What WVU’s Win Over Iowa State Reveals

Gibson vs IS

There is a lot going on in NCAA Football. Rumors have it that Les Miles is being fired as LSU’s head coach, Paul Rhodes has been fired as Iowa State’s head coach. Many NCAA coaches have or will be fired and others are retiring.

What WVU fans cannot afford to see is Dana Holgorsen take a coaching job elsewhere or being fired. Earlier in the season I predicted WVU would go 7 – 5 or 8 – 4 due to the lack of experience on the offense, and this will be how WVU finishes the 2015 Season. With a Bowl win WVU could finish with 8 or 9 wins, depending on the Kansas State game next Saturday evening.

I like this WVU football team, and I expect them to win 10 or more games in both 2016 and 2017. I see a team that is growing, maturing, and learning to play together as a unit.

I have complained about WVU QB Skyler Howard all season. And while is he still a poor passer, and late with his short to intermediate passes, I have to give him an ‘A’ for game management.

While Shelton Gibson looked great at times against the Cyclones, he at times looked horrible. Gibson had way too many dropped passes. He and Rushel Shell III both need to do a better job holding on to the ball when going to the ground. One of these fumble/non-fumble’s is going to come back and bite Shell or WVU at a critical point in a game.

A couple of things I’d like to see going forward: (1) Giving the ball to Eli Wellman earlier in the game; and (2) dropping back two punt returners instead of one.

WVU has finally got a team that was recruited by Holgorsen and his coaching staff, and it shows. Next year WVU should have a much more balanced attack between the run and pass. Wendell Smallwood, Rushel Shell III, and Eli Wellman will be back, and we may finally see something out of Donte Thomas-Williams.

The passing game should be much better since Shelton Gibson, Jovon Durante, Ka’Raun White, and Dave Sills have some playing time. To help the receivers, I look to see a QB change. Even during the Iowa State game the announcers talked about how Howard struggles throwing the short and intermediate passes. I look to see a more proficient passer at QB next year for WVU.

While Skyler Howard did a very good job managing the Iowa State game; he only completed 46.2% of his passes and finished the day with a QBR of 116.4. It’s these stats week after week that have me believing he won’t be the QB next season.

Paul Rhodes has a lot of freshmen starting at Iowa State and from what I saw today, he has the Cyclones primed for a big year next season. The reason I mention this is because I see the same thing at WVU with Holgorsen. Holgorsen has the Mountaineers primed to make prime-time the next 2-seasons, and to lose Holgorsen now would really set this team back. I like where the Mountaineers are at and where this team is heading.

I’m not saying that there isn’t a lot of room for improvement, or that I’m agreeing with everything Holgorsen does or says. What I’m saying is that he and his coaches have recruited players that fit into what he wants to do, and that the success WVU has had in the running the game this season will go will with Holgorsen’s ‘Air Raid’ next season, and give WVU’s offense a much more balanced attack.

Next, WVU has a tough game against Kansas State in Kansas. This is a game they need and should win.

Congratulations to the coaches and players on the win over the Cyclones!!!

GO EERs!!!

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