With WVU coaches and players wanting to erase last season’s 4 – 8 season, this team is hyped up to start the 2014 season. Most every WVU player who got game time last season has something he wants to improve upon. There is something he did or did not do in a game or games that haunts him, and he wants to remove this from his memory.
We have heard players like Kevin White talk about his fumble that cost WVU a touchdown against Iowa State. We also heard Daryl Worley talk about the Oklahoma State game and the confusion that lead to him being out of position. These guys are remembering their mistakes and it haunts them. These are things that can only be overcome by erasing them with more positive play.
The players on this season’s team are on a mission. They know they were better than last season’s 4 – 8 record. If WVU could have held on to only four of those games, they would have been 8 – 4, but they lost them either in the fourth quarter or overtime.
In an interview with Jeff Culhane, Kevin White stated that Gibson was fast, and that Parker was small but had moves. White predicted we would be seeing them this season.
WVU Head Coach DanaHolgorsen stated in his interview with Culhane that he was impressed with Crest and that he would be getting reps, and that freshman DB Dravon Henry was practicing with the ones. You can also expect to hear freshman linebacker Edward Muldrow’s name this season.
No one should be surprised if by mid-season, Crest has replaced Millard as the number one backup behind Trickett.
The biggest questions I see going into the season are one; Has the defensive line improved enough to make a difference? And two, has the offensive line improved enough to protect the QB?
I believe we can count on seeing a much improved group of receivers with the addition of Gibson and Parker. Both of these players will be difference makers, and if Gibson can catch as well as he did in high school, he will have many chances to show off his track team speed. Few players can stay with Gibson on a fly route if Trickett can get the ball to him:
Video by ScoutingOhio.com
Not only can Gibson catch, but if he has a step on a defender, he is gone. He also has a talent for getting his body in position to make the tough catches.
This video highlights that Lamar Parker has good hands and some pretty good moves. He catches one pass that is low in a crowd . Parker will also use his body to get in position to make a catch:
Video by hudl
Check out Dravon Henry and the way he hits on defense:
Video by Preps TV
Watch Edward Muldrow’s speed and how quickly he can get to the quarterback:
Video by hudl
I am not worried about the play of the DBs or LBs on defense, nor the play of the QB, WRs and RBs on offense. I’m not concerned about the kicking game. Like many fans, I want to see much better DL and OL play.
With Coach Bradley in charge of the DL with his 25+ years at Penn State, you can bet he has worked to improve the OL as well. I think it would be safe to say that both the DL and OL have improved.
I also expect nose tackle Darrien Howard to make a huge impact. Howard shows signs of his speed and strength last season in the few games he played. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him and Kyle Rose on the field at the same time when they play Alabama.
There are a few things I hope to see this season. I hope we see Clay and Wellman carrying the ball. These are two big horses that could make a hole in the line even if there is none. First and goal plus third or fourth and short, I’d give the ball to one of them while the other led the way.
I’d also like to see some comeback routes. Comeback routes could really help Kevin White get separation.
I really do not see WVU winning less than 8 games, and they could win 9 or more. It all depends on how they grow as a team and how well they play together. I believe the talent is there as well as the experience and depth.
I truly believe WVU could upset Alabama. Alabama has its own issues, and WVU may be able to run and pass with consistency against them.
With this additional talent to add to the depth that WVU already has, I truly believe WVU is in for a very good season. A season that will energize the fans, and will help the Mountaineers regain some of the respect they have lost. This should be the BEST team WVU has fielded in the past few years.