West Virginia Football: What We Learned About the Mountaineers from Week 2

Tom PerryCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2011

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers looks to throw a pass against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

West Virginia won by 43 points, so of course you have to be pleased with the outcome.

Can we nitpick the Mountaineers' 55-12 victory over Norfolk State a little? Of course.

This was the second straight slow start for Dana Holgorsen's offense, and the offensive line still isn't clicking the way any fan would like.

WVU has had two weeks to iron out these issues, and with a road trip slated with rival Maryland this weekend, the Mountaineers are going to find out if they are legit.

Here's what we do know:

  1. Geno Smith has become a leader. With the Mountaineers trailing 12-10 at halftime, Smith rallied the troops in the locker room and picked up his performance in the second half. Smith finished with 371 yards and four touchdowns.
  2. Jeff Casteel is worth every penny. WVU's defense had some question marks coming into the season, but the defense is doing the job right now. Keith Tandy, Bruce Irvin and co. will give the Mountaineers a chance to win every game.
  3. Dana Holgorsen is an intense dude. We all saw him yelling at the offense during the Marshall game, and he said after Saturday's game that he had a few choice words for his team at halftime in the locker room. Gotta love that Red Bull.
  4. The receiving corps is deep and talented. If you ever questioned Holgorsen's coaching ability, it's clear he's getting the most out of Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Brad Starks, Tyler Urban and Ivan McCartney especially. The former 4-star receiver caught one pass last year with Jeff Mullen calling the plays. Now he's living up to his billing and has become a favorite target for Geno Smith.

It's still early and there's a lot of big games still to play, but any fan can see WVU has the potential to beat every team on its schedule (including LSU).

The second-half offensive explosion (390 yards) is more than the Mountaineers averaged per game last year.

WVU gets its first serious test this week at Maryland (1-0), which had a week off to prepare. The Terps are talented, but Randy Edsall never had much success against the Mountaineers as coach at Connecticut.

It should be an interesting game in College Park Saturday.