by Alex Kimble
No matter if it is a local event, grocery store or workplace, people come in representing their favorite college football team: The West Virginia Mountaineers. The excitement is real in the community right now. They have hope and belief that this year is the year that West Virginia will get over the hump. Mountaineers will win the Big 12 Conference and make the college football playoffs for the first time since it began in 2014. Why is the belief so strong for Mountaineer fans?
A full season of a top Heisman candidate, quarterback, Will Grier. Will Grier has been getting a lot of love by the media having him as one of the favorites to win the Heisman trophy. Grier will make a huge difference being on the field. During last season before Grier’s injury, West Virginia was 7-3. Without Grier, Mountaineers lost all three games. Points per game (ppg) differential was a big difference according to SB Nation, with Grier average of 39 ppg and after injury 20 ppg. The Mountaineers offense puts up half the amount of points without Grier.
Media outlets like ESPN, SB Nation and others say coach Dana Holgorsen has the most talented starters he has had since he has arrived in Morgantown. According to Jake Trotter of ESPN, he thinks the Mountaineers time to get over the hump is now. “Coach Dana Holgorsen has got the most experienced quarterback in Will Grier and a receiving core that will give any defense coordinator headaches. Overall as a football team, Dana has never had a richer roster of talent. Anything less than a Big 12 championship game appearance would be a disappointment.”
West Virginia Mountaineers schedule has three ranked ranked in AP’s top 25 poll that come close towards the end of the year. The better teams you play and beat, the higher you are ranked in the country. If you lose to an unranked team, West Virginia like most of the country, won’t be playing in the college football playoff. Factors include if you win by blowouts, last second victories and close losses depending on level of competition. As long as coach Holgorsen keeps the Mountaineers playing up to their competition, a strong start is expected. According to Sports Blog Nation, “Mountaineers are projected to be in eight games within a touchdown or less.” This is good news for fans of West Virginia heading into the college football season.
WVU opened up against Volunteers at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. West Virginia got off to a fast start with a ten-point lead against Tennessee. Volunteers did get into a groove before half by making it a field goal game. Unfortunate circumstances happened during the game where whether caused the game to delayed. The Mountaineers defense just gave up 14 points total in the game while the offense exploded. Will Grier came out playing like a heisman candidate with a spectacular performance. Grier finished with five touchdowns and 429 yards through the air. After over an hour of waiting to play again, WVU came out scoring twenty points in the third quarter. Impressive opening win for the Mountaineers.
The 2018 college football season has started and Mountaineer fans have a lot of reasons to be excited about. West Virginia, led by Dana Holgorsen, has got their heisman favorite quarterback, Will Grier, back along with a great number of starters. Media and fans believe this is West Virginia’s year, because the talent they brought back from last year. With Grier back, West Virginia has a chance to win in every game. West Virginia picked up a victory in their opening game versus Tennessee Volunteers. West Virginia moved up three spots in the AP poll to number fourteen. West Virginia towards the end of the year should finally get over the hump in 2018!