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Mailbag Q&A: What's Up with the West Virginia Mountaineers?

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 15:  West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen looks on during a game against the James Madison Dukes at FedExField on September 15, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterApril 25, 2013

West Virginia held its annual spring game last Saturday, and the blue squad (defense) defeated the gold squad (offense) 41-33. 

Most coaches would be thrilled that the defense dominated any type of game since, you know...defense wins championships. But in West Virginia's case, there may be cause for alarm. 

Last season West Virginia's defense was horrific. The Mountaineers surrendered more than 38 points a game to finish No.117 out of 124 teams. To put that into perspective, more than half of the Western Athletic Conference's teams were ranked higher than the Mountaineers.

So the defense hogging the spotlight in a spring game is a good thing, right? Well, yes, unless you consider that West Virginia's offense is the heart and soul of the team and, at this point, has no identity.

That is problematic and concerning.

Going into the summer, head coach Dana Holgorsen has a depth chart that looks like an unfinished painting by Pablo Picasso—lots of lines with no apparent final destination. 

And for a BCS team that somewhat redefined pedal-to-the-metal offense, West Virginia is in a dangerous place right now. There is no starting quarterback. There is no go-to receiver. There is no set foundation. 

According to Greenwich Time's AP report, even Holgorsen knows he has serious problems to address.

"Not only are we not ready to name a starter at quarterback, we're not ready to do that at about 20 other positions," he said.

So, Nicky, I hate to be the bearer of bad news—the good news is that I've been wrong many times before—but I honestly don't see West Virginia going to a bowl game this year. Any team that has nearly all of its starting spots up for grabs could be in big trouble. 

Things could drastically change over the summer and early fall—I hope that happens. 

And with Holgorsen at the captain's wheel, there could be some smooth sailing ahead in Big 12 waters. But as of now, I'm not very optimistic. 

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