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2014 Mountaineer Offense On Pace To Be One Of The Best Ever At WVU

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Trickett and White look to break several single season records

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When Dana Holgorsen arrived at WVU in 2011 the Mountaineer offense had been sputtering along under the guidance of Jeff Mullen's no identity offense. After squeaking through the Big East schedule and putting 70 on Clemson in a historic Orange Bowl bashing most people expected more of the same from the Mountaineers. The 2012 season started where the Orange Bowl left off, but quickly deteriorated and the Air Raid seemed stuck in neutral in 2013. Now through 5 games the offense is again performing at Xbox like levels and is on pace to break or rank in the top five of several all-time passing and receiving records at WVU. Let's look at where things currently stand and where they are heading.

Thus far this season Clint Trickett has completed 146 passes on 210 attempts for 1,902 yards and 10 touchdowns. That puts him on pace for 350 completions on 504 attempts for 4,564 yards and 24 touchdowns. If things do indeed play out that way Trickett would own the all-time single season passing yards record at WVU, would rank second all-time in single season passing completions, would rank third all-time in single season passing attempts, and fourth all-time in single season passing touchdowns (per wvustats.com). Kevin White is heading for a similar path on the receiving end.

Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin are currently tied for the single-season all-time receptions record with 114 in 2012, and Bailey owns the single-season receiving yardage and touchdown records with 1,622 yards and a whopping 25 touchdowns (that despite being hurt for a stretch during that 2012 season). Currently, White has 48 receptions for 765 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is on pace to have 115 receptions for 1,836 yards and 9 touchdowns. That would leave White with the all-time single season records in receptions and yards and the eighth best season all-time in receiving touchdowns.

The question on these projections is if WVU will be able to keep up its torrid pace. Per cfbstats.com, in 2014 WVU has played Alabama who ranks third in total defense and 30th in passing defense, Maryland who ranks 99th in total defense and 69th in passing defense, Oklahoma who ranks 53rd in total defense and 98th in passing defense, and Kansas who ranks 82nd in total defense (above Maryland!) and 66th in passing defense (in this too!). With such a small sample size on the season it is hard to know, outside of Alabama, whether these defenses have been mediocre or if WVU's offense has just been that good, and as a result skewed the defensive rankings of their opponents (WVU currently ranks tenth nationally in total offense).

In the coming weeks WVU will face four teams ranked in the top 30 in total defense (Baylor ranked fourth, TCU ranked seventh, KSU ranked 20th, and Texas ranked 29th) and three teams who fall near the bottom half of all teams in total defense (Oklahoma State at 58th, Iowa State at 98th and Texas Tech at 113th). Through two seasons in the Big 12 Texas and Baylor have not significantly slowed WVU's offense meaning WVU should get five solid opportunities to put up ridiculous offensive statistics setting the stage for several single season all-time passing and receiving records to be broken.