West Virginia Mountaineers: William and Mary Game Preview

By CJ Harvey @CJ_Harvey

Here we go again, another season, another group of players, and another year for possible disappointment. This Mountaineer team does not have any “Preseason All-Americans’; one “Preseason All-Conference” player; Charles Simms for “Newcomer of the Year”; so all in all the expectation for this Mountaineer team is very low. Vegas has the Mountaineers at 5.5 wins on the season, and some fans suggest a 4 win season might be in store. A few of the more optimistic fans will tell you that West Virginia might win up to 8 games. Nobody knows for sure how this Mountaineer team will fair this season, but when the William and Mary Tribe football team travels to Morgantown this Saturday, one thing is for sure. Every West Virginia fan expects a win.

Many questions are still unanswered. Can the defense improve? Will Andrew Buie’s absence hurt the team? Does this team have potential for a good season? Who is going to start at the quarterback position?

Although William and Mary is a strong FCS football team, the Tribe should not make a wave bigger than a pebble getting thrown into a puddle, but this is a good opportunity for West Virginia’s defense to make a name for themselves. Without linebacker Shaq Pettaway in the starting line up someone will have to fill his shoes. Shaq was recently diagnosed with a torn ACL and will be out for the season. Ishmael Banks will become a new starter and has talent, but is still unproven after his first year with West Virginia in 2012.

Andrew Buie will also need to be replaced, but should be the easiest replacement. Charles Simms is ready to play. Dreamius Smith has proven he can read the line and hit holes for big runs at the Junior College level. Rushell Shell, transfer from Pittsburgh and former five-star recruit, has to sit the 2013 season, but will be ready for 2014. Buie will be missed, but he is not a huge loss.

The largest question mark for this season is who will be the Mountaineer’s new quarterback. Clint Trickett and Paul Millard are both in the running, or so Dana Holgorsen wants us to believe. Everyone should understand that the starting position is Trickett’s to lose. Millard is being used as bait to get Trickett to play his best. This idea will put him under some pressure, and the coaching staff will be able to tell if he can handle some competition.

Overall this West Virginia team has some upside. Some good player on offense and a nice balance on defense. William and Mary should not be a problem, and should help answer some questions for this season.

Prediction: West Virginia 38 / William and Mary 17