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West Virginia Football 2016 Player Previews: Chris Chugunov/William Crest

The backup quarterback is either the most popular player among fans or someone you hope never sees the light of day on the field. WVU has two very talented but very green backup quarterbacks in Chugunov and Crest.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Season Stats & Review

William Crest
Completions Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt Completion Percentage Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Rushing Attempts Rushing Yards Rushing Touchdown
11 25 124 4.96 44 0 1 77.7 20 107 1

Chris Chugunov
Completions Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt Completion Percentage Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Rushing Attempts Rushing Yards Rushing Touchdown
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

*Note: Chris Chugunov redshirted in 2015 and did not play in any games to accumulate statistics.

William Crest forced Dana Holgorsen's hand in 2014. He came in with such talent and such ability that Dana was unable to redshirt him. Crest saw his first game action against the Towson Tigers in 2014. William is such a dynamic runner that his passing abilities are underdeveloped.

The way that Dana practices requires his quarterbacks to throw. A lot. Coming from a system that did not throw as much as the Air Raid, Crest suffered a shoulder injury in 2014 and ultimately received a medical redshirt for 2014. Entering 2015, Crest firmly entrenched himself as the immediate backup to starter Skyler Howard.

Crest saw his most significant game action against Libery and Kansas. Against Liberty, Crest played the entire 4th quarter, completing all 6 of his passes. Against Kansas, Crest entered the game midway through the 3rd quarter, completing only 3 of 10 passes with his lone interception of the season. He also added 56 yards rushing against the Jayhawks.

While Crest did not see much game time as the main signal caller for the Mountaineers, he did play in many games. Dana used him as a Wildcat QB, receiver and running back. The Mountaineers even developed a trick play directly involving Crest. Motioning or starting Crest out wide, the Mountaineers ran what appears to be a bubble screen for Crest. Crest would start to run upfield, stop before the line of scrimmage and heave a pass in the direction of a streaking Jovon Durante. The play never worked as Durante was always double covered.

Chris Chugunov comes in recruited by former quarterback coach Shannon Dawson. He was under-recruited coming out of New Jersey, so he will be looking to prove himself with the Mountaineers. Standing at 6'-1" and 190 pounds, "Chugs" has the initial height and frame to be a solid contributor for the Mountaineers.

2016 Outlook

For me, you hope a backup quarterback never sees the light of day unless its the way Crest did. In blowout games where you want to get players necessary game time, the backup quarterback should be in there. Otherwise, you are assuming the worst, an injury to your starting quarterback. Despite Skyler Howard's obvious flaws, he is still the best option for the Mountaineers in 2016.

Crest will likely see game action in both blowout wins and in other roles with the first team units. Crest has such great athleticism that he should be utilized as much as he can. Expect him to get the ball on handoffs, sweeps, bubble screens, short come backs and other ways to utilize his size and speed.

If something does happen to Skyler Howard, expect William Crest to be the immediate starter. If Howard is only out a game, I think you will see Crest start the game. If Skyler Howard suffers a long-term injury that keeps him out multiple games or the rest of the season, you may just see Chris Chugunov take over for the Mountaineers.

Projected 2016 Stats

William Crest
Completions Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt Completion Percentage Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Rushing Attempts Rushing Yards Rushing Touchdown
14 28 175 6.25 50 2 1 118.9 45 220 3

Chris Chugunov
Completions Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt Completion Percentage Touchdowns Interceptions Rating Rushing Attempts Rushing Yards Rushing Touchdown
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0