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West Virginia Offensive Preview: Options Galore

After being exposed last week, Oklahoma State takes on the potent offense of Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia. The Cowboys will try to bounce back, but it will be a tough one.

Kevin White has been the Mountaineers leading receiver.
Kevin White has been the Mountaineers leading receiver.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Dana Holgorsen's vision has finally set in completely in Morgantown.

The efficiency, the versatility, and the explosiveness of the West Virginia offense will be very reminiscent to what Holgorsen was able to accomplish in Stillwater only a few years ago.

Let's start with the efficiency of the unit.

The running game that Holgorsen has created is the epitome of efficiency. Five Mountaineer runners average over four yards a carry. Three of those five have carried the ball in every game so far. That trio combines for nine touchdowns so far and over 145 yards a game. Luckily for Oklahoma State, it hasn't been opponents' running game that has caused issue. The Cowboys will still need to look out for Mountaineer sophomore Rushel Shell. Shell is the teams leading rusher, with over 70 yards a game, and has scored six touchdowns this season.

What a difference a year makes.

This time last year, Clint Trickett was a mediocre at best Big 12 quarterback. Now he is one of the best quarterbacks in the conference.

Trickett is completing almost 70 percent of his passes.

That must be nice.

Not only is Trickett getting the ball to his receivers at a high rate, but also he is throwing for about nine yards a throw. Must be comforting having a quarterback that can almost guarantee a first down 70 percent of the time that he throws.

Getting pressure on Trickett will be key. That was one of the key contributors to his struggles last season but has been well protected this season. Jimmy Bean, Emmanuel Ogbah and James Castleman will need to make their presence known to the former transfer quarterback.

Trickett also has a 15:5 touchdown to interception ratio which is one of the best in the conference. On almost 40 pass attempts a game, Trickett is good for around 360 yards per game.

While there is some congruency to the Mountaineer running game, this is not the same case for the receivers. Kevin White is the man, and teams know it. Stopping him is another issue though. White is one of the best receivers in the conference and may be in the country with over 1000 yards receiving this season and 7 touchdowns. White is average just a shade under 10 receptions a game.

Kevin Peterson will have his hands full with White but as long as White doesn't drift into other secondary match ups, the Cowboys should fair well with their stud cornerback.

Special teams could be a very interesting matchup this week. This will see arguably the two of the best kick returners in the country square off and the two best kickers in the Big 12.

Mario Alford has two kickoff return touchdowns this season, but what is more impressive is his almost 35 yard return average per kick. If the Cowboys can control Alford, they can control field position which will be a big factor with an offense like West Virginia's. Give them as many yards to make to score instead of giving them a short field.

Josh Lambert has been money this year, much like OSU's Ben Grogan. Lambert averages three field goal attempts a game, which is a high number for such a potent offense. Needless to say though, this Mountaineer team can score in every phase of the game and that makes them dangerous.

The Cowboys will have their hands full again this week. It may be homecoming, but it won't be a happy one.

Final Score: 42-27 West Virginia