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Asti: WVU Offense Hasn’t Come Close to Reaching Full Potential



WVU Football Garrett Greene, Neal Brown, Chad Scott

After being the clear weak spot of the team early in the season, the WVU offense has exploded in recent weeks. And while some are surprised, Neal Brown is simply seeing what he always believed was possible, granted the offense hasn’t come close to reaching its full potential.

On the heels of watching his offense score on a consistent basis once again, this time in a win, Brown offered his thoughts about West Virginia offensively, in particular over the last four games since Garrett Greene returned from missing time with an ankle injury.

“Who we’ve been the last couple weeks is who we’ve thought we could be on offense,” said Brown. And it was clear he truly believed what he said too. With Greene back under center after he had to exit the Backyard Brawl and then missed the following week against Texas Tech, the WVU offense has scored 24, 39, 34 and 41 points, respectively.

But despite scoring and being able to create some big plays, something that was nonexistent even while winning earlier in the season, the offense has also been far from perfect. The team went 2-2 in those four games, ironically losing the games that required Greene to throw the ball more than the others.

Now Greene has shown an ability to air it out at times, most notably throwing for 391 yards in Houston. That game even included successfully leading what he thought was a game winning drive in the final minutes before committing a penalty that served as an assist to Houston to win via a Hail Mary of their own.

However, Greene has also misfired. The receivers have dropped balls far too often as well. The offense is scoring, but it’s mostly thanks to the ground game, and that’s partly due to what Greene can do with his legs. Greene scored three touchdowns in the win over UCF on Saturday, with all three of them coming as runs.

So while the offense is putting up points and operating as a unit that relies heavily on the run game, which was expected to be the case, there’s room for improvement overall.

That’s why Brown said the offense still has to work on the passing game and needs to stop leaving yards out on the field every game. Brown and offensive coordinator Chad Scott both know the offense can’t be one dimensional if the team hopes to win on a regular basis in the Big 12.

And regardless if it’s about Greene needing to be more accurate as a passer, or if it’s more about a chemistry issue between quarterback and receivers, there’s still a side of the offense that’s holding the team back from being even more dangerous. The health status of Hudson Clement, who’s emerged as one of WVU’s most reliable targets, will no doubt play a role on the ceiling for what the offense can do this week.

The path to unlocking the potential of the passing game is to continue the aggressive play calling that occurred at UCF. Brown admitted he went into that game knowing he wanted to be aggressive and throw caution to the wind, literally. Scott loved seeing that mentality from Brown and emphasized that he supports seeing more of that style of play calling moving forward.

Being aggressive means being comfortable taking risks, and knowing those risks may not always work out. But when you’re Brown and you’re in your fifth year on the job and you’re facing pressure to put together a season everyone can be proud of, the reality of “why not?” has to pop into your mind.

Based on what’s happened to the team in its best performances for the offense, winning or losing isn’t squarely dependent on what the offense does. However, Brown now has the confidence that the offense can hang with anyone in the conference and can score like it needs to week in and week out against quality opponents.

Only time will tell if things ever fully click this season and if the Mountaineers experience a level of play that can get this West Virginia team to another level as a whole.

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