In my opinion WVU’s Offensive Line needs fixed first. My question is does the Mountaineers have the players and talent it needs to fix the problem this season, or is this a problem that will have to wait until the next class comes in.
Recently I went to watch an Ohio high school football game: Piqua vs Sidney. Sidney has a tackle #53. Watching him play, I thought how he could help WVU. This kid had good foot work and knew what to do with his hands. He is a Sr at Sidney, and this kid controlled the right edge for 4 Qtrs. He doesn’t have a WVU offer. He impressed me more that anyone playing tackle for WVU. I don’t know if WVU is or has looked at him. I hope WVU contacts Athletic Director, Mitch Hoying to get information on this kid.
If WVU can fix the OL then it will fix other offensive issues. WVU QBs will get less pressure and more time to throw the ball, running backs will get holes to run through and down field blocking to help them get longer runs. This will also help the defense. It will allow the defense to get some rest. It will help motivate the offense, defense and special teams.
Another thing that could help is more use of the TEs in the passing game, especially when passing over the middle. These things and blending in the ‘bunch offense’ could very well improve the play of the offense. It could also confuse defenses.
I believe the issues with the defensive backs can be corrected by coaching. In the Iowa State game RB David Montgomery has for the Cyclones got his yardage running around the left end, he was stuffed more often than not when trying to run the middle. WVU LB Shea Campbell made 12 of these tackles. Cyclone WR Hakeem Butler who caught 6 passes for 107 yards gave WVU defensive backs all sorts of issues, for they couldn’t stop him. while WVU’s defense did a good job of stopping runs up the middle, they could get pressure on the Cyclones QB Brock Purdy, nor did they an answer for Hakeem Butler.
WVU’s Special Teams had their issues. Marcus Simms dropped a punt which he was able to gather and got a descent return out of it. Simms had 4 kick returns for 31 yards and 1 punt return for 14 yards. To add to the lack luster preformance Evan Staley had problems kicking the ball in or through the endzone. It is evident Special Teams also needs lots of work. Billy Kinney had 8 punts for 332 yards, and was the best performer on Special Teams.
Going back to my earlier article on this game, what I didn’t see. WVU had no runs outside the tackles, most of the running plays were between the tackles where the RBs were tackled immediately. There were no passes to the TEs, and the FBs never ran the ball. Lastly the WRs could seem to find a vacated area to catch a pass.
WVU’s offense needs a lot of help, more so than the defense. My issue with the defense they didn’t rush or blitz off the Cyclones left side. When Montgomery rushed off the left side there wasn’t a Mountaineer there to greet him.
I hope Holgorsen and his coaches have the talent to fix the OL issues.