An Improving Offense is a Consistent Offense
The Mountaineers played well, but it was far from perfect.
A loss to start the season is not the way Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers intended on starting the season, but the ceiling is high for this team despite the 0-1 start.
The Mountaineers have plenty of things to improve on, but Coach Holgorsen compared the loss on Sunday to Virginia Tech to the opening loss to Alabama in 2015. Point is that team was really good with Clint Trickett under center and now this team has a chance to be led by Will Grier.
Granted that 2015 team was loaded with a lot more talent specifically at the wide receiver position, with Kevin White alone. We did find out Grier has more than a few assets at wide out, but they cannot be factors if they are not consistent.
As good of a game David Sills V, Gary Jennings Jr., and Ka’Raun White played they all struggled to hang onto the ball in some crucial situations. We saw White battle with defenders all game, as you could tell he was drawing some of the Hokies best corners There was a moment in the fourth quarter where Grier finds White open along the sideline, but the ball was jarred loose after a hard hit from a Hokie safety. Great play by the Hokie defenders, but the ball was catchable and the drive may go a lot different if White holds on.
On the game’s final drive Sunday, Sills V found a way to get open in the end zone after Grier extended the play, the ball was fired low, but still catchable for the wide receiver, unfortunately the ball slipped through his hands and hit the ground.
Grier and the receivers still have to work on their live game timing, but some passes can not be dropped and we saw the impact of those dropped passes throughout the game. Especially early on, when Grier was struggling in the first quarter.
So this week heading into the game against East Carolina look for Grier to work on his placement of his throws and maybe a heavier emphasis on the run. Holgorsen said that he felt like they forced some of the runs onto running back Justin Crawford, expect for that to be different as Coach Jake Spavital wants the game to come to them.
“We have to focus on doing what we do. We are going to attempt to run the ball and then (redshirt junior quarterback) Will (Grier) is going to take what they give him on the perimeter.” Spavital said.
Spavital called 53 pass plays to 35 running plays against Virginia Tech, expect for those numbers to even and balance out against ECU.
Also expect for the Mountaineers to try some new things along the Offensive Line as Center Matt Jones struggled at times in his first start, and redshirt guard Grant Lingafelter suffered an injury in the game and is listed as day-to-day according to Coach Holgorsen. The Mountaineers interior offensive line struggled early on as a whole, but once settled in the Mountaineers front line only allowed two sacks to a team that has led the nation is sacks since 1996.