WVU's offense evolves for Big 12
College Football Videos
West Virginia faces nine opponents from the Big 12 in its first season in the league. That's nine defensive coordinators familiar with the offensive philosophy of Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen, who worked previously at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
Planning any surprises this year, coach?
“Yeah, we'll probably put something new out there,'' Holgorsen said. “I'm not going to tell you what it is.''
Big 12, take note. The Mountaineers' offense is diversified and explosive.
WVU averaged 37.6 points and 469.5 yards per game last season. Quarterback Geno Smith placed among the national leaders, completing 346 of 526 passes for 4,385 yards and 31 touchdowns with only seven interceptions.
Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey both amassed more than 1,000 receiving yards while combining for 20 touchdown receptions. Dustin Garrison led the team with 742 rushing yards and six touchdowns, Shawne Alston rushed for 416 yards and 12 touchdowns, and three other players rushed for at least 140 yards while combining for five touchdowns.
Displaying a balanced attack, the Mountaineers passed for nearly 2,000 more yards than their opponents while outscoring them, 489-348.
“It's evolved,'' Holgorsen said when asked about his offense. “I mean, obviously, eight years working for coach (Mike) Leach (at Texas Tech), the offense was kind of set. Made the decision four years ago to go to the University of Houston. Went to Oklahoma State. Tweaked it a little bit at Oklahoma State. And last year when we went to West Virginia, we tweaked it a little bit. So we'll see what happens.''
Center Joe Madsen said West Virginia's opponents should expect the unexpected.
“I hope we get a few more trick plays to fool the defense,” Madsen said. “We should have fun out there.”
Smith, however, was coy when mentioning potential changes.
“I don't think we'll make any changes,” Smith said. “I think we'll try to perfect with what we have now.”
Some change may be necessary as the Mountaineers face Big 12 coaches familiar with Holgorsen's offense.
“All nine games that we play in the Big 12 are going to be a tremendous concern,” Holgorsen said. “They'll probably know as much about us as we will them. It will probably be similar to the way it was in 2000 when coach Leach left Oklahoma and went to Texas Tech. You had two teams playing the same offense that knew a lot about each other.
“I feel good about it based on having nine starters back and 20 guys that have played offense. I'd like to say we put our own spin on it, and we're doing our best to fit with what the players are.”
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.