WVU Football – Looking ahead

A lot is being written and said about WVU’s 2016 football team. Dougity Dog has a new video featuring QB Skyler Howard. This video shows Howard hitting several Mountaineer receivers deep.

While he can be deadly accurate with an open receiver when he plants his feet, what the video doesn’t show is Howard connecting on short and intermediate pass routes.

I am obviously a critic of Skyler Howard, but I have never denied his passion, heart, and toughness. Skyler Howard has all of these qualities and they are impressive.

My concern going into the 2016 season, is whether he has improved on his problem areas and by how much. If Howard has not substantially improved them Chris Chugunov may get an opportunity. If Howard has overcome his deficits, he could be good.

Coach Holgorsen has not named a starter at the running back position. If anyone on WVU’s team is under pressure to perform to avoid having his playing time reduced it is Rushel Shell III. If he had Howard’s determination to go along with his own talent Shell could be special. But the incoming group of RBs will be heating up the competition.

At least three new players could see substantial playing time: They include running backs Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy, as well as wide receiver Steven Smothers.

Smothers has been compared to Tavon Austin as an inside receiver and can also run the ball. Crawford or McKoy could potentially be named the starter at RB, although it is unlikely.

TE/FB Michael Ferns will likely back-up Eli Wellman. Wellman is said to be the better runner, and I expect him to get more carries especially inside the red-zone and short-yardage downs.

The offensive and defensive lines are solid going into 2016, with big expectations from center Tyler Orlosky and defensive end Noble Nwachukwu. The primary concerns are at safety and corner.

I expect to see JUCO transfer Kazir White in the mix at safety or corner. Of all the brothers (Ferns, Adams, Whites, etc.) I look for the best match-up in practice to be between (WR) Ka’Raun and (S) Kazir White.

I would not surprised if practice became physical between these two, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. This is a match-up to keep an eye on. It could also get a little physical between (TE/FB) Michael Ferns and his brother (LB) Brendan. I fully expect both Ka’Raun and Kazir White to play this season.

The only sure bet at safety going into this is season is Dravon Askew-Henry. All of the other defensive back positions are up for grabs. It will be interesting to see who wins out, and who is No. 1 and No. 2 at all five positions.

WVU appears to be very strong and talented offensively. The offense also seems to be loaded with depth. Now if the defense and special teams can step up, WVU fans could be in for a very exciting season.

GO EERs!!!



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