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Breaking down West Virginia

Posted: August 19, 2014 - 12:10am
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2013, file photo, West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett (9) prepares to pass against TCU during the first half of an NCAA football game in Fort Worth, Texas. West Virginia is 11-14 over the past two seasons and must show significant improvements on both sides of the ball to avoid another year of disappointment. The offense will rely on  Trickett, who started seven games a year ago and is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert, File)  Jim Cowsert
Jim Cowsert
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2013, file photo, West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett (9) prepares to pass against TCU during the first half of an NCAA football game in Fort Worth, Texas. West Virginia is 11-14 over the past two seasons and must show significant improvements on both sides of the ball to avoid another year of disappointment. The offense will rely on Trickett, who started seven games a year ago and is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert, File)
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Since making the top five of the national polls in October 2012, West Virginia has gone 6-14.

That streak escalated last season when after averaging 10 wins per season from 2005-2011, the Mountaineers failed to receive a bowl bid for the first time since 2001.

West Virginia hopes to end the downhill slide this season but a tough schedule stands in its way with nonconference games against Alabama and Maryland.

After a quarterback carousel last season, coach Dana Holgorsen already named senior Clint Trickett as the starting quarterback for 2014. He lines up behind an experienced offensive line with a stable of running backs and an experienced corps of wide receivers.

Defensively, the Mountaineers have some improving to do after ranking No. 9 in the league in points and yards allowed at 33.3 and 455, respectively, last year.

The secondary should be strong this season, led by cornerback Daryl Worley and strong safety Karl Joseph.

THE MOUNTAINEERS’ SCHEDULE

*Big 12 games

Aug. 30 Alabama in Arlington

Sept. 6 Towson

Sept. 13 at Maryland

Sept. 20 Oklahoma*

Oct. 4 Kansas*

Oct. 11 at Texas Tech*

Oct. 18 Baylor*

Oct. 25 at Oklahoma State*

Nov. 1 TCU*

Nov. 8 at Texas*

Nov. 20 Kansas State*

Nov. 29 at Iowa State*

2013 RESULTS

4-8, 2-7 (8th in Big 12)

2013 STATS

26.3 (79) scoring offense

33.3 (99) scoring defense

411 (62) total offense

148.7 (82) rushing

262.3 (34) passing

455 (101) total defense

197.7 (90) run defense

263.3 (106) pass defense

KEY RETURNERS

WR Mario Alford, RB Dreamius Smith, OG Quinton Spain, CB Daryl Worley

KEY LOSSES

RB Charles Sims, SS Darwin Cook, DE Will Clarke

HEAD COACH

Dana Holgorsen, 4th season

LOCATION

Morgantown, West Virginia

STADIUM

Milan Puskar Stadium

Compiled by Krista Pirtle

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