It seems to be very apparent that WVU will have to rely on the running game to keep it in ball games this season. Everyone is wanting to find out who the next Stedman Bailey, Kevin White. Tavon Austin and Mario Alford will be.
I don’t see a WVU WR performing at the level of these players in 2015, for to do so you have to have a QB who consistently completes 60% of more of his passes, and as it stands currently WVU’s No. 1 QB Skyler Howard is only completing 40% of his passes.
Knowing this, it is unlikely that WVU will have a successful ‘Air Raid’ offense, and will have to depend on the running backs to get it done. This also means that the offensive line must do a much better job at opening and maintaining lanes for the RBs to run in.
Now don’t get me wrong, WVU has some receivers who have the potential to make plays like 4 players listed above, but what they don’t have is a QB who can get them the ball consistently. A low completion rate dictates that WVU will have to run the ball more. WVU has the running backs to carry the load, but can the offensive line give them the chance to excel?
If the offensive line can open holes and block at the next level, WVU definitely has a group of running backs that can give opponents fits, and a few headaches along the way: Rushel Shell, Wendell Smallwood, Donte Thomas-Williams, Jacque Marcellus, and Eli Wellman can definitely get the job done with carrying the ball, and with blocking.
This group of running backs has speed, power, and Marcellus has the moves, and ability to cut and change direction.
By being able to run the ball, WVU won’t have to try to force the ball down field or over the middle. Late passes over the middle are prime for defenders to intercept. I don’t care how good of a group of receivers you have, if you don’t have a QB who can consistently make the throws and get them the ball, then are forced to run the ball.
If the OL can block for the RBs then WVU should be able to compete with most any opponent. However, if WVU gets into a game where they are having to air it out, they could find themselves on the losing end, for I just don’t see WVU being able to have a dominant passing game.
The talent is there with the core of receivers, but does not appear to be at QB. However, could this all change? Yes, providing whomever the starter is, they can bring accuracy and consistency to the passing game.
As we all know anything is possible and strange things do happen.
My biggest concern of WVU going into the 2015 season, is at the QB position. While some believe the QB position is of minimal concern, I don’t agree. If you want an ‘Air Raid’ offense, then you need a QB who is accurate and who can find his open receivers.
Someone who isn’t late with his passes, and can throw a player open. It is for this reason that I see WVU struggling to win 6 or 7 games in 2015.
The QB talent will improve and be more ready to play in 2016. The other thing is that this is basically a new group of players learning to play together. They have to learn to trust each other, and these things take time and real game time experience. It will take these players a year to come together and lean to play as a team.
GOOD LUCK!!! And