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West Virginia Football 2015 – Better, worse or about the same?

Sep 6, 2014; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Rushel Shell (7) rushes the ball against the Towson Tigers during the second quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

WEST VIRGINIA OFFENSE

The WVU offense will likely begin the season as slightly worse, but look for it to end the season the same or better. 

The obvious reasons for an initial downtick are the losses of wide receivers Kevin White, the number 7 pick in this years NFL draft, and Mario Alford (NFL 7th round selection).

Less obvious, but also of large importance, are the losses of two starting offensive lineman in Mark Glowinski (NFL 4th round pick) and Quentin Spain, and the losses of significant contributors in the backfield (Dustin Garrison and Andrew Buie).

If the offensive line can survive the departures of Glowinski and Spain the WVU offense will thrive by mid season.

WVU has continuity at quarterback (kind of), and two proven running backs in Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood.

The receiver position doesn’t boast any household names yet, but with several experienced players coming back and Holgorsen’s track record with wideouts expect at least one, if not two, receivers to shine.

By the time the Big 12 schedule comes around WVU’s offense should be roughly equal to, or exceeding, last year’s output.

 

WEST VIRGINIA DEFENSE

Better. In 2014, for the first time in their Big 12 tenure, WVU finally put together a respectable defense. The defense seemed to play with an attitude not seen in Morgantown for several years.

The Mountaineers are loaded at linebacker and in the secondary with a host of headhunters and playmakers featuring second-team All-Big 12 safety Karl Joseph and freshman sensation Dravon Henry at the other safety spot.

Emboldened by their 2014 success, and with nine starters returning, the consensus is that WVU’s defense will be one of the best units in the conference in 2015.

 

BUYING OR SELLING

I’m buying the Mountaineers in 2015. There is no doubt WVU lost some serious offensive talent last year, but what they do possess is a potentially great defense and a solid backfield. Those two traits coupled with a passing game that should improve throughout the year make the Mountaineers dangerous.

Add to the fact that this could be a make or break year for coach Dana Holgorsen, and the ingredients are in place for a good season. Look for WVU to finish 9-3 with a second or third place finish in the Big 12.


sbwvu1 of The Smoking Musket provided the information for our West Virginia Football 2015 Spring recap.  For more West Virginia football information, commentary and analysis, you can follow The Smoking Musket on Twitter @smokingmusket.


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