WVU Football

Inside the Numbers: WVU Football open week

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - No. 13 West Virginia (5-1, 3-1) gets a free Saturday for the second time this year.

Prep work for Baylor is in place. WVU is coming off its first loss of the year, but these stats show it has been a largely successful season thus far:  

Efficient on O

West Virginia is 10th in the county on third downs, converting 50 percent of the time.

Quarterback Will Grier is in the top 10 nationally in an assortment of stats: He’s fourth in passing efficiency (185.8), sixth in completion percentage (71.4) and ninth in passing yards (1,919). He’s also among the top two quarterbacks in the Big 12 in five major categories, including all of those just listed.

His two favorite targets – David Sills and Gary Jennings – are first and third in the Big 12, respectively, in receiving touchdowns. Sills has seven, while Jennings has hauled in six.

Marcus Simms has also made big contributions in multiple areas. Simms is fourth in the conference with 17.8 yards per catch. He’s also third in the Big 12 in all-purpose yards, being responsible for just more than 122 yards a game.  

Defense in the opposing backfield

WVU’s defense is fifth in the nation with 8.8 tackles for loss per game. Leading the way is David Long. He’s getting 1.8 stops in the backfield per contest.

That, and his 6.7 solo tackles a game, puts him among the best of the best in the NCAA.

The Mountaineer defense is also top-three in the Big 12 in points and passing yards allowed.  

Things to clean up

There have been two areas that have hindered the Mountaineers this year.

The first is penalties. West Virginia is one of the most penalized teams in the country, receiving 7.83 penalties per game. All those flags equate to more than 75 penalty yards per game.

The other negative has been the lack of stops in the red zone. West Virginia is allowing points on almost 89.5 percent of opponent trips to the red zone.  

Next up for WVU is a meeting with Baylor Thursday night at Milan Puskar Stadium.

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