WVU’s Offense Looks to Minimize Missed Opportunities - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU’s Offense Looks to Minimize Missed Opportunities

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Ryan Petrovich, MORGANTOWN -

Missed Opportunities. That's all that can be said when looking back on the Mountaineers offense against the Sooners last week.

The Mountaineers offense had every chance to pull off the upset in Norman but found themselves on the short end of the stick after lack of discipline, miscues and poor play plagued them.

Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson recognized the missed opportunities his offense experienced.

"We had opportunities no doubt, we had a bunch of guys who didn't make plays," said Dawson.

One player in particular who couldn't make the necessary plays was quarterback, Paul Millard. Millard finished the night against Oklahoma 21 for 41, 218 yards, one interception and one lost fumble. Millard's passing was nowhere near where it should have been. On several occasions Millard couldn't make the throw to wide open receivers.

Millard's performance has allowed the quarterback race to become wide open once again. All three men, Millard, Clint Trickett and Ford Childress are all getting reps in practice in an effort to see who can secure a starting role.

"We're going to find out who wants to lead the group," Dawson said when he addressed the quarterback situation. "We've looked good at practice all along, it's not about that. We got to prepare ourselves mentally."

The quarterback not only needs to make all the plays expected of him but needs to step up and become a leader for this team. The Mountaineers demonstrated a lot of undisciplined traits during their game in Norman and having a quality leader could minimize the mental mistakes.

The starter for the game against Georgia State has yet to be named. It's not certain whether just one quarterback will play Saturday. It's possible that the quarterbacks could be interchangeable similar to what the Mountaineers did in their season opener against William and Mary. Whoever does get the nod better make the most of it.

"Opportunities are precious, you know, you get an opportunity take advantage of the opportunity," Dawson said.

The burden of missed opportunities doesn't solely rest on just the quarterback's shoulders. There are other pieces to the offense that are at fault as well.

The receiving corps for the Mountaineers has a lot of talent but hasn't been utilizing their talent to its full potential. Several receivers dropped wide open passes, committed turnovers and were victims to missed opportunities as well.

Having so many missed opportunites doesn't sit well with wide receiver Daikiel Shorts.

"[It's] very frustrating, it's tough to just know we were so close. We definitely left a lot of plays on the field, including myself," said Shorts.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen said that not only was the quarterback situation going to get shaken up but the receivers were in for some changes as well.

The running backs also contribute to the Mountaineers offensive attack. The only points the Mountaineers scored all game against Oklahoma came from a 75 yard rushing touchdown from Dreamius Smith.

The team finished with 179 total rushing yards in Norman, Smith led the way with 77. Despite Smith's tremendous rushing touchdown, he saw limited carries from there on. Less carries could be due to his missed blocking assignments.

"I know I missed one key black that caused a turnover," said Smith. "Blocking improves, more carries is what it sounds like."

Missed blocks are some of the missed opportunities the running backs faced along with all the other missed opportunities the Mountaineers encountered as a whole.

If the Mountaineers want to tangle with big-time team's they'll have to rid themselves of major missed opportunities. The Mountaineers are looking to rebound as they face Georgia State at home on Saturday. We'll see how many changes are made to the offense and just how big of a difference it'll make moving forward.

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