WVU Football has had its struggles, basically since Don Nehlen retired as Head Coach. After Nehlen we saw an offense that was fun to watch, and a fairly stout defense. However, the special teams were not so special. We saw a decline in recruiting and scholarships going unfilled.
When Holgorsen became head coach in waiting, he soon took over as HC. Holgorsen had to recruit an offense staff, and a back-up quarterback. The following year he had to recruit a defensive staff, as well as players. While there were some finds, many recruits were just bodies.
Holgorsen stated early that he never recruits more than one quarterback a year, but this fell apart just as quickly as his first defensive coaching staff. Holgorsen has since learned from his mistakes, and this can easily been seen with his current coaching staff and the players WVU is now recruiting.
2015 will mark the first time that the defense has had the same coordinator in consecutive years under Holgorsen. This will be first time that two or more quality quarterbacks are battling for the starting position. This is also the first season that WVU fans will see a team grow and mature together to prepare for the following season.
When WVU goes into the 2016 season, the team will have a year of experience under its belt, with many returning starters, especially on offense. WVU will also have a quarterback and receivers returning with a year of experience.
I’m already reading where some fans want Holgorsen gone if WVU should have what they call another mediocre season. I’m not sure how you can call 2015 a mediocre season if WVU wins 7 or 8 games, as 2015 is a rebuilding year for the offense.
The one issue I’m hearing about and seeing going into the 2015 season is the passing ability of the quarterbacks. Though it’s early, it appears every quarterback is having issues throwing the ball. This is the one area of the offense that has to improve. Passes that float are on the quarterback and will lead to interceptions.
Hopefully, most of the passing issues will decline before the season starts as the quarterbacks and receivers work together. However, this has to go beyond practice time. This means the receivers and quarterbacks have to spend time working on their own to get their timing down in seven on seven practices.
It was this type of devotion that helped Geno Smith throw so accurately to Bailey and Austin. It was this type of devotion that helped Trickett throw to White and Alford. This is something the quarterbacks and receivers must do on their own.
The second issue I’m seeing and hearing about is that the offensive line is still having problems blocking. Holgorsen stated recently that the defensive line was night and day different and better than last season, but the only mention about the offensive line came from reporters that stated the defense owned the offense.
When I only hear that an offensive lineman is making progress, it is a far cry from hearing how the offensive line is playing as a unit. What I want to hear is that the offensive line is improving as a group. According the results of this past Saturday’s scrimmage, the offensive line is struggling. The lack of run blocking by the offensive line has continued to hurt the running game.
For WVU to win more than 7 games in 2015, quarterback passing must improve, at least two outside receivers must move to the top, and the offense line has improve its run blocking skills. If these things don’t improve WVU could have another 5 or 6 win season.
The good news is that there are over four months of practice left. I hope to hear by July that the coaches and fans are seeing much improvement in these areas, or else WVU will be a team with a top ranked defense and a mediocre offense.