23 July 2012
I know it’s hard to believe, but WVU’s offense can improve in 2012 and Dana Holgorsen knows it. The offense did struggle at times for the 'Eers, and it’s what led to losses against opponents that simply didn't match up to WVU.
When you take a look at the game vs. Syracuse on that dreadful night in New York, WVU’s offense only put up 23 points for a team who averaged over 37.0 ppg in 2011. If WVU wants to join the ranks of teams like Oklahoma and Stanford, you are going to have to improve.
Here are 3 ways WVU’s offense can improve in 2012.
Establish the running game.
The 'Eers have a ton of talent in the backfield this year; don’t let it go to waste. With Dustin Garrison rushing for over 700 yards as a true freshman in 2011 and only getting 136 attempts, you need to give the kid the ball more. I understand this is a pass heavy offense, but for crying out loud, he averaged 5.5 yards a carrier. He has shown he’s not afraid to compete and he is ready to take the next step. If healthy, look for Garrison to rush for over 1,000 yards this season. Also, don’t forget about senior back Shawne Alston. Alston is primarily used for red zone plays and short yardage downs. He gets the yards when needed. All I’m saying is, when you have this much talent in the backfield, you don’t have to rely on Geno to throw 80-90% of the time. Don’t be afraid to hand the ball off on first and second down.
When WVU loses football games, it’s simply because the offense is not playing to its full potential. What I mean by full potential is playing every snap to the best of your ability. Especially in the red zone. Even though WVU finished 18th in the country in red zone scoring, it can still improve dramatically. The EER’s marched into red zone territory a total of 61 times in 2011. Out of those 61, WVU scored 51 times, and 13 of those scores were field goals. Even though this is not bad by any means at all, but with this offense, you need to score especially in the Big 12. With the defense predicted to have a “down year” you need to score on every opportunity possible. If WVU can eliminate these red zone “woes” and play every offensive drive like they did against Clemson in which WVU scored 9 times out of 14 total drives, expect big things from this offense.
In a Dana Holgorsen offense, you’re going to have a lot of passing. With a lot of passing comes a lot of responsibility. Geno is really going to have to be even wiser than last season which he was. Geno only accounted for 7 interceptions in 2011 and that number can still improve if he wants to join the top ranks of quarterbacks in college football. He also completed 65% of his passes, which still is good, but not Andrew Luck good. Another things is, take what the defense gives you. Don’t force things down field and end up throwing an interception when you have a wide open receiver right in front of you even if it’s only for a 3 yard gain. Those short passes will eventually add up.
Yes, this offense can improve. Every team in the country can improve in something whether it's offense, defense, or even special teams. If WVU can do these things I’ve mentioned, expect to see a Top 10 or possible even a Top 5 offense in the country. The sky is the limit for them, it’s up to them if they want to do it.
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