WVU Success Depends Upon Two Positions in 2015

Photo credit: RantSports.com

Photo credit: RantSports.com

For the most part, WVU is loaded and experienced for 2015. Just watch and listen to Head Coach Dana Holgorsen in all of his interviews.

For a man with his neck on the line as a head coach, Holgorsen appears to be very confident. If he does not experience substantial success  this year his job as well as his head coaching career is likely over.

With 7 – 6 as your best effort in any conference, you are not going to draw much interest from A Ds looking for head coaches. But with all the returning talent on both offense and defense, this should be the Mountaineers’ year to shine in the Big 12.

But there is always the question of the unknown, this year its at QB as well as the left offensive tackle. Both positions are crucial to the success of any team and the 2015 Mountaineers are no different.

Junior Skyler Howard, 6’0″ 202 lbs, is the heir apparent at QB. His knowledge of the offense as well as his scrambling ability are two very important assets. But his completion average for 2014 was barely over 50%. A very winnable Liberty Bowl game against Texas A & M was lost due in part to Howard’s inaccuracy.

A glitch in Howard’s delivery was noticed and pointed out by senior inside receiver Jordan Thompson. Since he did so, he has reported Howard’s passing as being much improved.

One of the few unsettled positions on the offensive line is that of the left tackle. Projected as the starter is 6’5″ 312 lb r-jr Adam Pankey. Behind him is 6’6″ 306 lb  r-fr Marcell Lazard. Transfer Chris Bosch becoming eligible could have a domino effect on the OL, as he will likely take a starting spot at guard.

If Howard and his personal bodyguard on the OL have a good year it could be special for WVU in the Big 12. But If either position has a mediocre year, it will likely bring the entire team down to another year of obscurity. It would also likely mean a change in head coaches.

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3 thoughts on “WVU Success Depends Upon Two Positions in 2015

    • That is the thing! Holgorsen and his coaches have created depth at most every position. There will be returning players to fill the majority of these slots, plus, not all 22 seniors are starters, some are back-ups, and others are just on the team.

      Starters and back-ups who aren’t seniors: DT Darrien Howard, QB Skyler Howard, RB Elijah Wellman, S Dayron Henry, RB Donte Thomas-Williams, WB/WR William Crest, WR Shelton Gibson, and this list can go on.

      Then you have Seniors such as Antonio Crawford, who aren’t starters, and then there is WR KJ Meyers who we seldom hear about.

      Thus, not all 22 seniors are critical to WVU’s success or lack of success in 2015. The team this season has depth and balance, as it will have next season.

      The least depth that WVU has is on the OL, and hopefully, WVU can build depth at this position as the season goes on.

      You have to look at each senor and see where they are on the depth chart, and then look and see what underclassmen are playing that position, in order to determine the impact of their loss, then you have to considered the experience each underclassman gains this year.

      I see a much better over-all team in 2016 than I do this year, due to the lack of experience as a group that the offense has going into this season.

  1. Michael, I like the article. It is well written. However, I’m not sure WVU’s success boils down to two positions.

    I haven’t been impressed with WVU’s OL in the past 4 years. The OL, in my opinion, has been medicore at best.

    My biggest concern position wise is the QB. While Skyler Howard has his fans, he hasn’t won me over. I hope he can.

    I don’t see Holgorsen’s job in jeapordy. If WVU can win 7 or 8 games this season, I see Holgorsen back for 2016. The reason is, Dana finally going in the right direction and he finally has the coaches to get it done.

    The reason I don’t see this team winning more than 7 or 8 games this season is this is basically a new offense. This offense has little game experience experience together. It takes game experience for players to come together and play as a complete unit where they become a force on the field.

    Now if WVU doesn’t win 7 or more games, then ‘yes’ Dana is gone. On the other hand if he is around for 2016, he has to win 10 or more games.

    What could hurt Holgorsen and what most likely will determine if he is around in 2016, won’t be winning 7 or 8 games, but will be him not getting in and winning a Bowl Game. This to me will be the determining factor as to if Holgorsen will be around in 2016.

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