With QB Will Grier, OL Kyle Bosch and OL Yodney Cajuste all missing from the line up due to injuries the WVU offense was basically non-existent against Utah. The offensive line got little to no push to open holes for the running game. WVU rushed for only 29 yards. Some folks may believe that RB Justin Crawford deciding not to play to prepare for the NFL Draft also had something to do with the lack of a running game and there may be some truth to this.
My take on this is that this loss proves the lack of depth and talent WVU has on the offensive line, and the fact WVU doesn’t have a back-up big power running back. Back-up QB Chris Chugunov took a pounding and ran for his life much of the game.
One thing was evident about Back-up QB Chris Chugunov and that was he didn’t put in the time he should have during the off-season and regular season to get his timing down with the receivers. This should have been part of his preparation just in case Will Grier went down. Which as we all know he eventually did. Another thing is why were Chugs passes deep passes. Chugs first few passes should have been short to intermediate to build his confidence.
What I saw today was a quarterback who got down on himself. Chris became extremely frustrated, and why not. He was over throwing open receivers, getting killed by a 320 defensive lineman, and running for his life. He got where his passes were sailing for he didn’t step into his throwns.
Going into the 2018 season WVU looks to improve defensively, for a lot of young talent returns. However, the offensive line has to improve and it has to have much more depth and talent. While WVU has depth at running back, it doesn’t have a big power running back nor do they have a back-up. When I look at the list of recent commits, I don’t see a running back. However, ATH Leddie Brown could become a running back. Can WVU find and sign a talented JUCO running back?
We have watch WVU offensive line struggle all season, and we watched how the running game stumbled when Justin Crawford was out with injury.
What WVU can’t afford in 2018 is to have an unprepared back-up QB. Both the starter and back-up need to have their timing down with all the receivers. This means that both QBs must spend extra time outside of practice working with the receivers.
For a QB who was sterting his 2nd game, and up until Grier went down, Chugs had little practice with the starters. Yet, against Utah the win or loss was placed squarely on Chugs shoulders, for WVU had no running game to relieve him of some of the pressure. There were times when Chugs should have faked the hand-off and ran with the ball, for he could have ran for some 1st downs. I would have had some running plays for Chugs. This could have opened up the running game, and success at running the ball could have given Chugs confidence.
I for one won’t blame Chugs for this loss. I will blame the loss on a lack of preparation during the season, and plays that didn’t all Chugs to run the ball. No, Chugs don’t have the speed or moves of Grier, but he could have picked up a 1st down or two to keep drives a live, WVU would have had a better shot at winning this game.
Hopefully, the OL 2018 commits will prove the talent and depth WVU needs to add quality depth in 2018, and hopefully, WVU can find a big talented running back that is a plus 235 lbs. and no matter who the back-up QB is begin preparing him now, not after Grier goes down.
GO EERs and Better Luck in 2018!!!