Breaking Down the WVU-DSU Matchup By Position
It’s West Virginia all the way across the board against Delaware State this weekend.
By Franklin Markel
The Mountaineers now have a win under their belt heading into Week 3 as the Delaware State Hornets arrive in Morgantown. Last week the Mountaineers knocked around the ECU Pirates and took home a 56-20 victory. The whole offense was lights out and expect the same on Saturday against the Hornets. This game shouldn’t be close and the starters should be out by the second half for the Mountaineers. No surprise, the Mountaineers have all the advantages:
West Virginia Advantages
The Will Grier Show continues for the Mountaineers. Grier had 19 completions on 25 attempts for 352 yards and five touchdowns in two and a half quarters against ECU. It is easy to say he was on point last Saturday for the Mountaineers. He has emerged as an early Heisman Trophy challenger. For the Hornets, under center is Jack McDaniels. He has completed under 50 percent of his passes this season and has yet to throw for a touchdown. The freshman should expect a long day against the Mountaineers. As in all positions, the Mountaineers have the advantage and it’s not even close.
Justin Crawford had another 100-yard game on Saturday despite just getting 15 handoffs. He added two touchdowns as well. The Mountaineers also saw action from Kennedy McKoy who ran for 49 yards and a TD and Tevin Bush and Martell Pettaway combined for 42 yards. The Mountaineers have the four best RBs in this game. DSU will be splitting carries all season, running a two-RB spilt. Mike Walters and Brycen Alleyne are the two RBs who will get the majority of carries for Delaware State.
Grier has already found his favorite target, and it’s David Sills V who leads the nation in touchdowns with five. Marcus Simms is back and is a new deep threat to add to the arsenal of weapons for Grier. Ka’Raun White and Gary Jennings are also reliable targets in an already-loaded top of the depth chart at WR. At WR for the Hornets, Fatu Sua-Godinet and Jordan Hannah are the leaders of the group. They combine for 12 catches and 212 yards in two games this year. The Hornet’s core should be shut down all day and I don’t think any receiver gains 50+ yards. It’s not even close, the Mountaineers have the advantage.
The Mountaineer offensive line is off to a great start this season. Kyle Bosh and Co. are expected to be one of the top in the Big 12. This is a unit when paired with the great RB corps, should result in a lethal running game this season. As for Delaware State, Kaiden Crawford is coming back off a knee injury and Joshua Fala and Cade Pero are both preseason second team all All MEAC. This unit is good for the FCS but no match for a FBS powerhouse like WVU. The Mountaineers have the advantage.
The Mountaineers have a weakness at defensive line. Aside from special teams I think this might be the worst unit the Mountaineers have. Delaware State is in the same spot. None of their top six tacklers are defensive linemen. Isaiah Williams is a true freshman and future starter but for now he sits. He has one tackle this year. Damon Atwater-Stephens played in 11 games last year as a freshman and is starting this year. No surprise here, give it to the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers have had a solid start on defense. The LBs without David Long have still been effective. Xavier Preston has six tackles but Al-Rasheed Benton has stolen the show with 16. As for the Hornets, senior Malik Harris leads the team in tackles and sophomore Brian Cavicante also adds talent at this position, a strength of this Hornets team. This Linebacker position is probably DSU’s top defensive group. The Hornets have a solid core but the Mountaineers have the advantage.
The Mountaineers DB’s had a great game vs ECU. Kyzir White had two interceptions and Dravon Askew-Henry had four solo tackles. For DSU, Brock Nicholis leads this unit in tackles and pass break ups, with only one pass break up. Keyjuan Shelby also had a seven-tackle game last Saturday and Devin Smith has 10 tackles on the season. Despite the talent on the Hornets DB core, they’re no match for the WVU group.
Mike Molina missed two field goals on Saturday and that is a concern for Dana Holgorsen. The good news was that Marcus Simms looks to be a great returner for the Mountaineers, a much needed upgrade that will make this special teams unit a lot better. Punter Billy Mckinney looked better, not great, but he’s a work in progress. As for Delaware State, Brycen Alleyne is a solid returner and Wisdom Nzidee is kicking 100% this season. Even with the special teams talent, the Mountaineers complete the full sweep.
Ever hear of that Georgia Tech vs Cumberland game? Look it up if not — it’s hilarious. I don’t expect a beating of that magnitude but I don’t expect a close game either. I’m not going to sugar coat it this DSU team is not a threat to the Mountaineers. It will be neat to see the backups get some reps. WV 78 DSU 0.