McKoy Becoming the Answer
Outside receiver is taken care of. The slot position may have just gotten better.
A week ago the West Virginia receiving corp took a huge hit after Marcus Simms was suspended for the game opener against Virginia Tech. To make matters worse junior Jovon Durante who had not been present all camp announced he was transferring to Florida Atlantic University to play for coach Lane Kiffin.
Coach Dana on the other hand, does not seem to notice the difference.
“Our starters have been starters from day one.” Holgorsen said, referring to his receivers. “When it comes to David Sills (V), Gary Jennings and Ka’Raun White, those guys have been starting and those guys do everything right and I’m excited about what years that they’re going to have.”
There have been questions surrounding depth all training camp regarding wideouts, but the top three receivers have spent quality time on the field in Holgorsen’s eyes. Although after those three, things become scarce.
For an offense that works out of the spread, it would be difficult to consistently do that with three receivers, and that is where Simms comes in.
Even when Simms returns from suspension in the Mountaineers home opener against East Carolina, there will still be questions looming at the position. Simms last season played in very limited time behind Shelton Gibson, Dakiel Shorts and the talented receiving corp from last season. Although Simms played in ten games in his freshman season, he had six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Is the potential there? Of course, but it is hard to find out and produce when you are not on the field.
So the question remains, who is the fourth, maybe even fifth “guy” in the empty set.
Under these circumstances, it has led the Mountaineers to explore their options, and as far as we know. That is not going well. When asked if he notices any backup receivers stepping up, Coach Holgorsen wasted no time saying, “No.”
There are minimal concerns with the abilities of the guys on the outside.
“David started against Arizona State at outside receiver and Gary played outside receiver all of last year.” Holgorsen said.
Which shifts the focus to everyone behind them. Fearing a situation like this, Holgorsen and Offensive Coordinator Jake Spavital began to give time to sophomore running back Kennedy McKoy and Freshman running back Tevin Bush at slot receiver. So far it has been a success. McKoy’s 6 foot, 200-pound frame has been just what Holgorsen has been looking for.
“He has shown versatility to be able to do things in the backfield, much like we did with Wendell (Smallwood) a couple of years ago before he was the main guy at running back.” Holgorsen said, he continued on to talk about how he plans to use McKoy. “So, we’ll use McKoy in a lot of different ways, which he did in the spring. In my opinion, he’s one of our top four guys right now.”
Smallwood had great success in the passing game during his Mountaineer career. Smallwood caught 68 passes for 618 yards during his three years in Morgantown. If Holgorsen wants to use McKoy like a Wendell Smallwood that becomes a stronger offense with two guys like McKoy and Justin Crawford in the game at the same time.
McKoy may not be just a complement to Crawford, but the answer to the passing game as well.