WVU finally played 4 full quarters of football, and hopefully has over came their embarassing 14 – 30 loss to Iowa State. The last time WVU put up big points like this was when they trounced Clemson in the 2012 Orange Bowl 70 – 33. This was also the Best Offensive Line WVU has had since Holgorsen became head coach. This offensive line could run and pass block. The 2018 offensive line struggles at blocking for the pass, and are much worse at blocking on running plays.
After the game I listened to ESPN Analyst Dave Wannstedt who picked WVU and Oklahoma to play in the Big 12 Conference Title play-off game. Wannstedt said his concern with WVU is they can’t run the ball, and are a one dimensional team, because of only being able to pass. I saw on Facebook where this upset some WVU fans over his comment, because in the 4th quarter WVU did have two big running plays. However looking at the ESPN game stats you can understand where he is coming from.
As you can see out of 33 rushing attempts WVU only had 2 rushing downs with Tevon Bush, the smallest of the RBs, having a run of 79 yards, and Martel Pettaway having a 33 yard run. Letty Brown came in 3rd with a run of 10 yards. This means that WVU successfully ran the ball less than 10% of the time, and finished the game with only 79 rushing yards. This also proves that WVU only averaged just over 2 yards per carry.
While WVU has a talented group of running backs, it takes blocking up front by the offensive line to open holes for these guys to run through, and there must be some down field blocking to go along with it. I have to agree with Wannstedt. I am also concerned about all the pressure Will Grier is getting. Earlier this season WVU’s OL was elated about how few sacks and hits Grier had taken, but these were non-conference games. Now that WVU has entered Big 12 play, Grier is being sacked and taken a lot more hits. This offensive line must step up big time for WVU to win the Big 12 Conference.
WVU’s receiving corp is one of the best in the nation. The WVU players who impressed me most against Baylor were Home-Grown WV boys. Sean Campbell who got his first interception; Trevon Wesco who after catching a Will Grier pass refused to be tackled, and then there was the ‘killer tackle’ made by Dante Stills on the Baylor quarterback for a tackle for a loss. Stone Wolfley also had a Tackle for a loss. I love seeing the Home-Growns playing well, and having a positive impact on the defense and a game. These guys represent WV and WVU in a positive way and it proves WV does produce talented football players. Perhaps Holgorsen and his staff needs to recruit some WV talent for the offensive line.