WVU Backfield Looks Good


November 25, 2011; Morgantown,WV, USA: West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) rushes the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. WVU won 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

Most WVU fans this season may be dreading the results and rolling their eyes because we’ve had so many seniors from last season to move on and leave our team. No doubt, players like Steadman Bailey, Tavon Austin and Geno Smithwould be a tremendous help. One could dream that the trio would never leave, but alas, things always change. One thing that Dana Holgorsen has going for the West Virginia Mountaineers is a flexible backfield.

Charles Sims, a transfer from Houston, and Dreamius Smith, a transfer from Butler Community College, are expected to be a dynamic duo that may lead the team this season. According to recent practices that have been open to the media, Coach Holgorsen ran packages with both guys in the backfield and packages with one guy in and the other out as well as vise versa. What I get from this information is that there is no need for ‘Eer fans to panic or worry about having to build a brand new team this season in the Big 12, one of the most competitive divisions in the NCAA. Smith has said,

"“I’ve heard this is the greatest depth at running back we’ve had in years,” Smith said. “We’re taking advantage of it. If one person can’t go, we’ve got four more. One’s going to hop in and take over with what he can do.”"

However, Smith was not always excited about playing for WVU this season. When he was first approached with the idea of playing for the Mountaineers, he thought it was the wrong team for a running back. When he played for Butler Community College, Smith averaged 7.6 yards, scored 22 TD’s with 220 carries in two years.

In short, WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen has two very flexible players in these two guys; running backs who can find their way to a receiver’s position and run the ball and run routes. It looks like that’s exactly what the team has been looking for in their scouting efforts. Players who cannot be pigeonholed into one specific position all game, every game. I think this is definitely a good idea not only for certain competitors under certain plays but also in case a player is injured or otherwise unable to play. It’s nice to know that on any given day these two guys are up to the challenge.

Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson:

"“Everybody that we consider athletes – people who are great with the ball in their hands – we’re going to sit there and scheme up ways to get those guys the ball within our offense and we’re going to make sure they get used every way possible.”"

Dana Holgorsen and Charles Sims also have a history together on the football field. Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator for Houston in 2009 where Sims played. During that time, Sims was the only player who get 600 yards receiving and 600 yards rushing. Two other guys that are just as flexible with their roles are Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison as well as Wendell Smallwood.

So basically if one or two guys can’t get the job done, the Mountaineers have three or four more that are ready to go. That’s a great backfield with a lot of depth. While Smith missed a few practices due to a quad injury, he is ready to go now. It may be something to look for when the season starts but as I mentioned here earlier, if one guy gets injured and can’t get the job done then Holgorsen has a handful of other guys that can make up for it.