Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

KJ Myers says West Virginia’s receivers need to produce more than “just the average, routine plays.”


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s mundane passing attack against William & Mary was tempered by several near-misses, the kind of plays that must be converted to upset a much more daunting opponent like Oklahoma.

Whereas coach Dana Holgorsen envisioned receivers catching balls underneath and squirting through the secondary, what he got instead was rather ordinary production.

“We caught a ball or two and fell down,” Holgorsen said. “That’s what I saw.”

That assessment struck a nerve with receivers such as KJ Meyers (three catches for 30 yards), Devonte Mathis (four for 44), Ivan McCartney (two for 15)—all returnees who were hoping to at least approximate the post-catch impact WVU relished from Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

“We don’t need just the average, routine plays,” Myers said. “When you play wide receiver, just by being at that position you’re going to catch the ball. But you need more than that.

“(Holgorsen) wants us to be athletic, be big-time playmakers and make big-time plays.”

Though true freshman Daikiel Shorts enjoyed an encouraging college debut, he averaged a pedestrian 9 yards on his team-high seven catches. (“He stepped up and caught some balls but didn’t do anything with it after he caught them,” Holgorsen said.) Only junior college transfer Ronald Carswell, who raced home with a 69-yard scoring bomb, delivered the kind of game-busting dynamic WVU’s passing game demands.

“A guy like Mario (Alford) came here to be the next Tavon, but he’s got a lot of developing to do.” — Dana Holgorsen

Carswell could be a factor again at outside receiver Saturday, especially if Kevin White’s reported foot injury hasn’t sufficiently healed. (Holgorsen described White as questionable Thursday night but said he would travel to Norman.) And what can West Virginia expect from inside receiver Mario Alford, the junior-college signee with the best wheels on the team? His Week 1 production amounted to a 7-yard run and a dropped slant pass that foiled a potentially massive gainer.

“A guy like Mario came here to be the next Tavon, but he’s got a lot of developing to do,” said Holgorsen, noting Alford has recovered from his own foot injury and looked better at practices this week than he did leading up to William & Mary.

Whereas the FCS Tribe dropped seven and sometimes eight men into an umbrella coverage, the Sooners defense is expected to load the box and rely on defensive backs to play man coverage.

Said Shorts: “We’ve got to catch the ball, secure it, get upfield and make somebody miss.”

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  • Brian

    QB play is a much bigger problem than WR play is right now.

  • FaarOut

    Hey, Am I the only one who saw the"late hit" out of bounds that led to OU's late score was the prototypical screw job because our player was not only blocked into him but he was blocked in the back? Holgorson should have been out at the middle of the field protesting that one until he had to be removed by the stadium police. Until somebody raises enough stink about this, WVU is doomed to see history repeated. How about it, Cap'n? The next time ( and there will be next times) the Mountaineers should walk off the field and refuse to participate. What would happen to the conference TV money, then?

  • Mister Man

    100.9 FM.

  • wvtd

    help. I work Saturdays and use to listen to the mountaineer games on the radio but no more because I can not find a local radio station broadcasting the game. maybe on xm radio but I do not like to listen to the opponent announcers.
    does anyone know where I can find the game on the radio?

    • EPR

      What area of the state are you in? Eastern panhandle are is 1340 am.

      • EPR


        • wvtd

          outside of the capitol city. been listening since the 70s but no more I guess.

          • Maxxajay

            100.1FM....not sure could be 101.1...something like that...good luck....

  • Bim

    We will get so many laughs out of reading all these posts tomorrow after WVU get thumped by the Sooners. WVU is considered by the Sooners, their FCS easy win team, for bowl purposes. Don't fret, you have the mighty Georgia State next week and maybe Sims can rush for another 120 yards!

  • Boomgrounder

    The RB's need to continue to run hard and the O-line and WR's need to continue to block to the whistle so we can break some long runs. The WR's need to catch it and run with it like you stole it and take it to the house! Go Mountaineers! Beat them Oakies!!

    • EPR

      Thank you captain obvious!

    • EPR

      Thank you captain obvious

  • Mountain Codger

    I agree with Maxxajay. College ball is still a major head game and the team that brings it will make up for whatever slight advantage an opponent may have. I think Paul was accurate,& quick to release. I think if we show tough running like our back did in game 1, it will set the tone. This will be smash mouth football and we can do that pretty well. Otoole may swing the game to us if the scoring is in check.
    Have at em Old Gold and Blue!!!
    I believe!!!

  • Drwonder

    Maxxajay, you'll be with all of us in spirit in Section 35 tomorrow. You are a real fan. Pat Dye said about Auburn, "Our job is not to get angry at Auburn. It's to love Auburn." That's how we all need to feel about WVU Football.

  • pghmountaineer

    I hope you're right Maxxajay.

  • Maxxajay

    I have all the confidence in WVU I feel the receivers running backs and the play calling will do a lot better than they did last week, our defense is going to step up and do a good job as well.. A tight game WVU wins by three..Upset of the week... West Virginia 2 - 0

    • EPR


  • William

    It was a BIG mistake that WVU got in the BIG 12, who cares about teams half way across the USA. It is sad that WVU must schedule cupcake non- conf. teams, this is the only way they have a chance for a winning season. WVU fans should start booking their rooms in NY, because it will be THE PINSTRIPE BOWL AGAIN!

    • Butler

      Good post- obviously you know your football. Yes, Wvu should have sat and watched the BE crumble and by default ended up in the minor league AAC. And since th B12 no.ongwr has an affiliation with the Pimstripe Bowl there is no way Wvu ends up there. But keep trying.

    • Graywv

      He's surely a Marshall supporter, because he knows nothing about football, because the pinstrip bowl this summer signed the acc an the big 10 to their bowl, the big 12 is not eligible. SO, now what anti-WVU bull-crap are you going to use?

    • Bobby M

      YES! I have been telling others almost exact same THING!

      I dont feel THAT connection thing WITH these teams! I miss the old days with Pitt, Rutgers, BC, VT, and so on and so on!

      Thats a GOOD point! If we can get bowl games in NY then we'll sell more tickets and MORE fans will want to watch the games! It will be like the good old days AGAIN!

      Bring it on! I'm ready SOONER now OR later! Rock N ROLL Rumble!!!!!

    • Hailey

      A big mistake Willie was your conception

    • mauldawg

      Just another idiot poster. William and big tom never have anything good to say about WVU,but what do you expect from MU fans.

    • Jed

      William ... As usual, you get a failing grade for grammar, and substantive input. Even worse, the obstreperous nature of your intemperate negativity predictably amounts to nothing more than another annoying katzenjammer to ignore .... FAIL!
      Let's go Mounties!!

    • Dave

      William, are you a Marshall fan?

      • jason

        go herd.

      • Fentanyl Bomb

        Whoever he cheers for is likely being underserved by his dogged discipline to cheer against WVU. It takes time and effort to be so negative all the time.

        I just couldn't do it, myself, but I am not him.

        Win or lose, they are my Mountaineers.

        Win or lose, they are the primetime matchup tomorrow night. That pays better than WSAZ, I guarantee.

        Lets go Mountaineers!