With the kickoff of WVU’s football season a mere 90 minutes away I think it’s about time I get my Week 1 prediction out of the way.
So what do I know about the 2016 WVU Mountaineers? Not a whole lot. I know their offense should be solid, but that’s kind of been the case most years since Dana Holgerson has been head coach. They’ve got Skyler Howard returning at QB, and while he’s been an inconsistent mess so far in his career an experienced QB can’t be overlooked. Rushel Shell hasn’t wowed anyone since his High School days carrying the ball, but he’s a solid North/South runner and should be able to handle the responsibility in a productive manner his senior season. And hey, maybe he’ll finally live up to the hype he came into college with. But if the Mountaineer offense is going to carry this team anywhere it’s going to have to be on the back of a few experienced WR’s in Shelton Gibson, Daikiel Shorts, and Jovan Durante. Young guys like Ka’raun White and Gary Jennings will also have an opportunity to make bigger names for themselves this year as well. This isn’t the best offense WVU fans have ever seen, but it’s far from the worst and we shouldn’t be worried about scoring points.
On the other side of the ball, though, good luck. This year, like almost every year in the Dana Holgerson era, WVU is looking thin. Graduation, leaving for the draft early, off season injuries, and suspensions or team dismissals have left the defense with a whole bunch of nobodies to try and keep other Big 12 offenses at bay. There’s Noble Nwachukwu at Defensive End and then a bunch of guys looking to introduce themselves to college football. How will it go? Most likely not very well, but the beauty of college football is that a lot can change from one year to the next. People you’ve never heard of step on the field and suddenly they are superstars. I’m not holding my breath, but I am holding out hope that this group of guys can shock us and help lead WVU to a solid year. Putting a solid product on the defensive side of the football field would go a long way to prove to fans that Holgerson can do more than just get a team to put points on the board.
So on to that Week 1 prediction. I’m going with WVU on a purely homer pick. My knowledge of Missouri football is none existent. WVU is playing at home. And unless the Tigers have a strong enough defense to hold the Mountaineer offense under 30 points WVU should be able to outscore them. WVU 38 Missouri 31
Let’s Go Mountaineers!