The Mountaineers are off to a 3-1 start in 2017 and you can pick on the defense all you would like, but one interesting stat I found yesterday is that West Virginia is 8-2 when RB Justin Crawford rushes for 100+ yards. Holgorsen has a healthy stable of backs, but with that being said it’s pretty clear cut that Crawford is the main guy. The only two games that ended in a losing effort was last year vs Oklahoma and this years season opener vs Virginia Tech.
Over the course of Dana’s tenure at West Virginia his run play selection has steadily increased, this year that may dip with Coach Spavital’s affection to pass the ball. Even if that number does take a dip, the Mountaineers need to make it a chore to get him over that century mark. Now we can breakdown millions of different saber metrics as to why we win or lose a game, but this is one that I feel has some importance to it. Rush the ball well and you’re taking a whole lot of pressure of Will Grier’s arm.
The only knock about Crawford has been his ball security, but to me, I believe that is no longer an issue. He’s tucked it well and has made very few mistakes in 2017. The rest of the team surely has some kinks to iron out, but if Crawford can keep up this pace, I love our chances to finish closer to the top two.