MORGANTOWN. W.Va. — Dana Holgorsen said Dreamius Smith—he of the 75-yard smash-and-dash run that stunned Oklahoma early—would have received more second-half carries had he blocked better.
Smith made only one additional carry after the first-quarter breakaway accounted for WVU’s only touchdown in a 16-7 loss. He finished with three carries for 77 yards overall, essentially vanishing after a Sooners safety blew past him to force Paul Millard’s fumble in the second quarter.
“I know a lot of people are upset with only three carries, and I want him to get the ball more too,” Holgorsen said Tuesday. “But if Dreamius gets out there, and he whiffs three times like he did, he’s coming out of the game, and he knows that.
“His one run was spectacular, but you can’t turn around and miss a block and get the quarterback hit and have a turnover. You have to do the little things, and blocking is more important than running people over.”
A junior college transfer, Smith insisted he understands the importance of blocking and is giving it added emphasis during individual drills.
“I know I missed one key block that caused a turnover, and I take all responsibility for that,” he said. “If the blocking improves, I guess more carries is what it sounds like.”
Running backs coach JaJuan Seider said Smith is beginning to understand how to block with the same power and aggression that he showed on that touchdown run. Rather curiously, Seider cited leg cramps—not blocking troubles—for curtailing Smith’s carries against OU.
“We probably put more emphasis on that (sack) than we should have—it wasn’t that,” Seider said. “He cramped up in the third quarter and that was more of the reason he wasn’t playing.”
Whatever the reason, WVU could have used more explosive plays like the one Smith generated by running through two tackles near the line of scrimmage and then jetting past three defensive backs.
“I put my foot in the ground and used my 220 (pounds),” he said. “People always looked at me from the outside and think I wasn’t fast and couldn’t get around the edge. But I was determined to get in the end zone after I saw me past the first level and it was just one-on-one with the safeties.”
BACK ‘EM UP FIVE
Offensive line coach Ron Crook explained the two illegal procedure calls marked off against WVU’s Curtis Feigt and Marquis Lucas at Oklahoma.
“(With Feigt) it was the quarterback moving from under center back into the pistol formation, and I think Curtis saw him move and flinched,” Cook said. “The one on Marquis was more about us going on a silent cadence and he was anticipating a little too much.”
This week’s updated depth chart features three new starters at wide receiver: Kevin White and Ronald Carswell on the outside and Mario Alford in the slot. The trio of junior college transfers are supplanting last week’s starters Ivan McCartney, KJ Myers and Daikiel Shorts, who combined for more dropped passes (four) than receptions (three) at Oklahoma.
“The opportunities to make plays, and not making them” was disappointing against the Sooners, said WVU receivers coach Lonnie Galloway. “The effort was great, but when you’re number is called you’ve got to make plays.”
The change in starters doesn’t necessarily signal an end to the rotation, provided there’s no steep dropoff in productivity.
“I want to be able to put fresh bodies in the game and not feel handicapped on what we’re calling,” Gallloway said. “If you’re in the game we need to feel comfortable with you.”
Watch Dreamius Smith’s interview below: