What You Need To Know About The West Virginia Offense
– The Mountaineers caught a big break when Will Grier decided to come back for one more year. He might have been a mid-round draft pick – and there’s a chance he could grow into the top quarterback off the board in 2019 – but despite coming off an injury, he’s ready.
He’s the Heisman-caliber leader and star who threw for close to 3,500 yards and 34 touchdowns before suffering a hand injury. Now that he’s back, the offense that cranked up 460 yards and 35 points per game should be even more explosive.
Best of all, unlike last year – when the offense broke down one he was out – the Mountaineers have big-time options behind him. Miami transfer Jack Allison is a big bomber, and Trey Lowe can move.
– Making things even better with Grier returning was the decision of David Sills V to come back, too. Gary Jennings led the team with 97 catches, and Marcus Simms is a devastating deep threat. But Sills was the unstoppable machine – at least when paired with Grier – with 18 touchdown grabs on 60 catches. Add in Alabama transfer T.J. Simmons for the inside, and the Mountaineers are loaded with an embarrassment of riches.
– 1,061-yard rusher Justin Crawford is done, and the offense will work around the passing game, but the Mountaineers have a deep rotation in the backfield. Kennedy McKoy is more than ready to handle a bigger workload.
He won’t have to do it alone, with Martell Pettaway a good option who’ll get his share of carries, too. Throw in Grier’s mobility and running skills, and the mediocre ground game should do far more than 150 yards per game.
Paving the way is a veteran line with four starters returning. Kyle Bosch is gone at right guard, but everyone else is back from a group that led the Big 12 in fewer tackles for loss allowed, and was one of the best in pass protection, too. Best of all, there’s depth to work into the mix, too.
Biggest Key To The West Virginia Offense
Stop giving the ball away. As explosive as the Mountaineers were and will be, there was a big problem on third downs – converting just 34% of the time – and sputtering way too much in a few key games.
But the biggest problems down the stretch – and in losses – was the turnover margin. In the six losses, the Mountaineers were -9, crushed by the five giveaways in the pivotal loss to Oklahoma State – Will Grier couldn’t stop throwing picks – and with 18 turnovers over the final six games.
Turnovers might be the only thing that can stop the West Virginia offensive machine.