Meet the Mountaineers’ is a series previewing every position on West Virginia’s football team for 2020. Every day we will focus on a different position group and look at all the players we will see there in 2020. Yesterday we started with the man at the top, second-year head coach Neal Brown. Tomorrow we will start on the offense by looking at WVU’s quarterbacks for 2020.
In 2018, the West Virginia offense was one of the best in the country. The Mountaineers trailed only Oklahoma in the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 40.2 points per game.
Leading the offense that year was quarterback Will Grier, who had the arm strength to make any throw on the field with the confidence to match. With his trio of receivers, David Sills V, Gary Jennings and Marcus Simms, Grier and the Mountaineers averaged 512.3 yards of total offense per game.
Following the offensive high of 2018, however, Grier, Sills, Jennings and Sims all moved on the NFL and head coach Dana Holgorsen took a new job at the University of Houston.
In their first season at WVU, new head coach Neal Brown and his offensive staff needed to fill holes all over the offense.
When all was said and done, the Mountaineers’ offense did not take shape in 2019 like anyone had wanted. WVU’s scoring dipped to just 20.6 points and 321.9 yards per game, both worst in the Big 12.
The troubles for West Virginia started up front. Mountaineer running backs averaged just 2.6 yards per carry last season. The anemic running game led Brown and co-offensive coordinators Matt Moore and Chad Scott to lean on Oklahoma transfer quarterback Austin Kendall too much too soon.
With a severely inexperienced receiving core, Kendall and the passing game struggled to find consistency throughout the season. WVU attempted the fourth-most passes in the Big 12 (454) but had the second-worst passing efficiency (127.5).
Heading into 2020 there is just one new face on the offensive coaching staff, new offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Gerad Parker, who comes to WVU after coaching at Penn State.
“I’m biased, but I think he’s the best wide receivers coach in the country,” Brown said after the hiring was announced. “He’s going to be our lead in our offensive room for managing the gameplan. I have a lot of trust there just because of the history of our relationship.”
Parker was brought in to replace former wide receivers coach Xavier Dye, who accepted the same position at South Florida over the offseason.
Offensive line coach Matt Moore will no longer be a co-offensive coordinator instead, becoming an assistant head coach. Running backs coach Chad Scott has retained the co-offensive coordinator title.
Xavier Dye – Wide Receivers, South Florida
Matt Moore – Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line
Chad Scott – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs
Sean Reagan – Quarterbacks
Travis Trickett – Tight Ends/Inside Receivers
Gerad Parker – Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers (Penn State)