It all starts up front. The WVU offensive line is much improved over last year. When Pat Eger can't get a starting position somewhere on the offensive line that speaks volumes to me. The 6'6"- 302 lb senior was a starting tackle last season and learned the center position in the spring. He knows every position on the OL. This year Eger is listed as a back-up at guard and tackle.
Last season the offensive line was mediocre or inconsistant at best. OL coach Ron Crook has installed a new blocking scheme based upon what he taught at Sanford, but tailored to head coach Dana Holgorsen's spread offense. Starting on the OL this year is expected to be:
LT – Spain LG – Lucas C – Orlosky RG – Glowinski RT – Feigt
6'5"- 335 6'4"- 312 6'4"- 302 6'5"- 305 6'7"- 314
Depending upon the formation, running backs coach JaJuan Seider can choose from:
Charles Sims 6'0"- 215 lb Sr. / Dreamius Smith 5'11"- 220 lb Jr. / Dustin Garrison 5'8"- 185 lb Jr. / Andrew Buie 5'9"- 190 lb Jr. / and freshman Wendell Smallwood 5'11"- 195 lb at the A back (RB) position.
At the B back (FB) position, Seider has: Cody Clay 6'3"- 250 lb r So / Garrett Hope 6'3"- 245 lb So / and Nate Majnaric 6'0"- 235 lb r Sr. to choose from.
Three of the A backs have had at least one 200 yd. game. Cody Clay is a multi talented B back that can line up or motion into any one of 3 positions. They can all run, block and catch. Coach Seider is picky about that.
That is the most talented collection of running backs I've witnessed at WVU in several years, probably since the 1988 Mountaineer backfield featuring AB Brown, Eugene Napoleon, Undra Jounson and Craig Taylor.
So the logical conclusion is that with Geno, Austin and Bailey in the NFL now, the Mountaineers had better be able to run the ball or they are doomed to a losing season. That's what I hear.
Even with all that talent in the backfield they appear to be a one dimensional offense. With teams like Texas, Oklahoma, etc. loading up the box, WVU won't have much of a chance. Or will they…
Some are still trying to guess who will start for the Mountaineers at quarterback. I don't have any doubt, and apparently Mike Cassazza doesn't either.
Let's check out his assessment of the starting quarterback courtesy of the WVU Sports Blog and his all camp team. Casazza had this to say about Clint Trickett:
He needed the reps to catch up to the other two, but he was also the No. 1 when Holgorsen let the media see practice — and though that might be a nominal honor, it is not a hollow one. And while Holgorsen said nice things about Paul Millard and Ford Childress, he never talked about presence and personality like he did with Trickett.
Trickett did throw for over 300 yards and 3 toucdowns against a ranked Clemson team in 2011. He has continued to improve and had a good spring practice with Florida State before tranferring to WVU. As far as fall practice with the Mountaineers, I think Casazza covered it pretty well.
So who is Trickett going to throw to without Austin and Bailey? Well, we've seen the talent of Kevin White throughout spring and fall practices. He is, as they say, the real deal. The 6'3"- 215 lb. White has established himself as the starter at the outside X receiver position.
KJ Meyers, 6'2"- 200 lb. r-So. has stepped up his game throughout fall camp to prove that White isn't the only tall deep threat on the outside. He will rotate with White.
Starting accross the field at the outside Z position is Ronald Carswell, the 6'0"- 180 lb multi talented JUCO transfer that originally signed with Alabama. As with former WVU reciever Stedman Bailey, Carswell doesn't do anything "great". But he does everything very well.
Rotating with Carwell will be 6'2"- 180 lb. Ivan McCartney, the talented but previously troubled Mountaineer senior with something to prove.
The inside Y position was in flux for awhile, with neither 4-star freshman Shelton Gibson or speed demon Mario Alford seeming to establish himself. The coaches tried freshman Daikiel Shorts there as an experiment and the 6'0"- 200 lb freshman took the position.
The 6'1" 200 lb fresman Gibson and the 5'9"- 175 lb JUCO transfer Mario Alford will be rotating with Shorts.
Listed as the other inside reciever at the H position is Cody Clay. Rotating with Clay will be Jacky Marcellus, 5'8"- 175 lb Fr. and Dante Campbell, 6'4"- 212 lb r So.
Can you imagine Sims, Smith, Clay, White and Myers all on the field at the same time with a QB that completes over 60% of his passes and an offensive line that protects him?
There is no doubt the Mountaineers can run the ball. But hey, Stoops, Brown, Patterson and all the rest of you. Remember, watch out for the pass!
Comments and debate welcome!