Five Questions For WVU As 2021 Season About To Begin

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    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As West Virginia’s 2021 football opener at Maryland draws near (Saturday, Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN), the Mountaineers, like ev
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    #153413

    Good article. I had forgotten how well Pat White and company performed in 2006. WVU may never have another QB that equals Pat White in big play capability.

    He was a great college QB. Unfortunately, it didn’t carry over to the NFL where opponents were faster, stronger and better in comparison to those he faced in the college ranks.

    #153561
    JAL

    Opening game always brings a concern about possible miscues.   Just have to hope they will not be fatal miscues.

    #153565

    I maintain the biggest thing to watch is Doege. Can he prove to be a solid game manager? Or will he continue forcing throws that he cannot make?

    #153657

    I’m not convinced that continuing to focus on this stat of “chunk plays” is the best thing for us.  There is inherit bias in that stat.  If we continue to say that its difficult for teams to have long drives and must get chunk plays to score (in general) then plays are called to that effect and it’s self fulfilling.

    I understand that in the college game most scoring drives come from drives with at least one long play.  Because of the skill gap between the highest level of player and the rest of the field this makes sense.  However, how is that stat affected when you normalize for the blowout games?  Furthermore, we’ve seen teams build a case for long consistent drives.  Iowa St last year is a great example.  Kansas St does this.

    In some of our worst offensive moments and losses, how did we lose?   Pitt put together 15+ play drives and never let our offense find a rhythm.  Last year Iowa St. did this to us.

    That was a lot of words to get to this point.  I don’t think we’re built for scoring via long plays.  Doege just doesn’t do that well, and our receivers dropped the ball too much.  Now I get they might both improve (and should), but will it be enough for us to rely on that for scoring?  I’d much rather see us focus on eliminating stupid penalties, turnovers, and work on staying ahead of the chains.  It’s a game plan that can work in the college game, even if it isn’t the norm.  It’s also one we are better suited to than trying to force “chunk play” driven offense just because most teams do that.

    To be able to do that requires a lot of discipline, however.  I realize they work on both in practice, but I can guarantee you some coaches work on discipline and eliminating drive stalling turnovers and penalties more than others.  Their teams excel at it consistently.  So I’d rather see us put extra focus on that, especially with a solid defense.

    What I don’t want to see is 7 straight successful plays and a coach on the sideline thinking “crap we can’t score like this! – Throw it deep Quigley!” and then we just wing the ball straight up in the air and all drop to our knees and pray.  That happened too much last year.

    Just to be clear, I’m not opposed to trying a deep play occasionally.  I think it’s important to show that balance.  I’m just fatigued on the number of articles and coaches responses we’re suddenly getting about “chunk” plays as if that’s the only way to play the game, and it just so happens to be what we’re terrible at.

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