I don’t know about you, but the game in Stillwater had me questioning some coaching decisions:
WVU RB Rushel Shell is the biggest of the RBs at 5’10”, 225. The big back with proven game experience is Eli Wellman at 6’1″, 240. My question is why wasn’t Wellman used to do some of the pound-and-ground that Shell had been doing? I realize Wellman doesn’t have the speed or moves Shell does, but if he only picks up 3 or 4 yards a carry, he is moving the ball and wearing down the defense.
When you are behind on the scoreboard, why use players with little or no game experience? WVU inserted Marcus Simms, who immediately dropped a catchable ball from Skyler Howard. We never saw Simms back on the field after this.
Then Tevon Wesco went in and dropped two passes from Howard. Neither Simms nor Wesco have meaningful game experience. What gets me with this is that William Crest, Gary Jennings, and Devonte Mathis all with proven game experience remained on the sideline. Crest is listed as QB/RB, why didn’t he receive any carries?
If Shell is going to be out for any length of time, I don’t see how WVU can afford not to give Wellman more touches. This may be a case where you play Wellman and Michael Ferns, and have Ferns block for Wellman.
With TE Tevon Wesco proving he can’t or doesn’t want to catch a ball in a game, it may be time to see what Stone Wolfley can do.
The thing with WVU’s offense is that there are only 3 players who are consistent week-after-week. Three player that can be counted on no matter the play or opponent and that is Daikiel Shorts, Tyler Orlosky and Eli Wellman. We will most likely see Shorts and Orlosky playing on Sunday.
Going into this season, WVU was predicted to have one of the best offensive lines in the Big 12. However, the play of the O-line since starting Big 12 play have proven this is not the case. While this O-line isn’t close to being one of the best, it isn’t the worst either.
Oklahoma State exposed what many had considered to be one of the top defenses in the nation. WVU struggled with both zone and one-on-one coverage. And we often saw WVU LBs failing to play their gaps.
There are 3 WVU defensive players who we could see playing on Sunday: Nobel Nwachukwu, Justin Arndt, and Rasul Douglas.
On Special Teams: We still haven’t seen a long punt or kick-off return, this is due to blocking. Mike Molina can’t seem to make a field-goal longer than 38 yards, and lacks consistency on putting kick-offs in the endzone. However, I like this kid, and I believe he will get better. Punter Billy Kenny is doing a very good job averaging 49-yards a punt.
As WVU’s offensive line fails to protect Skyler Howard, Howard’s play regresses. The clock in Howard’s head speeds up, and he begins to make mental mistakes. Inserting unproven receivers in the line up doesn’t help.
Howard needs to slow his mind down. The best example of this was the TD pass to KaRaun White in the endzone against OSU was short, instead of being a routine play.
Respect has to be earned. Just as fans and the media begin to give WVU respect they fall apart. This has been the signature of this team since joining the Big 12.
The question now is, can WVU correct the course or will the finish the season 6 – 6 or 7 – 5? WVU Center Tyler Orlosky said in his OSU post game interview that if they didn’t correct the course, this team would be just like the other WVU teams that went before them…nothing special.