WVU OL Coach Matt Moore Explains Need to Make Offensive Line Versatile
MORGANTOWN, W.Va – Developing versatility is key for the WVU offensive line, at least according to OL coach Matt Moore.
Moore, who is in his fourth year on the West Virginia staff and third overseeing the offensive line, emphasized the importance of moving guys around during his press conference after practice on Tuesday. He wants to create a scenario several players on his offensive line can fit into multiple roles.
The hope is that if WVU is forced to deal with an injury, in particular to veteran leaders Zach Frazier or Doug Nester, someone else will be prepared to fill the void, at least to a serviceable level.
“Always trying to create more chemistry.. and a lot of guys are moving around.. trying to create guys that can play different spots because you never know. You always want to have your best five out there and always want multiple guys to be able to play center,” Moore explained.
Moore also feels this is essential for WVU now that the Mountaineers know they will be led by a mobile quarterback. Having mobility at the quarterback position, and that will be the case with either Garrett Greene or Nicco Marchiol, can help mask mistakes from the line, but it also makes having athletic lineman a necessity.
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In addition to moving guys around, Moore mentioned that Nester is stepping up as more of a leader, and how that will pay dividends for the unit and take pressure off Frazier. Moore said this has been really evident throughout the Spring with Frazier limited.
“It’s got other guys ready for the moment. Doug Nester has done a phenomenal job from a leadership standpoint.”
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Moore brought up that it’s more necessary for a lineman to be athletic the further away from center they play. This means that the outside guards and tackles need to be more athletic than the center. Conversely, Moore feels lineman who play more on the inside need to be smarter, meaning the center must have the highest football IQ of the group.
As far as intelligence among younger players, Moore pointed to Ja’Quay Hubbard. “He’s really smart. He’s an awesome kid. He would run through a wall. You won’t find anybody who works harder than he does,” said Moore.
The Mountaineers will have a unique blend of veteran experience and young talent on the offensive line in 2023, but shifting to such a run heavy offense will add to the pressure on the group to perform. If the offensive line struggles, the WVU offense will have a difficult time having success, and that will fall on Moore.