Wellman scores in WVU Gold-Blue game
By JIM LAISE
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Former Spring Valley High School standout Elijah Wellman scored a touchdown Saturday in West Virginia University's Gold-Blue football game at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Wellman, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound red-shirt freshman fullback/tight end, caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Paul Millard as the offense beat the defense, 37-27.
Millard was one of three quarterbacks the Mountaineers used during spring practices while Clint Trickett mends from offseason shoulder surgery. Spring practice did little to help coach Dana Holgorsen come closer to sorting out the unstable position.
That will have to wait until fall camp.
Millard threw two touchdown passes and West Virginia wrapped up its spring work.
West Virginia went 4-8 overall last season, including 2-7 in the Big 12. Three quarterbacks combined to throw for 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions with a combined average of 264 yards per game.
Millard, who started three games last fall before being relegated to a backup role, completed 14 of 19 passes for 129 yards Saturday in rotating with junior college transfer Skyler Howard and Logan Moore, who was moved to quarterback this spring.
Recruit William Crest will join Trickett, who started seven games last year, and the others when practice starts in August.
Mario Alford returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, but Holgorsen was disappointed that Alford and some other offensive playmakers didn't get more work.
"We need to get those guys the ball a little more. I was disappointed with that," Holgorsen said. "Once we get settled on a quarterback; that will help. When you're rotating quarterbacks and you're playing a bunch of different people, it's hard to get in a rhythm."
"So obviously that is going to have to be something that we focus on all summer and as quickly as we can in August to let them develop a relationship with all those guys."
Alford isn't worried about the uncertainty at quarterback.
"It's not a big issue," he said. "You have to make plays when the ball comes to you and adjust to the quarterback, and then you'll be pretty good."
Jordan Thompson led all receivers with 57 yards on four receptions, while Kevin White had five catches for 42 yards and a score. Daikiel Shorts and K.J. Myers had four catches apiece.
Dustin Garrison, plagued by injuries the past two seasons, led a crowded group of running backs with 47 yards on 10 carries. Wendell Smallwood added 45 yards and Pittsburgh transfer Rushel Shell ran for 42. Two others expected to be in the mix in the fall, Andrew Buie and Dreamius Smith, didn't get a carry.
Josh Lambert kicked three field goals, including a 53-yarder.
The defense earned points based on specific achievements, and Holgorsen liked what he saw from unit that has been the team's biggest problem the past two seasons.
The "first-team defense played excellent, so I started to take a lot of those guys out," Holgorsen said. "Once we started taking those guys out, offensively, we moved the ball a little bit, which as a head coach is what you want to see."
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