5 Things the West Virginia Mountaineers Should Worry About for the 2013 Season
Five Things the West Virginia Mountaineers Should Worry About for the 2013 Football Season
The 2012 college football season is in the books, and the 2013 season promises to bring a whole new set of storylines. Throughout the season, nearly every team is presented a number of issues to work through. Whether it is annoying injuries that limit what a particular unit on the team is capable of, or the unfortunate placement of certain teams on a schedule, every team has to learn to work through these issues and overcome the adversity that a season places.
For the 2012 West Virginia Mountaineers, it was a mid-season collapse and a weak defense that caused most of the problems during the season. Star quarterback Geno Smith started the season putting the team on his back by putting up nearly impossible numbers. After weeks of dominating every defense he faced, Smith finally returned to merely great.
The Mountaineers quickly realized that Geno Smith could not make up for the team’s poor defense forever. To play at that level for an entire season is unrealistic.
2013 brings a whole new set of issues for the Mountaineers to face. This list is obviously not every issue that the team will face during the new season, but is a good start of things for the team to consider as it approaches.
These are issues that already seem to be presenting themselves long before the season begins. These are issues that, left unresolved, could cost the team a number of wins. These are issues that need to be fixed if the Mountaineers hope to have a decent 2013 season.
Without further ado, here are what I consider to be the five most important issues for the Mountaineers to deal with as they enter the new year.
Who Will Start at Quarterback?
The Mountaineers are in the midst of a heated battle for the quarterback position. The candidates are junior Paul Millard, who was a backup to Geno Smith for his entire career, and redshirt freshman Ford Childress.
Consecutive Road Games Against Kansas State and TCU
The Mountaineers should be extremely worried about the games in weeks nine and ten of the 2013 season. Late in the season, WVU will travel to play Kansas State and TCU on the road without a home game in between.
This will be an extremely tough test for WVU, as both of these teams beat the Mountaineers in 2012 and both look to be even stronger for 2013.
Lack of Returning
The Mountaineers have lost a number of seniors from a 2012 season in which they finished with six losses.
A strong recruiting class holds promise and potential for WVU, but it will likely take at least a year for these players to develop.
The Mountaineers had one of the worst defenses in the country in 2012. Many were freshmen, and while they have another year of experience under their belt, they still have a lot to learn.
The incoming recruiting class was heavily focused on defense, and these players will have a lot to learn before establishing themselves as a presence in a conference as strong as the Big 12.
Replacing the "big three"
Excuse the overused “Big Three” reference, as nearly no one referred to Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey as the big three.
Regardless, the Mountaineers lost three NFL-caliber offensive players for the 2013 season, and they will need to find replacements before long.