I trust all of you had a great holiday weekend and were able to find the silver lining in Saturday’s ugly win over the Jayhawks. There is definitely a fair amount of tape that most of us are likely to fast forward through during rewatches but, a win being a win, there are also some positive takeaways from the Mountaineers’ fifth win of the season.
Here are the top three offensive performers from Saturday.
Leddie Brown, RB– At this point, it’s hard to deny that Brown, the true freshman, is anything but very good. On Saturday, the Delaware native posted his second 100+ yard performance of the season and both caught and rushed for a touchdown. Brown is simply a force, whether he’s rushing between the tackles or bursting up the middle for huge gains. He shows a balanced physicality that belies his general inexperience and looks more and more like the most sure thing that West Virginia has in the backfield. Don’t get me wrong- Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway are also playing very solid football but Brown seems to have the greatest upside and, this early in his career, he seems to have a lofty ceiling to his game. Were it not for the suspect game plan that led to multiple turnovers in the passing game, Brown might have easily crested 200 yards on the day had the workload been there. Keep it up, young man.
David Sills, WR– Feels good to finally shine a spotlight on Sills’ name after a few weeks where other receivers made more headline-grabbing plays. However, Sills returned to the end zone on Saturday and was pack leader with 74 yards on seven receptions. There were times was Sills was quizzically wide open and you were left wondering why Kansas was scheming to give No. 13 such a wide berth. Regardless, Sills looked hard to cover and might have had another hat trick had Grier not been intercepted multiple times near the goal line. While his stat line might not appear jaw-dropping, one has to take into account the fact that he was one of four receivers to collect 50 or more yards through the air on Saturday. As the season wears on, Sills is an absolutely critical piece of hardware in West Virginia’s deep arsenal and will need to find a way to exploit holes in coverages every chance he can get.
Will Grier, QB– Look, I’ll be honest with you: Grier did not have his best game. Far from it, actually. From my vantage eight rows off the field, there was a clear disconnect between he and Jake Spavital and the miscues near the goal line looked like a regression in form for the Heisman hopeful. Granted, Kansas’ defense is currently second nationally in turnovers forced and are playing very stingy defense. Still, that doesn’t excuse the gaffes committed by Grier and company and will no doubt be the subject of heavy, heavy scrutiny during film period this week. Still, the senior posted 332 yards and four touchdowns on 28 of 41 passing. Just another routinely outstanding stat line from a guy who is on pace to break 4,000 yards passing by season’s end. Can Grier improve? Yes. Does he have to improve? Absolutely. Still, the Mountaineers are flush in the win column and Grier is leading the charge. If Jake Spavital and Will Grier can engineer some small tweaks and improvements here and there, an already prolific offensive unit will become that much scarier.