Since WVU has become a member of the Big 12 in football, slow starts have been common place. We saw this in 2012 when WVU had Geno Smith, Tavon Austin & Stedman Bailey. Holgorsen was a little rougher on his player during press conferences back then by naming players and calling them out.
Today, Holgorsen takes more ownership of the slow starts, but with the losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State he alludes to the lack of experience of his basically new offense.
To avoid saying anything negative about his starting QB Skyler Howard he’ll say things like: ‘the receivers have got to run better routes’ and ‘the receivers have to do a better job at catching the ball’. These guys aren’t dropping passes. Howard isn’t getting the ball close enough to them to catch it or they are very well covered.
The biggest issue I see this season is WVU basically has one quality running back and that is Wendell Smallwood. 4-Star recruit Rushel Shell III isn’t getting it done and although he is in his 2nd year, 4-Star recruit Donte Thomas-Williams is earning little playing time.
Basically WVU has two 4-Star duds at RB, and what is even more strange is that FB/TE Elijah Wellman has not yet been given a chance to run the ball. Wellman is a bigger and more powerful back than Shell or DTW, and is used primarily as a blocking back. Then there is the fleet footed Jacky Marcellus who has gotten little playing time.
WR Jordan Thompson is getting fewer touches and I don’t understand why for he has proven he can make plays. WR Daikiel Shorts has also become a play maker.
Then there is TE/FB Cody Clay who is utilized primarily for blocking, but he can also catch and run with the ball. Wellman has had 2-TD catches this season, but like Clay is not given enough touches of the ball.
Why not give Big 12 teams something different to look at. Utilize Clay like the Patriots use Gronkowski. Clay can catch and is a bigger stronger receiver.
Give Wellman more carries for he is like a bull running the ball. No, Wellman doesn’t have quick feet, he runs with power and doesn’t care to lower his shoulder and take on a defender.
Why not use Jacky Marcellus like Tavon Austin and let him catch the ‘touch pass’ like the Rams used Tavon to score a TD against the Packers?
Mix it up and do something different. And as good as Skyler Howard is running WVU’s offense, let’s be honest, he isn’t a passer, and WVU needs a QB who can throw accurate passes. WVU won games with Clint Trickett who was a pocket passer and struggled running Holgorsen’s offense.
Defensively WVU plays well. The nose tackles Kyle Rose and Darrien Howard are both making plays, getting sacks, tackles for loss and knocking down passes.
Another area that is need of improvement is the blocking on special teams. WVU has yet to have a big run back. At least the punt return game has improved over what it was last season.
What does WVU need to do to start fast when playing Big 12 teams?
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