I have been a Chris Chugunov (Chugs) fan since before he arrived on WVU’s campus. Like many others, I felt Chugs was underrated coming out of high school.
Holgorsen has referred to Chugs as the smartest QB he has ever coached, and was the most accurate passer on the team.
I couldn’t help but wonder why Crest was getting more playing time than Chugs. When Chugs finally got his opportunity against Missouri, I saw why Chugs and Crest were tied for the back-up spot behind Howard, and why neither were pressuring Howard for the starting position.
Howard is the general when he steps on the field. He plays with attitude and demands respect of his teammates.
Crest doesn’t really care if he is the starting QB or not for he can play receiver. If Crest is beat out by Chugs, Grier, or Saunders, no big deal to him.
On the other hand, if Chugs can’t get on the field during a game, he will most likely end of as QB on the scout team next season.
I saw in the Missouri game why Holgorsen is mad and disappointed in Chugs and Crest. Holgorsen is probably more disappointed in Chugs than in Crest, for Chugs has all the tools and skills to be a very good QB.
What Chugs is missing is leadership and ‘want to’. Chugs walked on the field against Missouri as, “OK, I am out to run a couple of plays”, and that is exactly what he did. He never took this as an opportunity to showcase his skills, as an opportunity to separate himself from Crest, and to pressure Howard for the job. His teammates saw this and felt it.
Most likely Chugs will get another shot at QB this season and when he does, he must make the most of it or it may be his last shot at competing for playing time. If he doesn’t take advantage of every opportunity this season, then he likely concedes the starting position next season to Grier or Saunders.
Chugs opportunities this season begin by showing leadership in the locker room, on the side line, in practice, and on the field. When he can do this, then he’ll get more playing time. He must take advantage of every opportunity, or the next opportunity could be his last.
Yesterday, we saw no fire in Chugs. He walked on the field and went through the motion of playing QB. If he had shown some fire and leadership, that would have been him and not Crest finishing out the game.
Chugs should have been pumping the offense up on the sideline, running on the field clapping his hands and yelling at his teammates. Rather, Chugs showed little or no emotion. He should show emotion on the sideline when Howard is on the field, by pumping his teammates up.
Chugs needs to exhibit leadership in order for his teammates to believe in him. When teammates are asked about Chugs, you never hear Chugs is a leader, or any such words.
If Chugs steps it up, it could be him instead of Grier or Saunders as next season’s starter. If he doesn’t step it up this season, then there is little hope in him even being the back-up next season. The coaches are already bragging on Grier and Saunders, plus he was a successful D-1 starter. It will take some doing to beat Grier as the starter next season, but it could be done, if a QB has the “want to”.
The sad part is, if Crest or Chugs doesn’t step it up, and Howard goes down, Holgorsen may have to rely on freshman Cody Saunders, for it’s evident that Crest nor Chugs have shown the leadership skills to lead this team.
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