I think I can speak for everyone when I say that big steps forward were expected this season for the West Virginia football team. They came out and showed some good things early, but some of the same mistakes continued to pop up leading to a 30-24 loss to Maryland. Year 3 was the spot for a jump and it was important for Neal Brown and the staff to come out and get a signature win to start the year.
If you ask the fan base, the biggest problem with this team is Jarrett Doege is still leading the offense. I think he is still what I’ve said from the beginning; a game manager. That is not a bad thing. West Virginia could have still gone out and won 8 or 9 games this year with a game manager. They still could do it despite a week 1 loss.
The problem that I see is playcalling that does not fit Doege’s strengths. Leddie Brown has been praised as the workhorse for this team. He had 17 carries and did not touch the ball in the fourth quarter (I’m not counting the last second dump off for a loss). He caught three passes and Doege missed him on one so total touches should have been 21. If he is going to be this big of a piece in the passing game, I want him to get into the 25 to 30 touch range. Use your workhorse. There is no excuse to not use him at all in any quarter the rest of the season.
To go along with that, Tony Mathis was out on Saturday. You still need to show some sort of change of pace back from time to time. Whether it is Mathis or Anderson, one of them needs to get 3 to 5 touches. If both of those things happen, you’re taking the ball out of Doege’s hands around 7 to 14 more times per game.
One area that I didn’t hear much hate for on Saturday was the offensive line. The sacks that Doege took and some pressures that forced him into bad decisions were the direct result of very poor play from both the left tackle and right tackle positions. Maryland just continued to send pressure from the outside and they couldn’t pick it up. The only times that Doege seemed to have time to throw the ball downfield was when both Leddie Brown and T.J. Banks stayed in for max protection.
Because Doege is the quarterback, everyone has blamed this whole thing on him and are calling for Garrett Greene. Maryland was a good football team. The defense still contained them after the first quarter so I think they’ll be fine and keep you in games. If you give Greene 45 dropbacks with this offensive line against that team, things are not going to get any better. Let’s calm down as a fan base, let Doege figure things out against LIU, and get ready for a big home game against Virginia Tech.