West Virginia Football 2011: Opening Day Is Sunday and Still No Depth Chart

Scott PauleyAnalyst ISeptember 1, 2011

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 20:  Geno Smith#12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs with the ball during the Big East Conference game against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With opening day just three sunsets away, West Virginia head football coach, Dana Holgorsen, still has not released the names of the starters.

This could be a good thing or a bad thing.

It could simply mean that there are just too many good players to make a decision. However, it could also hint at the fact that there are not enough players that can play at the caliber that Holgorsen needs to run his new style of offense.

I will go with the former.

I have a hunch that there are just too many players that are outstanding at fulfilling their jobs and that makes it hard to choose starters. Look for the Mountaineers to rotate a lot of players—in and out of the game—on Sunday against Marshall.

With seven—eight if you include injured back, Shawne Alston—options in the backfield, Holgorsen has plenty of young men to get the job done on offense.

The quarterback position is locked up with Geno Smith taking the snaps.

Look for Pat Eger, Don Barclay, Jeff Braun, Joe Madsen, and Tyler Rader to get starts on the offensive line.

Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Tyler Urban, Brad Starks and Ivan McCartney will line up as receivers for the bulk of the game, with Ryan Nehlen, Devon Brown and J. D. Woods lining up for the short yardage plays. 

On the defensive side of the ball, plan on hearing the names Julian Miller, Bruce Irvin, Najee Goode, Keith Tandy, Pat Miller, Terence Garvin and Eain Smith the most. Josh Taylor, Tyler Anderson, Brantwon Bowser, Wes Tonkery and Josh Francis should also see some playing time.

Tyler Bitancurt will be kicking the ball through the uprights, while Corey Smith will have the punting and kickoff duties. Austin, Tandy and Starks will double as returners.

Though there has yet to be an official depth chart released by WVU, I feel we will see something similar to what I have described.

It’s my guess that Holgorsen wishes that Norfolk State was the first game, so he could get things in a better perspective since he will use the first two games to get a feel of who is better suited for each position.

We may not see a depth chart until Week 3 as the Mountaineers prepare to take on Maryland.