Kickoff is almost here, so we thought it would be a good idea to take a hard look at the West Virginia Mountaineers. The teams last met in 2005. The Hokies came away with a 34-17 win, launching one of the funniest twitter accounts on the internet.
Virginia Tech has held the Black Diamond Trophy for 4715 days. #Hokies— Black Diamond Trophy (@BlkDiamondTrphy) August 30, 2017
The long time Big East foes will reignite the rivalry on Sunday night in Landover, MD. West Virginia head coach, Dana Holgorsen, returns for his seventh season in Morgantown. Holgorsen is known as an offensive mastermind, but this season is turning over play calling duties to new OC, Jake Spavital. It will be interesting to see how the Mountaineers function in this fashion. They play in the Big 12, which is known for putting up video game numbers through the air. Speaking of through the air, the Mountaineers have a new signal caller under center. Will Grier will get the nod against the Hokies, and his road to Morgantown was bumpy indeed. Grier was the starter for the Florida Gators in 2015, but received a suspension for taking a banned substance. Grier blamed an over the counter supplement, and subsequently ended up at West Virginia. Grier was a capable passer at Florida, and a decent runner. Expect a balanced attack from him, especially in the first game of the season.
The West Virginia receiving corps has been hit with some attrition. Jovon Durante recently announced he would be leaving the program to join Lane Kiffin at F.A.U.. Marcus Simms was arrested on a D.U.I. charge in the offseason, and subsequently suspended by the team. They are still a talented group, led by Gary Jennings and Dominique Maiden, but the depth will be challenging. They have a few talented backs including: Justin Crawford, Kennedy McKoy, and Martell Pettaway.
The defense has some definite talent in the middle, and the back end. They run a weird 3-3-5 scheme, and have their own version of a “whip” LB. They call it the “spur”, and Kyzir White is a JUCO stud. The free safety, Dravon Askew-Henry is coming back from injury, but Josh Jackson will be challenged to push the deep ball.
West Virginia is coming off an impressive 10-3 season, but got beat 31-14 in the Russel-Athletic bowl against the Miami Hurricanes. Stay tuned at Gobbler Country for more in depth previews and analysis of the upcoming opener.