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3 Keys to Victory: Keeping it Simple Should be Enough for WVU to Beat Duquesne



WVU Football HC Neal Brown, Garrett Greene and Chad Scott

Logic suggests an FBS program will be able to beat any FCS school pretty easily. There’s a drastic talent differential between the two levels of college football. But it’s always worth noting wild upsets have happened.

Since most are very down on WVU football right now, there’s a belief that West Virginia could be more vulnerable now than ever before to fall at the hands of an FCS opponent. Logic and oddsmakers still argue that’s an overreaction since, despite a losing record overall under head coach Neal Brown, the Mountaineers have destroyed every FCS team on their schedule.

Below are three keys to an easy win for West Virginia this week.

Take Care of the Ball

Taking care of the football and minimizing turnovers could be a key for every game, but is especially important when a heavy favorite. Despite the loss, this wasn’t an issue against Penn State so shouldn’t be at home while facing Duquesne either.

For Duquesne to make the Mountaineers sweat, they are going to need some luck. WVU can’t help to create that luck for them.

Establish the Run and Keep Running

A simple offensive game plan should be enough to have success in this matchup. This could even be a game the old Garrett Greene, meaning the scrambler who WVU was unsure could throw well enough, could run all over the Dukes and move the ball with his legs.

West Virginia has four running backs they believe in, and we could see them all unleashed at times in this game. Brown and offensive coordinator Chad Scott already mentioned Jahiem White being someone they want to get touches against Duquesne. He was poised to play last week, but did not end up seeing the field.

Mountaineers Ready to Unleash Star Freshmen Rodney Gallagher, Jahiem White

It’s unlikely Duquesne’s defense will be able to handle the speed of the WVU running backs or Greene when he’s outside of the pocket. West Virginia will want to pass some, and there are also plans to utilize wide receiver and top recruit Rodney Gallagher from now on, but throwing a lot is probably not going to be necessary to move the chains and get points on the board while facing Duquesne. Shorter passes to tight end Kole Taylor make sense to keep possession and churn the clock.

Do what you need to do to figure out what you need to figure out, but keep it simple and get out of the game unscathed.

Secondary Needs to Show its Worth

This one isn’ as much of a key, but a unit that has pressure on itself to perform. WVU’s corners had a tough night at Beaver Stadium. Once he achieved an early big play, Drew Allar picked on West Virginia’s secondary all game long.

The coaching staff told us all off-season how the secondary would be better. They said it was deeper. They said Aubrey Burks was a different guy now and could play himself into the NFL. Beanie Bishop expressed his desire to have a big season to end his college career. Jacolby Spells was discussed as having cleaned up mistakes and poised for a breakout year.

While they should have an easier time with the Duquesne offense, Brown did note that Dukes quarterback Darius Perrantes can throw a quality deep ball. Smart money is on Duquesne trying to test the WVU secondary early and often. The Dukes will make them work to show they are better than what they put on film against Penn State.

Asti: There’s One Clear Path for Duquesne to Shock WVU

Maybe this game with Duquesne being another regional matchup motivates the Dukes even more than playing just any FBS would. Maybe WVU is actually even worse than last season and this team will be exposed by lower competition. Or maybe logic will prevail and WVU will take care of business against Duquesne, just like they’re supposed to and then turn their attention to another opponent from Pittsburgh who they have a lot more history with.

But if somehow the unthinkable actually happens and West Virginia, the 15th winningest program in college football history, loses to an FCS school, and one that would then gain regional bragging right, Pat McAfee and his crew have some ideas for how WVU should handle that.

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