2013 West Virginia Spring Football Analysis
West Virginia Mountaineers 2013 ...
Head Coach: Dana Holgorsen
Why To Be Excited The defense was bad, and head coach Dana Holgorsen is aware of the problem. There might be some massive personnel losses on offense, but it’ll all work itself out with Paul Millard and Ford Childress each good enough to step up for quarterback Geno Smith and produce, but the defense is still a major question mark after being ripped to shreds time and again, finishing up with an embarrassing performance in the loss to Syracuse in the Pinstripe. It all has to start with more toughness up front, and while run defense wasn’t too big of a statistical problem, the front line wasn’t effective enough. Tackle Shaq Rowell and end Will Clarke are back at their respective jobs, linebacker Isaiah Brue and Jared Barber return, and leading tackler Karl Joseph is back in the secondary.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 William & Mary
9/7 at Oklahoma
9/14 Georgia State
9/21 at Maryland
9/28 Oklahoma State
10/5 at Baylor
10/12 OPEN DATE
10/19 Texas Tech
10/26 at Kansas State
11/2 at TCU
11/16 at Kansas
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/30 Iowa State
Why To Be Grouchy Where are all the playmakers? Forgetting that the triggerman is gone, the Mountaineers have to find skill guys to help out the new starting quarterback and running back Andrew Buie. Stedman Bailey left early for the NFL, running back/receiver Tavon Austin is gone and third-leading receiver J.D. Woods has to be replaced. Throw in Ivan McCartney, and 298 of the team’s 378 catches and 41 of the 44 touchdown grabs have taken off. Don’t dismiss the loss of three starters in the offensive interior with center Joe Madsen and guards Josh Jenkins and Jeff Braun gone.
What Needs Working On The team has to stop allowing so many big plays, getting burned time and again by anyone who attempted to throw the ball a few yards down the field. Navy went to a bowl game, and so did Baylor. Those were the only two bowl teams worse at stopping offenses on third downs than West Virginia, whose defense couldn’t seem to get off the field. The offense was so potent and so efficient that time of possession didn’t seem to matter, but it actually did holding on to the ball for a mere 28:38 per game – the D sometimes didn’t get enough time to catch its breath. On the season, the defense allowed fewer than 300 yards just once – the blowout win over Kansas.
Non-Conference Games: William & Mary, Georgia State, at Maryland
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 7-5
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: William & Mary, Georgia State, at Maryland, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, at Kansas, Iowa State
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Baylor, at Kansas State, at TCU, Texas,
Schedule Analysis: Unlike most Big 12 teams, the Mountaineers need to deal with a nasty conference game early on, warming up against William & Mary before having to make a trip to Oklahoma. With Georgia State to follow, the offense will have a little bit more time to get some easy work in before dealing with a sneaky-tough non-conference date against Maryland in Baltimore. And then come the firefights with Oklahoma State, at Baylor and a week off before going against Texas Tech.
The team needs the week off before facing the Red Raiders considering it’s followed up by three road games in four weeks going to Kansas State, TCU and Kansas wrapped around a home game against Texas. In a strange and unfortunate twist, the second week off comes at the end between Kansas and Iowa State. In all, WVU has to play five conference road games and only get six games total in Morgantown.
Team Concerns For 2013: The team needs to get its fight back. The Mountaineer defense was miserable in a conference full of miserable defenses finishing last in the league in scoring and pass efficiency defense. The front line got shoved around time and again, bottoming out in the bowl loss to Syracuse to end the season on a sour note. Of course, the offense needs to come up with some new stars after losing Geno Smith and Stedman Bailey - but
Dana Holgorsen will get everything ramped up. The punting game has to replace Corey Smith after finishing last in the Big 12 in net yards.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Linebackers. Of course Dana Holgorsen is going to bring in the offensive prospects, and he cranked it up on receivers with Shelton Gibson a find out of Ohio and JUCO transfer Ronald Carswell a possible instant answer for the loss of Stedman Bailey. Running backs Wendell Smallwood and Deshawn Coleman are going to eventually handle the ground game, while JUCO transfer Dreamius Smith will get a chance in the rotation right away. However, the Mountaineers need defensive help, and they got it at linebacker with Darrien Howard along with Al-Rasheed Benton and Marvin Gross all athletic and talented.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 24. That Class Was Heavy On ... More receivers. Head coach Dana Holgorsen got a few nice prospects last year for the offense, but this year he’s loading up on receivers and pass catchers to make his high-octane attack shine. The offense had more than its share of star prospect from recent classes, but the talent is flowing to assure that the passing game remains among the nation’s most dangerous.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 46. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. While all the talk about the coaching changes helped bring in offensive stars who want to be a part of the Dana Holgorsen attack, led by running backs Andrew Buie and Vernard Roberts and receivers Dante Caldwell and K.J. Myers, but the defense got the best all-around talents with JUCO transfer Shaq Rowell ready to roll right away at defensive tackle and linebacker Joshua Francis a strong JUCO transfer who’ll be used in a variety of ways. Safeties Terrell Chestnut, Shaquille Petteway, and Nick Kwiatkoski are all going to be factors in the next three years.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 35. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Receivers. West
Virginia? Wide Receivers? Bill Stewart came up with
several excellent, dangerous targets led by Ivan
McCartney out of Florida. The 6-1, 175-pound
playmaker spurned Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee to
come to Morgantown, but Deon Long might end up
playing earlier on. The Mountaineers also came up
with several good defensive back prospects starting
with safety Latwan Anderson, a flash of lightning
who hits like a ton of bricks and chose WVU over
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 24. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Skill position players. The Mountaineers have roped in a slew of speedy, dynamic backs and receivers, who can go a long with the ball. What else is new? This class, which is particularly heavy on outstanding wideouts, is tailored-made for an offense that hopes to throw the ball more than in the past. Logan Heastie was fielding interest from the likes of Florida and USC, so he might waste little time getting on the field.