I was reading a forum comment regarding WVU today, and the fan stated that WVU’s OL blocks the same way for the run as it does the pass. I’ll have to watch to see if this was going on, as it should not be happening.
Football teams at all levels that win championships have a good power running game to compliment the their passing game or vice versa. These teams have offensive lines that can get a 5-yard push, and are efficient inside the redzone.
WVU can run the ball, but they struggle with power running plays as they lack the ability to get a decent push. I have only seen WVU’s OL get a push of more than 3-yards a couple of time this season.
WVU’s inability to establish a power running game started before Holgorsen was hired. WVU’s passing game allows them to win games, but not the ability to shove the ball down the opponent’s throat. Until they can add a power running game, they will not win the Big XII Championship or a National Title.
You must be able to capitalize on having the ball in an opponent’s red zone, and field goals should be the exception rather than the rule.
The Mountaineers must also improve on take-a-ways. WVU is losing the turnover battle, and this has to be fixed. In 5 games this season WVU has intercepted 3 passes and has caused no fumbles. While getting pressure on the QB looked improved against Kansas, it is still an issue.
Special teams is also an issue for WVU: Teams are to often having long kick and punt returns against them, and WVU is having field goal attempts blocked. The Mountaineers have minimal punt return yardage this season, and this too has got to improve.
Also needed are more deep threats at wide receiver. WVU currently has only two and they are Kevin White and Mario Alford. They desperately need another wide receiver to step up.
The tight ends must also improve their game. Many teams today are making use of the tight ends as receivers. While WVU does throw to them, they don’t do it with any regularity. More throws to the TEs would help with both the running and passing game.
I’d like to see WVU get a big power running back that can also catch. A player that can hit the line of scrimmage and pick up 1 to 3 yards on his own with regularity. Rushel Shell may grow into the role in the weight room.
The positives for WVU begins with the starting QB Clint Trickett, and his two top receivers Kevin White and Mario Alford. Then we have the kickers and punters: Josh Lambert, Nick O’Toole and Michael Molinari. The OL is doing a good job with pass protection. WVU has a much improved defense and is loaded at running back.
What WVU needs to do is to maintain these positives and work to improve the negatives.
WVU may win only 3 more games this season: Iowa State, Texas, and Texas Tech, but even these will not be easy. Right now I expect WVU to struggle in every remaining game. I would be pleasantly surprised if the Mountaineers finished better than 6 – 6.