The Pre-Snap Read: East Carolina
As part of our continued efforts to expand our West Virginia coverage, WVSports.com brings you the Pre-Snap Read. In this feature, we break down the position groups for both teams and assign which has the edge at each individual position spot prior to matchup and then look at the two against one another.
Today we look at the tale of the tape of the positions for both West Virginia and East Carolina to see which team in our analysis comes out on top position by position and pitted against each other.
All summer the talk centered around West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and what he could do in the West Virginia offense. Well, it wasn’t a perfect performance but the redshirt junior didn’t disappoint passing for 371 yards, the most by any first time starter in program history, and a trio of touchdowns against a Virginia Tech defense that’s billed as one of the better in the nation.
Grier started somewhat slow and missed some things early in the game but as he got more comfortable with what he was doing settled in and started to execute at a high level. The signal caller has a strong connection with his wide receiver group and made multiple passes well before his targets even broke on their routes. Grier has trust in his wide receivers and that is reciprocated.
The Florida transfer also displayed the ability to extend plays in the pocket with his feet and even turn it up and get some yardage on the ground as well. This week Grier also will have the added bonus of sophomore wide receiver and true deep threat Marcus Simms returning.
It was going to be impossible for Grier to completely live up the hype in game one, but he did a very good job making a strong case that it was definitely warranted and it should only get better.
After starting junior Garnder Minshew last week against James Madison, the Pirates pulled the plug at halftime handing the keys of the offense over to Duke graduate transfer Thomas Sirk. The fact that Minshew won the job out of camp was somewhat surprising, but after managing only 82 yards on 7-18 passing attempts, it was time for Sirk to take over.
With the former Duke product in the game, the Pirates were pass-happy with Sirk attempting 35 passes while completing 21 of those for 210 yards and a pair of interceptions. The East Carolina offense was able to move the ball but couldn’t get the ball into the end zone getting stopped on fourth down and turning the ball over. The Pirates offense should rely more on throwing the ball with Sirk taking the snaps, but after Grier’s debut this one is a slam dunk.
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