We are at the end of our practice reports for each Big East team. What lingering questions are left for West Virginia?
1. Running back rotation. There is so much talent at tailback and fullback, coach Dana Holgorsen says he plans to play seven players in the backfield this season. In what order? Who knows. Holgorsen has yet to announce his starters, and has reiterated throughout fall camp that his young freshmen have impressed him. Andrew Buie, Dustin Garrison and Vernard Roberts and Trey Johnson are fighting for playing time at tailback. Holgorsen says Ryan Clarke has a slight lead at fullback.
"Somebody has to run out there first," Holgorsen said. "Whoever the quote/unquote starter is going to be will mean more to that guy than it does to us. We know that they are all going to play. Throughout the course of the game,we will decide who to put in there the most. We don’t know how that is going to happen. A specific person can get jacked up about, but that has no meaning on how much someone is going to play."
2. Receivers. Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin have locked up two starting spots. But the third is between Ivan McCartney and Ryan Nehlen. Holgorsen has no idea who is going to win that competition. "Right about the time you think Ivan has an edge, then Ryan comes back and has his best day since he has been here. That is an ongoing deal," Holgorsen said. Expect to see Tyler Urban and Devon Brown to play about the same amount.
3. Depth. There are a few areas of concern from a depth standpoint. Holgorsen has not been pleased with his backup offensive linemen, saying, "We would like them to push the first teamers a little more, but they are what they are." Linebacker is another area that Holgorsen mentioned as well. "Casey Vance has been playing OK," Holgorsen said. "When you have a guy like Josh Francis behind him, who is more talented, but if he isn’t going in the right direction, we have to play the other guy. We would like a lot of position battles, so the more the better." Quarterback also has been an issue, with Geno Smith and Paul Millard as the only scholarship players on the roster.