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WVU’s Garrett Greene Shows Maturity in Critical Review of Penn State Performance



WVU Football QB Garrett Greene

West Virginia quarterback Garrett Greene sounded like a true NFL veteran during his press conference after the Mountaineers’ 38-15 loss to Penn State in Saturday’s season opener.

Though playing virtually mistake free, Greene consistently reiterated that the Mountaineers’ offensive struggles fell on him for not making enough plays.

The redshirt junior making just his third career start and facing the No. 7 team in the nation did not seem to matter.

“They have a really good defense,” Greene said of Penn State. “They have a lot of talented guys. Overall, it just comes down to me not making enough plays. That’s what it boils down to.”

Greene finished 16 of 27 passing for 162 yards and rushed 15 times for 71 yards and a score.

His 27 pass attempts tied a career-high in with Greene’s start against No. 15 Kansas State last season. Greene was inserted as the starting quarterback for a two-game stretch to replace the struggling JT Daniels.

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown was enticed to call more pass plays with the Mountaineers trailing in the second half, in hopes of giving Greene more opportunities.

“We wanted to throw the ball some there later in the game because we need to get better at it,” Brown said. “The kid can throw. To say that he can’t throw the ball would be an absolute fallacy, because he can.”

Greene was indeed able to move the ball, but the Mountaineers posted just a 4-for-14 mark on third down, as well as 3-for-6 on fourth.

Greene, as he pointed out, did miss a few throws, including one behind a wide-open Traylon Ray that would have moved the sticks. But, as WVU head coach Neal Brown noted, this is the best defense West Virginia will face all season.

5 Takeaways: WVU Football Showed Signs of Improvement Against PSU, Still Tons of Work Ahead

“Third down, the slant to Traylon. I can’t miss those,” Greene said. “The first play of the game, the screen to Cortez (Braham), I need to give him a better throw. There were a couple throws that I’d like to have back.”

Despite the miscues, Greene was able to keep West Virginia in the contest through two quarters.

The Mountaineers trailed just 14-7 at halftime, but Penn State was able to pull away by holding West Virginia scoreless in the second half until Greene plunged in from a yard out with 3:34 to play. He then hit CJ Donaldson for a two-point conversion to cap the scoring.

Brown said there are areas where Greene has to improve, as far as his decision making when keeping the ball and scrambling compared to passing the ball downfield.

“My deal with him is I think about guys that play like him, is like an artist,” Brown said. “When you have an artist, you want them to create art. For him, I do not want to take his playmaking skills away. He’s an athletic quarterback that I thought he took care of the football, that’s your one concern.

“Was he perfect with every run or pass decision, probably not. I thought he did run around and make some plays, I thought he extended some plays. What we’ve got to do a better job of is when he extends is looking down the field. The one disappointing thing is we really needed to be more explosive in the pass game.”

Garrett Greene and the Mountaineers will have the opportunity to rebound against FCS opponent Duquesne in West Virginia’s home opener at 6 p.m. Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium.

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