Mountaineer Football Season Looks To Be Explosive One
by TONY LANE, FOR THE COAL VALLEY NEWS
After the recent Blue and Gold football game, one thing became very clear. The Mountaineer offense is going to look a little different this year and change after that game, looked like a good thing.
Former University of Houston and Oklahoma State University offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen, has hit the ground running with his short tenure so far in Morgantown. Although he will not be head coach until 2012, Holgorsen, will have all of his time to focus on the offense this season. This is something that Big East defensive coordinators are more than likely not thrilled about. His system has already showed it can work immediately as he only spent one season at Oklahoma State.
In that lone season with the Cowboys, they averaged a very impressive 537 yards per game that led the nation. WVU, last season had a respectable offense that averaged 377 yards per game that ranked 64th. In 2010 the Mountaineers averaged 25.2 points per game compared to Holgorsen's led Oklahoma State offense that averaged 44.2. However more yards and points may not even be the biggest change for WVU faithful.
WVU will be going from a run first offense to gun slinging pass first offense. We all got to see a sneak preview of that if you got to watch the recent Blue and Gold game. This will be a big transition for quarterback Geno Smith but so far it seems that he has shown he is capable of doing it. He completed 26 of 37 passes for 388 yards and four touchdowns, although it did come against a base defense. People can say what they want but it was still against division one starting Big East talent that should at least know the concept of what the offense was going to do.
Fans should be really excited about wide receiver Tavon Austin. Holgorsen will find ways to get him involved in the offense simply because he is a playmaker and possibly a game changer. Mountaineer fans could only hope that Austin puts up numbers even similiar to Holgorsen's top receiver last year, Justin Blackman, who had 111 catches for 1782 yards and 20 TD's.
So maybe the $500,000 raise to bring in Holgorsen as head coach in 2012 is a good thing. If things go according to plan this year the added revenue will surely pick up that tab with ease because everyone seems to be drooling and waiting for this year's season opener against Marshall on September 4. How appropriate is it that the first game where everyone gets to see this offense is the Coal Bowl. September 4 is the day West Virginia has marked on their calender as Doc Holliday tries to find the antidote for the potentially dangerous WVU offense.
Until than everyone must speculate and wait for that fall day. It won't be easy as excitement is all around Morgantown and they already have 'Country Roads" cued up on the jukebox, and some have truly believed that Holgorsen has come to the rescue to put WVU over the hump and into the national championship conversation, hopefully in the near future.
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