Happy Kansas week, everyone. A little late here with offensive helmet stickers for the Mountaineers’ road win over Texas Tech but, as they say, better late than never. In a game that was much closer than it should have been, there were several standouts that helped West Virginia put up enough points to edge a furious second half surge by the Red Raiders. Here are this week’s offensive MVP’s from the Texas Tech game.
- Marcus Simms, WR– Simm’s 9 catch, 136 yard performance to go along with another soaring TD grab marks the third straight contest that Simms has crested the century mark in receiving yards. Who currently leads the Mountaineers in receiving yards, you ask? Gary Jennings? No. Touchdown machine David Sills V? Nope. It’s Simms and the longer this goes on you feel more and more convinced that West Virginia has at least three starters out wide who could be WR1 for any other program in the nation. As the film shows, Simms not only has devastating speed but he’s become immeasurably more sure-handed than he was even a season ago. While this week’s opponent Kansas boasts the no. 2 ranked passing defense in the Big 12, I have every reason to believe that Grier will find a way to connect with Simms on at least one deep ball for another highlight reel score and further prove that with the Maryland native in the line up, there is no refuge for opposing secondaries.
- Will Grier, QB– Say what you will about West Virginia’s tepid second half performance. Grier may bear some of the blame, but there were simply too many uncharacteristic drops against Texas Tech that stalled several promising offensive drives. At this point, Grier is so consistently good through four weeks of action that even a line of 370 yards and 3 TD’s seems pedestrian, which is both a blessing and a curse. When your guy grades out higher than any other quarterback in the nation and is doing so with one less game than the rest of his peer group, it’s hard to imagine that the Charlotte native could possibly get any better this season. Well, he can. There’s still room to improve on deep throws where timing and anticipation of route development sometimes ruin what could be a scoring play. At this rate, though, Grier is on fire and shows no signs of slowing down. We, all of us, need to enjoy it while we can, as Grier is putting together a season for the history books.
- Kennedy McKoy, RB– Through four games, it’s been hard to see any real separation between McKoy, Martell Pettaway and Leddie Brown at the running back position. Saturday, though, Kennedy McKoy had a solid game on the ground including a big-time 38 yard touchdown run that saw him slice and weave through every level of the Red Raiders’ defense. It’s been a by-committee approach as Jake Spavital is clearly attempting to spread touches among the three backs currently in the rotation. That’s certainly a plus in the sense that it keeps guys fresh and prevents any one player from being overlooked, but McKoy looked fast and fluid on Saturday and has only gotten better as he’s gotten deeper into his career at West Virginia. Right now, McKoy is pack leader with 244 yards on 38 carries and two rushing touchdowns. While his stat line through four weeks won’t propel him up the national rankings for his position group, he’s quietly becoming West Virginia’s go-to safety valve on the ground and has big play potential which is something the Mountaineers will need as the Big 12 gauntlet nears.