Top 25: No. 24 West Virginia Mountaineers

Andrew ReussContributor IAugust 14, 2009

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18:  Running back Noel Devine #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers tries to elude the Colorado Buffaloes defense at Folsom Field September 18, 2008 in Boulder, Colorado. Colorado defeated West Virginia 17-14 in overtime.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

West Virginia finished 9-4 last season with a win against North Carolina. If you talk to their fans they would say the season was underwhelming.

9-4 is a good year, don't get me wrong, but they are always looking to be better then that. They lost four games last year, and had only lost a total of five the previous three seasons combined.

This year seems to be another year of recovery for the Mountaineers as they look to return to their winning ways.

Ok, so let's get the obvious out of the way, they need to replace...

Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about who they return on offense. Jarrett Brown will try to replace Pat White, he is a solid QB, but will have his word cut out for him. We have to expect this will change the offense because of how versatile Pat White was.

At WR they have the talented Alric Arnett. He collected less then 500 yards through the air, but did find the end zone six times.

Braldey Starks will also return. He will need to step up and help Arnett carry some of the load.

Now to get to WVU's best offensive player, Noel Divine. Divine is a speedy RB who is extremely hard to get to the ground. The success of this offense is riding on his legs, and he will need to take games over and let people know how truly talented he is.

Put Divine in a phone booth and add me, it takes me over an hour to tackle him...
(credit: wvpics)

Now for WVU's better half: the defense. They return eight starters to a unit that ranked 11th in scoring allowed in '08.
J.T. Thomas is the stud LB for the mountaineers, and will be the team leader on defense. Thomas will command a group of young up and coming players including Scooter Berry (great name), and Anthony Leonard.

If WVU can play solid defense and control field position they will be a hard team to beat. The Mountaineers offense should be able to put together some solid drives, but they will be streaky. The key to this year for WVU is certainly the defense, as every coach in the world has said, "they don't score, they don't win".

I am excited to see how this season shapes up for WVU. I have them at No. 24, and certainly think they can shift from there depending on the aforementioned .

Players to Watch: Noel Devine, J.T. Thomas

Projected Record: 9-3


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