A blowout win, even one over a lackluster Kansas State team, sure feels like a great way to open up Big 12 play. The Mountaineers took care of business on both sides of the ball and look like they’ve effectively knocked off all the rust from their impromptu bye week, all the better as the Texas Tech offensive machine awaits in Lubbock. That said, let’s hand out some helmet stickers for West Virginia’s offensive stars against Kansas State.
- Will Grier, QB– Three weeks in, it’s probably safe to say that Grier is who we thought he was going to be in 2018. He’s simply playing at a prolific clip, adding another 356 yards and five TD’s on Saturday to his already staggering season totals. There are blemishes there and there, though. Grier is a trigger man who likes to push the envelope and his two interceptions on Saturday are proof of that. After a sluggish start that resulted in back-to-back turnovers, Grier had the Mountaineers rolling and there was no looking back. Grier found the big play on several occasions but also made sure the Mountaineers finished drives, highlighted by three beautiful David Sills touchdown grabs in the red zone. No. 7 is showing veteran poise and laser focus right now and has done nothing but help his chances at picking up serious hardware by season’s end. Kansas State will no doubt be glad to see him go after this season wraps.
- Marcus Simms, WR- It was a pretty good day for the Mountaineers wide receivers group across the board, but Simms takes home the ‘Mr. Big Play’ award this week. The Maryland native posted 136 yards on only five receptions and added a score on an absolutely effortless stop-and-go route that went for 82 yards in the first quarter. Simms is displaying the type of progress that will make him a marquee player at his position group on a national scale. Having elite speed is one thing, but becoming a more polished route runner and a dependable target on critical downs is what separates a late round draft prospect from the day one and day two guys. While Gary Jennings and David Sills are established stars, Simms is very quickly becoming a go-to guy in his own right and may well be the missing piece to give WVU its first ever 1,000 yard receiving trio in a single season. Keep it up, no. 8.
- The Mountaineers Offensive Line- Look, I know the point of these things is to hand out accolades on an individual basis but Joe Wickline’s offensive line unit deserves a big pat on the back. After three games, West Virginia is 21st nationally in total offense and quarterback Will Grier has thrown over 1,110 yards to go along with 14 touchdowns at an absurd 72.7 completion %. In addition, Will Grier has been sacked only four times in three games, during which time the Mountaineers have been able to average 545.3 YPG on just over 66 offensive snaps per contest. Did I also mention that the Mountaineers are averaging more TD passes per game (4.7) than any other team in the nation? Because they are. This all starts up front with guys like Yodny Cajuste, Colton McKivitz and Josh Sills. Grier’s prospects as a post-season award winner hinge on how clean his jersey can stay and, thus far, it’s been relatively spotless. There is certainly room for improvement, particularly in clearing running lanes, but this offensive line is doing everything necessary three games in to elevate West Virginia to an elite level. Hats off to you, fellas.