College Football News Preview 2020: West Virginia Mountaineers Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The West Virginia Mountaineers Offense
Just get the O moving, and that starts with generating some semblance of a running game. It’s not like West Virginia was Wisconsin on the ground under Dana Holgorsen, but at least there was something to rely on with close to 2,000 yards in 2017 and 2018, and almost 3,000 in 2016.
Last year? 879 rushing yards, 2.6 yards per carry, and just seven touchdowns. The Mountaineers failed to run for 100 yards in ten of the 12 games and was 0-6 against FBS teams when they didn’t get to at least 85 rushing yards.
No running led to too many long third down chances for a passing game without a whole lot of pop. Too many tackles for loss allowed and not enough of a push was a killer – West Virginia has to start owning first downs.
Biggest Key To The West Virginia Mountaineers Defense
Take the ball away. There’s enough speed and athleticism in the back seven/eight to get all over the field, and the pass rush should be just good enough to get by.
Now the defense has to help out the offense with more takeaways. The Mountaineers only came up with 14 on the year, but when they came through, good things happened.
12 of the 14 takeaways came in five games. West Virginia went 4-1 in those games, with the only loss coming in a 17-14 battle against Baylor, and was 1-6 when forcing fewer than two turnovers.
Key West Virginia Mountaineers Player To A Successful Season
OT Junior Uzebu, Soph.
The entire West Virginia offensive line has to be a whole lot better for any prayer of overall improvement, but first it has to replace Connor McKivitz at left tackle. Several Mountaineers will get the shot, with the 6-6, 298-pound Uzebu the first option after spending last year as the main backup. 318-pound sophomore Blaine Scott will get a long look, too.
Key Game To The West Virginia Mountaineers Season
Baylor, Oct. 3
The Mountaineers gave Baylor a big push in a 17-14 loss last year, but they won the previous three games between the two. This time around, dealing with Oklahoma State on the road to start the season is a problem, but beat the Bears at home, and with Eastern Kentucky to start the season and Kansas to follow, a 3-1 start is more than possible with another winnable game at Texas Tech to follow.
– West Virginia Mountaineers Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 West Virginia Fun Stats
– First Half Scoring: Opponents 201 – West Virginia 120
– Average Rushing Yards Per Game: Opponents 159.4 – West Virginia 73.2
– Red Zone TDs: Opponents 30-of-47 (64%) – West Virginia 16-of-34 (47%)