU will travel to play Iowa State in Ames, Iowa on Dec. 5.

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