Most teams introducing a new starting quarterback, a new offensive coordinator and a talented but somewhat inexperienced receiver unit may be left wondering what lies ahead of them entering the season.
West Virginia doesn’t fit that stereotype.
The Mountaineer offense seemed very confident in itself following Friday’s 100-play scrimmage at Milan Puskar Stadium.
“We were kicking (the defense) this week,” said Ka’Raun White. “But it’s all competitive, all love at the end of the day.”
Not only do the players sound confident in themselves, but are excited to be in an offense operated by new OC Jake Spavital.
“Coach (Spavital) is putting the players in great positions to make plays,” David Sills V said. “He’s calling great pass concepts. He’s getting the running backs in great positions to make plays. We’re also playing at a great tempo right now.”
As for the scrimmage itself, junior wideout Gary Jennings thought units from both sides of the ball made strides.
“We were able to go over many of our progressions, many of our plays, and I think it went very well overall, both offensively and defensively,” said Jennings.
Asked about how much farther the offense needs to go to be ready for the season opener next month, Jennings said they’re close.
“We’re meshing very well. We’re jelling very well,” he said. “We’re not far away from being very good.”
Jennings acknowledged that timing is coming together between quarterback Will Grier and the rest of the offense, and Sills agreed.
“Will’s put constant work in throughout the summer,” said Sills. “He’s very smart. He knows how to get us in good positions to get the ball and he’s very accurate whenever he throws the ball.”
Kennedy McKoy, who is expected to see a number of snaps both from the running back and inside receiver positions, detailed how the adjustment can help him have a better understanding no matter where he’s at on the field.
“Now when I’m at running back and (Grier) gives a signal, I know what the inside slot is going to do,” McKoy said. “So if I have a check down I know not to go in that area because I know what route he’s running. Yeah, it helps a lot.”
The sophomore tailback said it’s the little things that he’s focusing on now that he better knows the offense from both positions.
Last year the Mountaineer offense racked up an average of 485.5 yards per game, including over 220 yards on the ground for the second year in a row. But from a scoring standpoint, are looking to return to the numbers they were producing in 2011 and ’12 when Spavital was the quarterback coach.