No. 21 West Virginia: 'On Defense They Lost a Ton'

We know what Will Grier [a 6' 2", 204-pound transfer quarterback] can do, so we don’t really need to go back and look at what he did at Florida. It’s more about what he does within West Virginia’s scheme. That’s why it’s more important to catch up on what [new offensive coordinator] Jake Spavital did at Cal. [Head coach] Dana Holgorsen says he’s going to let Spavital call all the plays, but we’ll see. Dana’s a genius with his version of the Air Raid. They’ve got a really good back [in 6-foot, 202-pound senior Justin Crawford], and they’ll use him to wear you out late in a game. They lost some dudes that could go at receiver, but they’ve still got some fast, skilled guys. [Ka’Raun] White [who’s a 6' 1", 197-pound senior] can play, and [6' 3", 201-pound junior David Sills V] has done some good things.

On defense they lost a ton of players, but what gives you trouble is DC Tony Gibson’s scheme. The front doesn’t present as anything. Is it a 3–4? Is it a 3-3-5? It’s just some guys moving around, and then they jump into their gaps at the snap and you have to figure it out. That middle linebacker [Al-Rasheed Benton, 6-foot, 237-pound senior] is always around the ball. On the back end they always seem to have long, big guys. Their hybrid safety [Kyzir White, 6' 2", 218] is pretty versatile.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.