“If we are scheduling two Power 5 schools and a non-Power 5 school, then I wish everyone else would, too, as opposed to what some of the other schools are doing by scheduling an FCS school or two FCS schools and two other non-Power 5 schools. You can figure out who I’m talking about.” – WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen, Sept. 2015
Welcome to Week 3 of Weapons and Weaknesses. This Saturday (Sept. 16) WVU will face its only FCS opponent of the season, the Delaware State (DSU) Hornets. The Hornets come into this contest 0-2, having lost to the University of Delaware 22-3 in Week 1 and Hampton 28-15 in Week 2. The Hornets’ woes are not limited to this season, though; DSU went 0-11 in 2016, 1-10 in 2015, and 2-10 in 2014. I thought I was scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with some “Weapons” for ECU in Week 2, but this is ridiculous. Seriously, the only thing in the world that could make me think WVU could lose this game is if Kevin Pittsnogle publicly guarantees a victory. That being said, I’ll make an attempt.
Weapon (Yeah, it’s singular on purpose)
Alleyne is a versatile player. Formally labeled as a running back, Alleyne has also functioned as a wide receiver and a kickoff returner. Alleyne doesn’t have outstanding offensive numbers so far this season–he has 67 rushing yards, 26 receiving yards, and no touchdowns–but he has been effective on kickoff returns. In five returns this year, he has racked up 120 yards, with a long of 33 yards. While no one is going to confuse him with the artist formerly known as Pacman Jones anytime soon, considering WVU has gave up a 44-yard kickoff return against Virginia Tech, Alleyne is worth keeping an eye on. At 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds, he is unlikely to be blasting through Al-Rasheed Benton on a run or catching a pass over Kyzir White. But if he gets going on a return, he could prove to be slippery.
Hampton quarterback Delmon Williams went 16-of-25 for 305 yards and three touchdowns against DSU’s defense in Week 2. That same defense has to face the Will Grier-David Sills connection this week; a pairing that has already produced five touchdown passes this year. Look for a repeat of the ECU game in Week 3; WVU will quickly score several passing touchdowns in the first half, and with a comfortable lead at halftime, the offense will switch to a running focus as most of the starters migrate to the bench by the end of the third quarter.
Lack of Offensive Production
DSU has scored one touchdown so far this season. One. The remainder of their 18 total points this year comes from three field goals and a safety. Quarterback Jack McDaniels has only 321 passing yards between his two starts this year, and has not yet thrown a touchdown. The Hornets aren’t strong on the ground either, with only 170 total rushing yards on this season. DSU will need to have their best offensive production of the year to even make a respectable showing against the Mountaineers.
I’m not looking to prolong this one unnecessarily. This game is not going to be good, or particularly interesting. Will Grier will look great throwing, Justin Crawford will bust open some big runs, but anyone who sees big stats from this game is going to put an asterisk beside the numbers because they came against a totally overmatched opponent.