Thoughts On WVU’s Win Over Delaware State
We take a look back at some of Saturday’s positives and negatives in WVU’s win over Delaware State.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia improved to 2-1 on the season with a 59-16 win over Delaware State. While the Mountaineers won big, there was some good and bad taken away from the game.
- WVU was sloppy
The first half was hard to watch at times for Mountaineer fans. Several receivers dropped passes, including David Sills dropping a touchdown pass. Will Grier wasn’t as consistent as he usually is early on. He was sacked once, had two fumbles, one of which was recovered by the Hornets, and he was picked off. However, he Grier did finish with 304-yards for three touchdowns. The offense fumbled the ball a total of four times. There was the blown coverage by Marvin Gross that resulted in a touchdown and the defense missed some tackles, resulting in Delaware State gaining significant yardage. Overall, WVU looked sluggish on the field and lacked enthusiasm for the FCS opponent. “I know there was some sloppy stuff here and there, but I’m not going to split hairs when it comes to that type of stuff,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said.
- Justin Crawford continues to flourish
Crawford rushed for over 100 yards for the third time in as many games. The senior running back finished the day with 102 yards and three touchdowns. He had one long run for 21 yards.
- Billy Kinney’s punting improved
Since the opener at Virginia Tech where Kinney was plagued with cramps, the redshirt junior has improved. On Saturday he had three punts, averaging 49.3 yards. He had a long punt of 56 yards and was inside the 20 two times.
- Defensive Takeaways
The defensive line rotated 10 different players in the mix. Several players made a lot of nice plays. Ezekiel Rose had two solo tackles and a sack. Xavier Pegues, Xavier Preston, Reese Donahue, Jalen Harvey, Jon Lewis and Lamont McDougle all had a couple tackles and had solid performances on the afternoon. “We’ve played a lot of bodies,” Holgorsen said. “We’ve played 10 bodies there. This is a good game to be able to evaluate how they played. We’ve had guys stand out. I think we got a better idea of who does what well.”The Mountaineers were without safety Toyous Avery and Marvin Gross moved to the bandit position. Early in the game, Gross got out of position, which resulted in a blown coverage for an easy 81-yard touchdown for Delaware State. Both Derek Pitts and Kenny Robinson took significant reps and both had robust performances. Dravon Askew-Henry had three tackles and an interception Overall, the defense looked better than in the first two games. They made a crucial stop inside the 10-yard line after Grier’s fumble and limited the Hornets to 301 yards while forcing three turnovers.
- Marcus Simms has improved the return game
The return of Simms has been big for the Mountaineers. The sophomore wide receiver has had big plays on both special teams and offense. But it’s his contribution on special teams that has helped the offense get going. For a second game in a row, Simms has had a big kickoff return. In the first quarter, he had an 80-yard return, setting WVU up for its opening touchdown.
- WVU was sloppy
Next week the Mountaineers will travel to Lawerence to battle the Kansas Jayhawks.
Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS