Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the West Virginia Mountaineers season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: West Virginia Mountaineers
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– West Virginia Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
If not now, West Virginia, when?
Dana Holgorsen’s teams have been fine since the Mountaineers made the move to the Big 12. Not amazing, but solid.
He might have set the bar a bit high with his 10-3 first season in 2011 – complete with the blowout win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl – but that was back in the Big East days. Since then, he’s had one ten-win season in six years, and the Mountaineers have never finished higher than third in the Big 12.
Throw in the four bowl losses in five tries, and again, it hasn’t been a bad run so far, but it’s not like the Mountaineers have been all that close to becoming one of the league’s dominant programs.
Until now. Maybe.
The high-octane offensive style is built for the Big 12, and the deficiencies on defense just aren’t that big a deal as long the O is doing its thing.
But the talent level hasn’t been in Oklahoma’s range, and TCU actually has played a little defense to be in the mix for some big things. But there’s a void now, with Oklahoma State losing a slew of its key parts, Texas not quite ready to dominate the world just yet under Tom Herman, and with key quarterback changes at OU and TCU.
It’s time for West Virginia to pounce on the opportunity.
What does WVU need? Maybe, the best quarterback in college football? Will Grier is at least going to be in the discussion at times throughout the season.
How about fielding one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the country? Several teams would kill for a trio of David Sills, Gary Jennings, and Marcus Simms to work around.
There’s experience in the backfield and on the offensive line, expect several All-Big 12 nods for the defensive side, and the kicking game should be good, too.
The schedule is a bear at times, though – facing Tennessee, NC State, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma State away from Morgantown – but if the team is Big 12 title good, it shouldn’t matter.
The window might never be more wide open for a team full of veteran talents like this to jump through it and at least get to the Big 12 Championship.
This is the year everything has been building towards during Holgorsen’s tenure. Enjoy it.