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3 Reasons Why Neal Brown Hasn't Handed the Offense Over to Garrett Greene

Garrett Greene might be the future of WVU football but he's continuing to go through a learning curve in his redshirt freshman year.

Prior to the start of the season, WVU head coach Neal Brown stated that starting quarterback Jarret Doege was the team's "most improved player". Although he may have made strides in spring ball and in fall camp, it has yet to translate over into the games. Through five games, Doege is completing 65% of his passes and has tossed for 1,207 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions.

The biggest knock on Doege is his inability to extend plays with his feet. He has virtually no mobility which allows the defense to key in on Leddie Brown in the running game and when he does drop back to pass, he's not evading pressure. Redshirt freshman Garrett Greene makes up for what Doege lacks and has provided WVU with a spark when he is inserted into the game. 

Greene's dual-threat ability has fans salivating at the thought of having a quarterback that can make plays both in the air and on the ground. WVU has not had a true dual-threat quarterback since the days of Pat White which came to an end over a decade ago. Skyler Howard was about the closest thing to a dual-threat quarterback that the Mountaineers' have had since but Greene's speed is on a whole other level compared to Howard's. 

So with West Virginia's offense continuously sputtering in the 2nd halves of games, why doesn't Neal Brown make a change at quarterback? Here are a few reasons as to why.

The season isn't lost yet

I know it's hard to believe otherwise, but West Virginia's season is far from over despite back-to-back losses to open up Big 12 Conference play. You could argue that making the change at quarterback could help save the season but I don't believe Neal sees it that way. This weekend, WVU will travel to Waco to take on Baylor. If they find a way to win that game, they'll go into their bye week with a 3-3 (1-2) record. Coming out of the bye, West Virginia has to go to TCU before coming back home for Iowa State and Oklahoma State - two very big games. If WVU were to somehow win their next two (Baylor & TCU) Neal Brown will want to have his veteran quarterback handling those games and rightfully so. However, if the offense looks completely stale once again in Waco and WVU falls to 2-4 (0-3), it could force Brown to make the switch. If he doesn't make the switch during the bye week, I'm not sure that we will see Greene take over as the starter at any point this season. During the bye week would be the best time to do it. It would give Greene nearly two weeks to get prepared and for the coaching staff to implement a game plan with him running the show.

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Neal likes the 2-QB system

When you have two quarterbacks that have completely different skill sets, it can confuse opposing defenses. WVU needs Greene on the field in certain situations to have the option to run the football but he isn't quite ready to drop back and throw the ball 20-25 times a game. When Greene has thrown the ball, it has mostly been off of RPOs, screens, and quick slants - hardly anything down the field. That alone tells me a lot. Neal Brown has mentioned several times about Greene's upbringing as a quarterback and how he is still raw. He's got the arm to do it, but understanding blitzes, zone vs man, mismatches, and knowing when to take a sack/throw it away is not as easy as it seems. This team's margin for error is already extremely small. Having him throw the ball that much in a game would not bode well for WVU, at least not right now. Brown is much better off using the 2-QB system for the rest of this season while expanding the playbook for Greene as the year moves along. 

Lacks trust

The third and final reason is that Brown has not yet reached a level of comfort of throwing Greene out there as the full-time guy. If he did have complete trust in him, I believe we would have seen the move happen already. Brown is stuck. Jarret Doege gives WVU the best chance to win right now despite the rocky start to the year he has had. As I just mentioned, Greene is still developing and learning. True freshman Will Crowder looks the part but still has a lot of work to do as well. Brown has no other choice than to run the 2-QB system until he feels comfortable opening up the entire playbook for Greene and allows him to let it rip. 

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