Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/29/13
In coach Dana Holgorsen’s “air raid” offense, there are variations of multiple different offensive sets in which the ball finds its way quickly into the hands of playmakers. Rushing the football may be the West Virginia football team’s most consistent and best option. Joe Sadlek/All-Pro Photography WVU is now flush with talented running backs. Andrew Buie, last year’s leader in rushing and rushing touchdowns has decided to redshirt. Buie’s decision was a smart one. Football can sometimes boil down to a numbers game and Buie would have been the fifth running back on the roster. That’s a lot of mouths to feed and with Buie’s talent its better for him to keep a year of eligibility and enter a year where he knows that he will get the majority of the carries. This year it will be Charles Sims, the University of Houston transfer, who will be the featured back. Holgorsen spoke about the depth at running back at a press conference on Tuesday. “We have bodies that can give us snaps back there, and I feel very good about it. I haven’t been able to sit here the last two years and say I feel good about it. I have always had about two or three, and now I feel like we have that depth, and I’m excited.” The depth includes Dustin Garrison, Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood. These running backs should improve a rushing attack that was middle of the pack in a national comparison. WVU finished 47th in the nation in total rushing yards with 2,229 and 57th in the nation in total rushing touchdowns with 21. Taking a look at the preseason top three teams, rushing the football is a constant in all three offenses. Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon all finished top 20 in total rushing yards and total rushing touchdowns. Running the football is important for WVU because it will help balance the offense. With the heavy amounts of passing it was easier for teams to load the field with defensive backs to cover all the receivers. Establishing the run will take the pressure off the quarterback along with setting up the play-action passing game. Last year’s offense didn’t have a running back that rushed for more than 900 yards and the number two leading rusher (Tavon Ausin) wasn’t even a running back. Each of the top three teams had a featured back with at least 1,200 yards rushing and all three had running back depth that allowed them to rotate their players to keep them fresh. A powerful one-two punch that Mountaineer fans can look forward to in the backfield is Sims and Smith. Sims is coming from UH and has had a great camp. NFL.com analyst Gill Brandt considered Sims to be the top senior running back in college football. His career numbers at UH are 1,672 yards rushing/20 rushing touchdowns along with 88 catches for 948 yards/ 7 touchdowns. Smith is an interesting player that could bloom in Holgorsen’s offense. Smith is the No.2 junior college running back and had offers from Boise State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. During his two years at Butler Community College, Smith accumulated 1,674 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns. With lack of experience at the quarterback position, look for coach Holgorsen to lean on his running backs to keep his high powered offense on the field as well as put up points.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne


USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

Take a moment to appreciate the greatness of Cam Newton

4-Star 2018 quarterback Matt Corral commits to USC

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker