WILLIAMSBURG, Va.-Veteran William and Mary head football coach Jimmye Laycock wasn't as concerned about Dana Holgorsen's quarterback woes at Saturday's season opener at West Virginia University.
That's because The Tribe's head man has some decisions to make before his team takes on the Mountaineers for the 17th time.
"(Senior) Michael (Graham) has done very well in the preseason," Laycock said during Monday's CAA teleconference. "He handled himself well and has improved. (Brent) Caprio is pretty close to being ready. But (Raphael) Ortiz, he's not ready."
Good news and bad news for a Willam and Mary team looking to bounce back from a 2-9 campaign in 2012.
"Mike's our starting quarterback against West Virginia," said Laycock. "I'm more concerned about preparing for West Virginia. That's the only thing I'm worried about."
In the six games Graham played in 2012. he completed 58 of 127 attempts for 776 yards and eight touchdowns. The lion's share of that-353 yards-came in a 41-31 loss to Old Dominion. He threw for 222 yards in a 21-14 setback to No. 20 Richmond in the season finale.
Both Caprio and Ortiz had solid games a year ago as well. Ortiz threw for 262 yards against Deleware and 177 against James Madison while Caprio passed for 220 yards in a 34-28 victory over Penn.
"It doesn't really make any difference who they (the quarterbacks) are at West Virginia, because they'te all pretty good players," said Laycock. "They plug in different players, but it's still the same scheme they have been running.
"The thing you worry about is the difference between the size and speed; you can't duplicate that in practice."
The Tribe too, though, has some of that back as well with the return of juniors Keith McBride II at tailback and Tre McBride at wide receiver. Keith McBride rushed for 689 yards and three touchdowns on 139 attempts while Tre McBride led the team with 55 receptions for 897 yards and 10 scores.
"(Tre) McBride and (Sean) Ballard are doing a good job at wide receiver, and our offensive line has been solid in the preseason," Laycock said. "Going against West Virginia will be a major challenge. We try to take care of ourselves, and hopefully, we will be in position to make the adjustments."
The Tribe did both a year ago in a 7-6 loss to the University of Maryland. The Tribe defeated Virginia by a 26-14 margin in 2009 and held a double-digit fourth quarter lead over North Carolina in 2010 before falling by a 21-17 score.
A fact that has not gone unnoticed by WVU's third-head head coach.
"They (William and Mary) have shown in the past that they can play with the 'big boys'," Holgorsen said. "We aren't at the point where we can afford to take any team lightly. I fully expect to get everything they have. I'm just hoping our players are ready to meet the challenge.
"You would hope that they would be with this being our opener and we should be playing in front of a packed house."
The last time the two programs matched up, WVU pulled out a 49-34 victory on Oct. 7, 1972 in Morgantown.
Laycock begins his 34th season at the helm of The Tribe. His 215 wins ranks fifth nationally among all active FCS coaches while his 92 conference (CAA) victories ranks third all-time in CAA history.
The noon start is slated to be televised by Fox Sports 1.